‘I should say do yoga, but maybe watch some comedy instead.’ - my new favourite tip on how to start composing
In my mentorship session with Bushra El-Turk this week, we talked about how to spark the urge to compose every day. Normally, I leave the house in order to get my mind focused, so I’ve had to come up with new and cunning plans to get started which don’t involve more ‘things that would really be good to do’.
This mind game on how to get started is also a big part of the main question I want to get to grips with during this scheme: how to manage a creative process that tends to move more like a chain direction than a neat line, and especially how to do that while working on several different pieces. Generally, I’ll write a plan which looks beautiful and convincing on paper, and then as I compose it becomes something different. The piece has moved on to unexplored territory, or maybe the rest of the world has.
Talking to Bushra has been incredibly useful in order to get lots of ideas on how to manage this on a very practical level, as well as experimenting with changing the way I approach a new composition. She’s encouraging me to recycle some ideas and write out melodic ideas that might become a shadow of the piece I’m actually writing. She’s also suggested that I look at visual and cinema arts for inspiration for the creative process, which is exciting – I’m often inspired by a graphic idea or a gesture and while these often form a starting point I’ve not studied the creative process of visual artists in much detail, so it’ll be really useful to explore that further and see what methods I could adopt that would lead to something interesting.