Yes and …

Thu, Feb 18, 2010

Blogs, Fearless Creativity

Yes and …

I live for the thrill – a captivating moment in the creative process when engagement turns exciting.  Nothing else matters but refining how it sounds, looks, reads, feels.  My concentration is off the immersion chart.  Volume is past 11 on the engagement control.

The route to vibrant creativeness may be tough to find and even harder to finish; putting pencil to paper and drawing the first line or writing that first sentence, it’s classically agonizing.  Similarly, slogging through an ultimate final edit for the 10th time is plainly mundanely dutiful.  Yet, those moments in the darkroom chasing a fine b+w print for the first time, photographing an expressively electric target rich scene or expressing a new idea with elegant phrasing makes the process compelling beyond any accomplished artifact.

It feels as though we – the artist – are in a frantic improvisation inside ourselves when “yes …. And” can’t come fast enough, yet it does.  It’s a feeling of comparatively little effort and high output.  He’s on fire; she’s in the zone; I’m in profound flow.

On stage improv is fundamentally an additive process that rides flow like a snowboarder.  The Grateful Dead meandered aimlessly in sloppy hunt for improvisational synergy that – once found – inspired a loyal horde.  It’s nothing like drilling for oil – more like sharing demonstrative dreams at 20 – 20,000 MHz.

This is what can happen in well orchestrated collaboration: open source projects, teamwork in progressive companies or creative agencies, and productions with unusually talented performers. The outcome is inevitable – the project concludes – but creative performers push it to surprising places.

As Maria Schneider says in this clip, “When it works at the end of a performance, the performance belongs to all of us. … There is a meeting place that makes something rich if it’s done right.”  To paraphrase further: In the end, the music is where you and I meet rather than waiting for a perfection that never conforms to my vision.

Maria Schneider’s Biography [Via Wikipedia]:

Schneider was born in Windom, Minnesota. She moved to New York City in 1985 after attending college at the University of Minnesota, the University of Miami and the Eastman School of Music. She studied under Bob Brookmeyer and Gil Evans, working on various projects with Evans, including the film The Color of Money and Absolute Beginners. Her works share many characteristics with other jazz composers influenced by Gil Evans, including Lou Marini, and Grammy Award winning composer Bob Belden.

Schneider formed The Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra in 1993, appearing weekly at Visiones in Greenwich Village for five years. Her orchestra performed at many jazz festivals and toured Europe.

Schneider was one of the first artists to use ArtistShare to produce an album. Her 2004 album, Concert in the Garden, became the first Grammy Award-winning recording sold exclusively via the Internet. It was named Jazz Album of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, which also named Schneider Composer of the Year and Arranger of the Year and named her group Large Jazz Ensemble of the Year.

Schneider’s ensemble is now titled “The Maria Schneider Orchestra”. Their new album, Sky Blue, was released in July 2007, also via ArtistShare. Schneider’s composition “Cerulean Skies,” from Sky Blue, won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition in 2008. Schneider is an avid birdwatcher and enlisted band members to contribute bird calls on “Cerulean Skies.”

artist, Creativity, Crowd Sourcing, emotional, Imagination, Improvisation, Innovation, Video

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