The improvising musician realizes the need for waiting is necessary to the creative process. The question is, what are we waiting for? Is it inspiration?
For me, the problem seems to lie with the simple fact that each and every time I sit at the piano I find myself reaching for familiar hand positions that lead to familiar thought patterns and familiar sounds that lead to boring music. Having played the piano for over 40 years, it’s easy to rattle off all kinds of boring music. I can’t even begin to account for the mountainous amount of useless music that I’ve played. Most of it doesn’t even get close to being creative. Miles Davis’ once said, “We live for 8 bars a month”. It’s interesting that Miles statement sums up the entire last paragraph I wrote. So much for trying to be creative.
Something happened the other day while sitting at the piano. I casually placed my hands in a position on the keyboard that was unfamiliar. I then let the hands wander around the keyboard searching for new sounds. It was a sort of epiphany experience. My hands were moving in ways that were unfamiliar, but at the same time enjoying a sense of complete freedom. No need to think about chords or scales of any kind. In fact, I wasn’t thinking about anything, just relishing the freshness of freedom.
So, we continue to find ourselves with the dilemma of trying to be creative while at the same time basking in the comfort of familiar territory. It can be maddening.
I wonder what’s in store today.
Director of Music for Darkwood Brew