The Creativity Concept

What is it that makes one ‘creative’? Is it a biological tendency to use one side of the brain more than the other? Is it due to being raised in a house of music, literature, and art? Or is it a personal drive to express oneself in a free and different way? I suppose it is different for everyone, and it is this difference that fascinates me.

I find myself to be somewhat of an amateur poet – I have folders, both real and digital, of poems and scratchings that relate to parts of my life that I found unable to express except through carefully chosen words on a few lines. Some of these poems were written on a whim, sitting on a bench and observing the birds singing in the blossom trees. Others took months of precise tweaking and focus on structure, to give a sense not only of emotion, but of literary understanding. But for me, the process of being creative with words is understandable; I read a lot as a child, have a fairly extensive vocabulary, and so feel able to place words next to each other in a way that is pleasing as well as evocative of emotion.

In conversation with a musician, however, I found myself bewildered at how original composition comes around. For my fairly logical mind, I cannot see how one even begins at a piano to place chords and notes together and create some of the most beautiful music. Where does this come from? I definitely think that there is such a thing as a ‘creatively gifted mind’. I am creative with words, that’s true, but a lot of that comes from academia – I don’t think I have the fundamental feeling for music that would allow me to compose pieces with no starting point. It seems that within the ‘natural’ musician is a freedom and ability to express in such a way that surpasses language – the way one feels when listening to a particularly moving piece of music can seldom if ever be recreated when listening to a poem, regardless of the level of emotion within the words. Obviously when one is highly trained in the practice of a certain instrument, the understanding of music theory and the structure of notes provides some framework to composition, but it does appear to be a more free-flowing form of improvisation.

Does this make one form of creation ‘better’ or more emotional than the other? I think not; because when we take music and poetry and put them together, suddenly we have song. And that combination can prove incredibly stirring, in a way that either element on its own could not have achieved. I can’t help but feel a romanticised longing to be able to sit at a piano and have the ability and inspiration to play something beautiful; but for now, I will continue to sit on benches, and relate to the world through pencil and paper, and see what music my words can make.


One thought on “The Creativity Concept

  1. One of my favorite all around artists, the phenomenal finger-style guitarist Don Ross, said it best with the title of one of his albums – “The Thing That Came From Somewhere”. That’s it. That’s the explanation of melodic creation… and it’s addicting once you try it ; ) And you should certainly give it a go.

    Cheers, love.

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