Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Move!

Back in October of last year I wrote the following post:

Mix, place and (above all) space
 
It explores how choir conductors experiment with the mixing, placing and spacing of their singers to achieve different effects and encourage their choirs to give of their best. It also shows how the approaches and techniques the conductors use can be applied more generally to encourage creativity and enhance personal and team effectiveness.

Recently, I was reminded of the above post (and my eyes opened to yet another dimension of experimentation) when I attended a children's concert at St Martins-in-the-Fields, London.

The conductor, John Landor and the London Musical Arts Orchestra were exploring and performing Mozart's 40th Symphony. The orchestra played excerpts from the symphony, and John explained the characteristics of the music and how it was all put together. He did this in a very energetic and engaging way: just perfect for the young audience.

At the end of the concert John stopped conducting and talking and the orchestra was left to play alone. More accurately, the players were left to play and move alone. As the orchestra played the symphony the musicians, who had been standing rather than sitting during the concert, began to move around and between each other and back, forth, toward and away from the audience.

One might think that all this toing and froing and general moving about would be distracting, but it was not; indeed, it was illuminating. This was because the movement was purposeful: designed to bring out key aspects of the music. Where players were sharing a theme they moved towards each other and literally 'played together'. Where players had solo parts to play, or a section of the orchestra took the lead, they moved front and centre stage.

The movement of the players delineated and illuminated the flow of the music and the young audience loved it.

They loved it because movement breaks down barriers; movement focuses attention; movement stimulates the brain and body; movement encourages engagement and participation. The movement of the players added a physical, three dimensional aspect to the music which heightened the experience of the audience, enhancing both their enjoyment and their appreciation of Mozart's symphony.

Almost any type of creative process can be enhanced by movement. Rather than mapping a new process walk through it. Rather than designing a new product build a prototype of it and move it around: play with it and experience it. Rather than sitting behind a desk and exchanging ideas through email seek out the people with ideas and do stuff with them.

As soon as you think of a new idea find a way to try it out and someone with which to share, explore and develop it.

Add action and movement to your thinking and enhance your creativity.                         



To find out more about John Landor and his 'Music in Motion' click here

     

   

Monday, 4 April 2016

Amy's Treat

Amy Beach was the first North American woman to succeed as a composer of serious large-scale musical works. These compositions include a mass, symphony and piano concerto.

When taking a break from composing her major works Amy liked to give herself a treat. She enjoyed writing songs.

As well as being an enjoyable treat for Amy, these short songs were very important to her creative process. Many of the ideas developed in her major works were initially sketched out in miniature within her songs.

It is a fact that many of our best and most creative ideas come to us as we do things we enjoy. What do you particularly enjoy? What tasks do you consider a stimulating and enjoyable treat?

Now think harder! Which parts of your job or profession do you particularly enjoy?

Give yourself the treat of doing them regularly. As you enjoy yourself you may experience the added delight that comes of discovering a spark of a bright new idea.