Saturday, March 21, 2009

Creativity Generator

I received an email from Gregory Wiest in Munich yesterday. He'll be performing my song cycle Chasms in an arrangement for tenor, piano, and double bass in about a week, and he had some rehearsal recordings for me to hear. When I listened to the recordings, it really struck me again that this is a great set of songs. Although I hadn't initially conceived them with double bass, the ensemble sounds so rich! Having just heard Marion sing them at Carnegie with piano, it was a real treat to hear how well the pieces sit in a different voice with a different accompaniment.

Just listening to something I created is incentive to create more. I'm so proud of these songs, but then I think about some of the other pieces I've written and think "Oh, that's a pretty cool piece, too. I should see if I can get that played again." With the satisfaction of Carnegie, the inspiration of an event at Le Poisson Rouge, and the excitement of Gregory's email, I have no trouble believing in the value of my creativity today. And everything I've seen and all my activities this week have fed into that "creativity generator."

And yet, there's always that piece gnawing at the back of my mind: Where can I fit it into my schedule? I have this list of things to do today, I have these appointments to keep in the next week, I have this set of commitments, and I would like to be able to pay my bills. My energy is scattered. I want to reign it in and focus it, but I'm afraid something important won't get done. Can indulging my creativity compromise my integrity?

The idea comes to me (probably out of the same snowball of creativity that has been gaining momentum this week): have I ever really pushed the envelope with my commitments? Or are all of these "obligations" just an excuse not to be creative? [I get to be a martyr!] What would happen if I put what was most important to me as top priority, rather than at the bottom of the list waiting for everything else to get done?
I'm ready to find out.

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