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Individuality Offers Fresh Creativity

Thomas McGregor

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Published: August 5, 2014 at 2:32 PM [UTC]


In every household there is a piano, the family sings together on a regular basis, and there is a brass band that plays in the town square on the third Friday of every month. The ear is 1991 in the midwest and I am 3 years old, playing the violin for a year. The times are different and the people that make up the environment are very different. In this setting, life is simpler and every person knows everyone by their first name. During this time there was room for great expression and support of individual expression. Is this because people were more open to the idea of people being themselves? Of was simply where the mindset as a whole was at the point in history? Regardless, the fact remains that times have changed to be less supportive of individual expression and personal creativity.

Even though you might be tempted to suggest that individual expression was supported because of geographic location, that places like NY or LA were more rigid in terms of how creatives were allowed evolve. However, the 1900's were an explosion in creativity in many different genre on both costs. This might be contributed to the fact that the artists creating music at this time were venturing into new territories and experimenting with new expression ideas. These ideas were embraced by the public because everyone was eager to hear what the artists had to say that was a developing on previous standards. The music was growing and becoming new in every way possible. Electronics started playing a major role in music and the rhythms started to become more complex as musicians attempted to push the bounds harmonically and melodically, as well. This will was embraced by the masses as creatives such as Miles Davis, Fats Waller, and Fritz Kreisler starting to compose and perform their pieces to engaged crowds of people that were waiting on every note.

The question in the 21st century is whether this same mass point of view is held with the audience? I think one can get the answer rather quickly when attending a local jazz club or an orchestral premier of a modern composer. There are two sides to this, of course; the modern day composer, in his attempt to expand, has gone to some very interesting places with his art. This creates some distance from the audience, as music becomes more minimalistic and less emotionally focused. As this occurs, the mind of the composer becomes more focused on being "out side" the lines of conventional thought. As composers expand, the music seems to drift more and more away from the emotional elements that once connected the audience to it. Even though there are composers, currently, that are composing very soulful music that touch deep places within us, they seem to be over shadowed by the "modern" composer and his minimal ways (think Philip Glass).

As this movement continues to find a way into our concert halls and homes, let us not forget where our individual expression is. Let us not forget that our individual style is perfect the way it is, and we don't have to adhere to what is considered "progressive" . Each one of us is a conduit for creative expression, individual and unique. This qualities can only be support when we take personal stock in them. Afterword, we should protect our assets and the fruits of our labors. By being true to ourselves we find a new level of creative expression that is fresh and new. This might not fit the mold of what is consider new and fresh. But, isn't that what creativity is?

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