Monday, March 23, 2020

Creativity Is Amazing: Thoughts in Response to a Performance of Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto nr. 1

Right now as I write this it's a Sunday afternoon. There's jazz playing on the local public radio station, jazz with Afro-Cuban polyrhythms and percussions. But my mind is on the wonder of creativity.

Earlier this afternoon I was listening to a selection of YouTube classical piano videos such as this one: Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto nr. 1 featuring Sofia Vasheruk. She's evidently performing as part of a competition, but what struck me more than anything was this. How in the world did Tchaikovsky conceive such an intro to this classic piece? Or the entire piece, for that matter.

I find it amazing how composers like Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach each began in the exact same space, with nothing but a blank page, a silence--and imagination. Creativity is astonishing.

As writers, we ourselves begin with blank pages all the time. Whether poet, adman, essayist, short story writer or novelist, the starting point is precisely the same.

Where does the creative urge come from? For much of my life I've noted that God the Creator's first act was to create a world, along with its context. And when it came to creating man--male and female He created them--it was in His image that we were created. Thus we are creators ourselves.

How strange that when we create something it is This and not That. Could God have made us without noses? Or even made to live on a flat earth? How strange to think it could all have been different. Yet it is not. Why? Or why not?

And so Beethoven's Fifth will always be Beethoven's Fifth. And my story Terrorist's Preying will always be Terrorists Preying, and Orion will always be Orion. (Or will it?)

This piano concerto by Tchaikovsky was once considered unplayable by Nicolay Rubinstein, one the the world's greatest pianists. This is a student choosing to play this impossibly challenging piece, and frankly, it's awesome.

What's especially interesting to me regarding musical creation is how once the piece has been produced, others can re-interpret the work and make it something equally inspiring. I'm thinking here of all the thousands of re-interpretations of songs by Bob Dylan, from The Byrds to Joe Cocker to Joan Baez to Richie Havens to any number of lesser known and unknown musicians. And, as any Dylan fan knows, Dylan's whole performing career has been a never ending series of re-inventions of his own songs.

This isn't a blog about Dylan, though. It's about the creative urge. Follow your heart. Your creative journey lies before you. Creativity can help you find yourself.

Related Links
10 Great Pieces of Classical Music That Will Take You Higher
A New Way of Looking at Time

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