Monday, July 20, 2009

The Water

"Life is a waterfall, we drink from the river, then we turn around and put up the walls."
-System of a Down


What's up? I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a buddy. It allowed me to articulate a thought that had been formulating for a while. I hope you can make use of it!

Check it out:

Technique, theory, gear, ear training, and all other wonderful aspects of our field are but means of expressing a concept - be it love, hate, vengeance, or Barney the Purple Dinosaur...

Without that concept to express, all of these tools become empty, soul-less, and turn our art into a craft.

It's as if we build a mega-waterworks. We have gates, locks, valves, waterwheels, meters, and all of it costs a hefty chunk o' change.

So, we build this wonderful apparatus, and are stunned when the waterwheel sits idle.

Why won't it go?

There's no water. "Ain't got no soul, baby!"

The plumbing we've constructed (technique and theory) have allowed the water to do tremendous things - IF there's water.

Puzzled, we decided to study chemistry and hydrodynamics. (I'm hoping that's a field, 'cause I just made that up.) We learn the composition of water, how it flows, what makes it tick.

But this still gets us only to the edge, and not over. We know where the water should be, but it's not there.

We can study the creative process, analyze it to death, buy boutique creativity cabinets, and yet - still be stuck.

That moment of creation - something from nothing - is one of the most magical aspects of any artistic endeavor. And it's certainly not limited to the arts! Any great speaker, mechanic, or inventor knows this. Components assemble themselves into roaring engines, and words leap off the page into history-changing orations.

So try sitting quietly, really feel something, and then really express it. You can always get that hydro-meter NOS vintage tweed super duper aqua mod waterwheel later.

Just for now, try for some soul.

- Josh

No comments: