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Where Does Art Come From?
When I'm exhausted from coding, I pick up an instrument and play. I don’t think. I've exhausted the thinking part of me already. I don't let patterns lead me, except to warm up perhaps. Then, I allow what is coming to come.
The muse has been ignored for the whole day and now I feel pressure to be the channel for a different kind of creativity to manifest.
Like Steven Pressfield, I believe we are channels for this creative force. As a Muslim, I believe that this is a gift from Allah, but you can call this force what you like and ignore that I’m on first name terms with the Creator of All That Is, Was and Ever Shall Be.
I’m not too precious about the nomenclature. Call this force what you want. Call it neuronal activity for all I care.
All I know is that I don’t actually know where the music comes from, it's not consciously me, ever, just that I’m somehow the channel, because when it comes, I recognise it like a myth suddenly manifesting in my reality. The hairs on the back of my neck rise, the urge to bottle this lightning is overwhelming, but I allow it, I let go, I allow it.
I don’t know what I’m going to say until I’ve spoken.
I don’t know what I’m going to write until I’ve written.
I don’t know what music might ring... until I pick up an instrument, tonight a guitar, and just play for a few minutes to release whatever it was that needed to come into being.
And now it is part of the Creation and I as the medium have served my purpose.
It never lets me down, because it is not me that is doing anything. I’m just the servant, the vessel, the conduit. Everyone can be this, but not everyone creates great art, and I think I know why.
Does the process work for people who have no “talent”? Sure. I believe that talent is merely the accumulation of perfect practice.
As a youth, I put a lot of time into practising the bass guitar.
As a child, I was the best in my primary school at all the recorders.
I learned to just about get by on guitar, to sound out a few handy blues riffs on the harmonica, to play a few notes that sounded OK on a sax.
I even learned to sing, just about, but I haven’t achieved mastery in any of those disciplines, with the possible exception of the bass guitar.
I did not have talent to begin with. I had a willingness to learn. Call it aptitude, passion, interest, whatever, it’s the thing that sustains me through plateaus and kicks my arse after I've been criticised by fools that should know better.
Undeveloped talent is like a radio that isn’t tuned properly. The more you develop your skill, the clearer your reception to the gift of art.
There is a point at which your technique becomes the tool of the art, offering up no resistance, only facilitation.
The more finely tuned you are to the source, the greater the range of creative expression you are “gifted” with.
I get a good signal. There is some static, some noise, some feedback, but if I keep putting in the hours, the art rings like a bell.