Creativity
Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Creativity is essential to the art of music. We consider music an art because of its creative capacity. Without originality and personality, music ceases to be creative but rather ends up recreating.

I often used to stress out about my playing, worrying about how I would never be good enough to be the best trumpet player. This worry was short-lived and also ludicrous because I’m not even sure what being the best means. Does it mean I can play higher than other players? Louder? Faster, longer, more correct notes? Who knows? Somewhere along the way I realized that I had much more success if I stopped worrying about what I couldn’t do and focused on what I could do.

As I listen to my favorite musicians and composers, I think about what they have in common. They all use their medium creatively. I’m not sure if Stravinsky was the best composer, or if the Beatles were the best song writers, and I know Miles Davis and Dave Douglas are not the best trumpet players, but they all have sounds and styles that are completely original. They engage their audiences and bring us something new and make us want more.

I no longer stress about trying to be better than other trumpet players. That is not to say that I don’t strive for as much technique and nuance as possible. But rather I focus on being different from other players. What can I offer audiences to engage them and make them want to listen to me?...creativity.

 

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Composed and premiered a new work entitled Lost in Translation at the 7th Annual Chicago Calling Festival on October 5 for Nu Directions Chamber Brass!
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Tom Madeja