…just pour the blocks out on the floor and start stacking them up into something.
I love that composer and musician Tobias Tinker is my guest on SOUNDBITES. I met Tobias on Facebook in a discussion that grew out of an earlier SOUNDBITES post. That is exactly the kind of magic I was hoping would happen around this blog series, and that alone makes me very happy. Then I discovered Tobias has his own blog about living creatively, with dozens of brilliant posts, and he’s taken on a rather risky creative endeavor of his own.
Tobias has kindly provided this soundtrack to our discussion:
Stacey Cornelius’ post a few weeks ago got us talking about creativity and risk. You have a project underway where you compose a piece in less than an hour and you post it immediately to your website. Most people would call this risky, but you think of it as exploration and play. Is there a difference? What is it? Risk of what? Exploration of what?
First I should probably clarify that the ‘under an hour’ thing is more a prescription than a rule, as I don’t like being rigid about these things. However, it’s a helpful framework for actually getting something done… It also minimizes risk, as it’s clear that not every session will produce a masterpiece.
However, I believe creative risk is largely artificial and comes from falling into a trap I like to call the Phony Syndrome – imagining that everything we ‘put out there’ is an opportunity for the world to discover the frightened child hiding behind the confident, competent façade we try so hard to maintain.
But kids don’t actually do this to themselves, at least not until we teach them to. They don’t worry about how their work will be perceived, they just pour the blocks out on the floor and start stacking them up into something. What people will think of it or whether it’s ‘good enough’ are thoughts that don’t enter their minds until later. I think it’s our great mistake to let them in.