Learning Materials For The Aspiring Music Producer & Engineer

Creativity And Imagination

Where do imagination and creativity originate? Where is the seed of intuition and inspiration that when nurtured, reveal artistic fruit that assimilates the creator with an intimate soulful experience? Creativity is paramount in communication; it is expressive and poignant in the revealing of our stories, our truth, our hearts, our desire for aesthetics, and in sharing our pain. Imagination and creativity are innate and constitutes our deepest empowerment and liberation. The potential to create is in all of us.

Many artists affirm that creativity takes place at the intersection of chaos and order. It then becomes a revealing experience of the mind, body, and soul that not only elevates the excellence of life of the creator, but also for all of civilization in the present and for eternity. Ever since the era, when man first pounded rhythmically on a drum and scribed on cave walls, artists have promoted spur-of- the-moment itinerancy, fundamental egalitarianism, physical contact without discrimination or intention and celestial alliance. Political and religious regimes are extremely frightened of any insurrection by artists, for they possess a threat to their supremacy and wealth.

However the creative mindset may be the best thing our species has going for it, for it has and will play a crucial role in sustaining ourselves and for an optimistic future.

I’ve had the opportunity to immerse myself within the Massai tribe of Tanzania in their native environment. For these indigenous people, the drum is an instrument of celebration and proclamation, for its rhythm reveals the heartbeat of the people, the cosmos and the spirit of their creator. The Maasai employ this heartbeat for integration of community and inspiration (dancing and chanting), and when they return and access this intrinsic drumming, mystical numinosity manifests and flows. It is in this mystical ritual of music and dance that the human and the celestial convene and transcend the Maasai to their ultimate reality and destiny.

Creativity maybe the nearest one-word definition we possess for the essence of our humanity, for the true expression of the “soul”. In the last twenty years, western civilization has become lethargic, both physically and mentally. We are imprisoned in a culture where emotional maturity is unbelievably lacking especially amongst distinguished intellectual √©lites. Western society has concocted a world of TV couch potatoes, addicted to junk food and reality TV, whom take little initiative to discover creative solutions to combat monotony and encourage inner harmony and expression. They prefer instead to seize and drown in consumerism for what they judge to be their self entitled “reason d’etre”. Self-centered “greed” is defined as a ravenous quest for the infinite; it never quenches our insatiable thirst and leads to a life of elusive contentment. At times we will surrender our capacity to “imagine”, to the dictatorships of authority figures, to champion mediocrity or partake in numerous perditions of rapacious addiction. The term “addiction” literally originates from the Greek word “Dictatia”; where religious fundamentalism and political domination suppresses individuality and creativity by literally “dictating” the quality of an individual’s life. And what creative artist would surrender their passion to a lifestyle that would hinder autonomy and soulful expression.

A lifestyle of ennui is proving much too salacious in today’s world, where people are perpetually victimized by their own lack of effort to take responsibility for their present state of discontent and lack of purpose. The desire to leave any residual implication of an immortal and eternal legacy is often substituted by incessant instant gratification and impulsive behaviour. It seems these days society is replacing the ecstasy of creativity with academic fundamentalism, the languor of consensual masturbation and exclusive inerrant religious proselytization.

Can I teach creativity? Absolutely not! Creativity is a spontaneous intimate sacred experience. I can however provide a non- judgmental environment for it to flow and treasure as a sovereign ethical value. An important task for me as an educator and is to encourage creativity in every student by stressing what he or she “can do”, instead of what they “can’t do”. To instill confidence, trust and ultimately encourage the manifestation of imagination and to honour it in the individual. This is a spiritual and moral obligation and if I fail to do this as an educator, I fail at education’s most fundamental and valuable task.

Why isn’t all education an education in creativity? The essence of being human is to imagine and create. Diplomas and degrees are important in elevating the quality of life if used applicably, yet the technology that is contributing to the current climate crisis and ongoing global wars are all conceived with individuals possessing PhD’s. Creative knowledge without wisdom and guidance can produce treacherous consequences, if used for the sole purpose of religious exclusivity, ubiquitous imperial power, and voracious corporate greed.

Focusing on the creative process as “aesthetics in action” instead of object-oriented results is the key to immersing oneself in the mindset of creating, where one is firmly ensconced in a world of imagination and fascination for unification of one’s psyche and soul. Expressive phrases such as; “I feel time is frozen, I forget who I am, I have no fear”, are often statements heard from individuals fully absorbed in the creative experience and detached from paralyzing self-centered anxiety.

By birthing the manifestation of imagination, the artist may begin to elicit joy, an experience that is often described as sacred, and when joy returns, inspiration finds a nurturing home and positive options are placed before us and possibilities will always be revealed.

I realized in my times of learning, there resided some of the most ecstatic, wildest, and valued times in my life. I often recall when I would immerse myself in the recording studio, in a place I called “elsewhere” where in an environment of ingenuity and solitude, my imagination would run wild and I would compose aural masterpieces just for the unpretentious pleasure of discovery, elation and gratification.

Unfortunately on certain occasions I would lose touch with my sense of “awe and wonder” from innate spiritual and creative experiences and instead focus on the financial rewards of the “cookie cutter” world of mass-produced music production. When this occurred, I was fortunate enough to be gifted with threatening signs of anxiety and depression in order to get myself back on track. Today, I continually remind myself to fuel my innocent curiosity with imagination and position myself in an inspiring environment for the purpose of engaging fully in the present moment of a creative experience.

The celebrated psychologist Abraham Maslow stated that creativity in education is specifically invaluable, not so much for developing artists or art creations, as for turning out healthier people. Over the past thirty years I have often hear from fellow graduates, how much their education transformed them and crafted them into the unique individuals that they are today. Many graduates also concluded that the acquired abilities to utilize their imagination and creativity when they were students, is now essential in maintaining confidence and personal empowerment arising from the challenging and arduous circumstances that they may now confront in their lives today.

Christianity subscribes to an ideology that spiritual beings are born in the likeness of their creator. Leaving aside “Anselm of Canterbury’s” implausible theistic definition from Christianity’s foundational “Ontological Argument” and instead replace Anselm’s declaration with Paul Tillich’s “God of Being”, the artist will discover that they are indeed created in the image and likeness of their creator. The etymological definition of “Image” is derived from its Latin as “Imago Dei”, the “imagination” attribute of God. An artist will without doubt, find more comfort maintaining faith in partaking in a celestial creative endevour than worshipping a patriarchal anthropomorphic God, which ironically is a creation and archaic fabrication of an insecure humanity.

The etymological definition for the word Hell is “helan”, which implies ” to conceal”. Hell is humanity’s place of artistic concealment, where an individual chooses to strangle and conceal their creative abilities, instead of unleashing their creative potential and conceptual treasure for personal transcendence and communal ecstasy. The etymological definition of Heaven means to “reveal” which implies “revelation”, where the artist can reveal and express their personal truth of creative manifestation. The artist by releasing and exposing their creativity can rise above personal and social dilemmas and elevate themselves along with their followers into a true heavenly state. They will forevermore reside in a celestial playground and metaphorically be able to “walk on water” far above the predicaments and constraints of humanity.

How often do we need to breathe our last breath and surrender to a life style that is superimposed on us by society, where the individual is ensnared with illusions of greed, vanity, and a desire to stand out above the crowd? How often do we incarcerate ourselves in a self-imposed prison of our past and an anxiety riddled future, knowing full well that is us who owns the key to unlock the door and liberate ourselves?

I sometimes regret the occasions where I buried my most intimate ideas of imagination out of fear of ridicule and of never being graciously acknowledged. Why did I not live courageously each day like there was no tomorrow, to always live without a why?

The Easter tradition may perhaps remind us to forever abandon the dogmatic religious attributes and instead look at the humanity of the Christ figure with a metaphorical and allegorical inspired significance of death and resurrection that is so common in inspirational mythology. The Easter legend is about conquest and triumph through rebirth and expression. Sometimes in our lives, the surplus of fears that block our desire and ability to create entomb us. Most of these fears are placed there by society and ourselves, and block and imprison us from escaping the trappings of fame, narcissism, and the desire to be ubiquitous.

Like the Christ figure, we need to have these suffocating obstacles removed so we can summon the strength to roll away our fears and illusions and make possible our innate potential of creative expression to go free and flourish. We need to call upon our angels of intuition and trusting peers that will help us identify the shortcomings that inhibit our creativity and unshackle us to reveal all that we can be and live a more gratifying and fulfilling life.

The words legacy and immortality come from the word “eternal” and this is the artist’s objective in dealing with leaving a personal legacy for eternity.

Quite frankly I am not at all interested in living eternally in a bodily form, beside an incomprehensible God ensconced on a palatial throne for eternity. I would get terribly lonely and homesick for all my friends would be roasting marshmallows over spectacular fires in hell, copulating and singing to music I’ve created.

Creativity takes courage and trust in exploring the deepest confines of our being. The further one dares to go, the more rewarding,more intimate and the more unique a life becomes. Fear and pride are the enemies of the creative process, making people fall short of what is proportionate to their ability; a grave sin of omission. When an individual is more focused on the enhancement of their image instead of manifesting imagination, they are committing an act of creative treason of the soul.

My idea of eternity is too leave a gift, a legacy of what I have contributed for the betterment of mankind.

I was given the gift of life and imagination it is my responsibility to say thank you to life. I feel exceptionally satisfied with the spirit and fruits of my efforts in creating music and know it will be immortal and eternal, long after I have physically vanished. My only entreaty is for my sons is to take my ashes and pour them into their hands and rub the ashes back into the dirt of the earth. I have come from the earth, made my contributions and will return to the earth through the loving hands of my sons. Now that is what I call, “A Wonderful Life!

You will be the happiest when dancing in acts of spontaneous creativity, where you will lose all sense of time, place, and self- consciousness. Manifesting and expressing your creativity is an act of great compassion for you exalt the spirit of community. Dare to be creative, dare to be divine; your imagination has no limits; it is inexhaustible and infinite. Be original. Embrace yourself in your divine sanctuary of your personal playground full of perpetual fascination and creativity that will bring you supreme joy, a joy no one can ever take away from you! Ever!!!