The Artist...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gordonfurr1, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Absolutely - not feeling demeaned at all, just adding some more bits to the conversation. :-)

    It's interesting how our brains work, and how concentrated study in one area can affect another. Back when I was at the Armed Forces School of Music, all of a sudden I developed the ability to remember fairly long and complex strings of alpha-numeric data. Phone numbers, license plates - I needed to see them once and for some crazy reason they stuck. I attributed that newfound ability to the work I was doing with the music - I did almost nothing but music all day long - rehearsals, theory class, more rehearsal, ear training class, drill band rehearsals - all of that was before dinner. Then it was practice units - a minimum of 10 units/hours per week. For some reason, building those new neural pathways, and reinforcing what was there where the music was concerned had the side effect that I was able to remember numbers. It has faded since then, which is probably due to the fact that I don't work with music all day, every day anymore.
  2. gordonfurr1

    gordonfurr1 Forte User

    Aug 2, 2010
    North Carolina
    Isn't that interesting!
    Myself, now I can't recall a phone number even after repeating it a dozen times.
    My wife, though, can hear or dial a phone number one time and recall it a year later. What's up with that!?
    At the same time, she can find her way to the next town.
    Getting into" the creative zone"...I recall being so entranced in painting that a spittle of saliva dripped onto my work...and startled me back into the "left brain". Now, it is not really left brain...but a different network.
    Thirty years ago I was enjoying a life drawing class. The first hour was spent setting up the trigger to switch h on the" right side (creative network) of our brains to get to the point of being able to" see" negative space.
    I suggest that should a musician be told" make up your own part on the fly" to a piece of music, that person will be in a totally different mental state than trying to follow a score.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    But Gordon, even if we do pick up the score, (assuming that we speak the language adequately) what we read, the intensity of the language, thickness of color, explosion of sound in our heads, pictures of notes screaming to be turned loose - it happens every time. It is all there! The air brush called trumpet is our tool. The special joy of sending a message out to the audience, the individual response to that message, it really doesn't matter if there is a score or a free for all.

  4. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    I love this thread ... always thought some people have the ability to create something out of nothing more easily than others... that being said Trent Austin is probably a good example of a cat who can lay down just about anything that is inked in but conversely is a monster with jazz improve. I actually believe people play what they are good at and/or enjoy.... and can pay the rent performing :)
  5. LaTrompeta

    LaTrompeta Forte User

    May 3, 2015
    Colorado Springs
    The problem with most of us is that our creativity level is so high, that we just feel the need to improvise when not requested of us! Remember, there is no such thing as a "wrong note," just an inappropriate transposition choice.
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Why can't we just enjoy playing our brass musical instruments? I do! When I hit a sour note ... I'm not infallible ... I often do ... it's laughter for me that causes me to redo that segment, but when I conclude and put my instrument aside it is with the content of enjoyment. I'm not dependent on earning money with my music, but I'm not a fool to refuse it.
  7. ALWilts

    ALWilts New Friend

    Jun 26, 2015
    I would say that at least a part of creating something new includes reproduction of something before. Why does music that is so out there never really get the attention it should? Because the human race as a whole enjoys 'home'. That sound they kind of recognise.

    That's not to say unoriginality is best, but I think that separating the two in such a way as to say 'the thinkers and the workers' is to create a massive gap in the musical process.
  8. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Actually, I think this idea of replication is an illusion. Play through an exercise you know well. Now can you play it again in precisely the same way? So precisely that even the most sophisticated recording equipment couldn't detect a difference? Of course not! We're not computers. And even electronics is subject to small performance variations due to environment etc.

    There are just so many variables in play that true replication in itself would show an unattainable level of skill.

    Yes, it's possible for us to play in a pedestrian, unimaginative fashion. But how many thousands of different ways are there for us to do that?

    Better to recognise that every performance is a unique event. And that there are an infinite number of ways of performing well, just as there an infinite number of ways of performing not so well.

    Much of what we do is grounded in musical tradition, of course it is. Otherwise nobody would be able to relate to it. But it is never an exact duplication. It is always a new act of creation whether touched with brilliance or not quite so. Nobody has exclusive claim to such virtues.
  9. ALWilts

    ALWilts New Friend

    Jun 26, 2015
    I came across this about a year ago, an interesting watch.

    I totally get your point, and I agree you can't replicate perfectly, but I think the point of the 'worker' musician is striving to replicate (in their own way) the notes on the page. My point was if you look at it that way, then you have to appreciate the fact that so many of the 'thinker' musicians will create within constraints. A blues scale over a 12 bar for instance - how many times has that been used for a solo? Because people love the sound, because it works.

    Even if you go further afield, lets take So What for example.. Miles and the band were so full of creativity and originality, but they still played within constraints. They still used scales that had been used before. Jimmy Cobb still played a swing rhythm on the ride. I'm not saying they are not being original, or they're not creative, what I'm trying to say is I don't believe you can pigeon-hole a musician.

    I think this sums it up brilliantly, regardless of views on originality, authenticity and replication. We can all play a C major scale, but it's how you use it that sets you apart from the rest.
  10. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Just a simple descending scale :-)


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