In my music work, it’s easy to become creatively paralyzed.
From expectations placed on myself, to a daunting landscape and industry, it’s easy to decide not to try. The crime of that paralysis is not that I’m some special snowflake who will never blossom to offer his pure and holy gift to the world (I would hope not to come off as pretentious and precious as that), but rather that I might close off my own personal fulfillment, enrichment, and expression simply because of perceived challenges or barriers to whatever “success” is.
In other words, the classic ego crisis of a modern artist who is surrounded in the media by such excellence. A grave temptation, I would contend, of the modern artist is to respond to brilliance and beauty with jealousy rather than wonder, to cry “why didn’t I do that first?” rather than “that is so wonderful I can hardly put words together.” Or, perhaps I’m projecting onto a generic “modern artist” my own selfish issues of worth and achievement.
Regardless, I’m writing this post not to whine about art being hard. Rather, it’s to talk about a phrase that’s helping me think about a less burdensome and tired perspective on being creative. It’s not something profoundly new in the world, but it’s helping me think about it all.
Just pull on the string… the title of this post, is how I’m approaching some new musical projects. Instead of the temptation to set parameters, boundaries, expectations, I’m trying to get into a creative zone where curiosities are chased. The idea is that by singularly focusing on the pure delight of sound, melody, and rhythm, I can create something compelling and beautiful. It may end up being something new in the world, or it may end up being something more conventional, but the impulse is to shut out the outer world and embrace a more internally motivated creativity.
I have loosely set out to work on two solo efforts in the near future: something electronic and something acoustic. But that’s about as specific as I would be about it. The rest is to be determined by chance, by logic, by divine will, by my own hand.
Hopefully something interesting will come of this!