Forum Posts

Carlijn
May 29, 2020
In BLOGS
Over the few months I’ve had the chance to talk to Bushra El-Turk through the CoDI Mentorship Scheme, which has been absolutely brilliant. There were two questions I especially wanted to think about, which have been on my mind pretty much since I started composing and which have become especially important and central to projects I’m currently working on. It’s been wonderfully inspiring to have the opportunity to discuss them and think about tactics, approaches and ways of researching. One question was to understand how to manage my creative process in order to make it more sustainable as a long-term career choice. The other was look at different aspects of creative collaboration and group improvisation. As coronavirus hit the fan one week into the mentorship scheme, I darkly assumed we would not be able to explore these questions in a way I could apply practically and immediately. Doing something like group improvisation via Zoom sounded about as promising to me as getting an online massage. The fun thing has been finding solutions to this in a way that I think will continue to shape the way I work. For example, while I’ve still parked some projects until a time that will suit them better, I’ve been able to move forward with others. As a result of my conversations with Bushra, I’m now in conversation with a community choir on how to write a piece together online (working title: ‘Screaming into the void’). We’re tweaking processes on how to invite group creativity on that platform in a way you couldn’t do in a room, which has been entertaining to think about. Interestingly, it also seems to have become more meaningful now as it has the potential to give voice and direction, changing something quite significantly about the project. Similarly, I feel I’ve made real progress with slowly changing the way I approach my creative process. Some of the tactics will mostly be practicable ‘later’, but there’s plenty of things I can apply straight away such as finding common threads in my work. Bushra and I spoke about what I want to sound like in five years, which is a fun thought, and not one I’d really considered. I’ve noticed these conversations have already changed the way I work and I’m excited to see where it will lead.
Screaming into the void / finding your voice content media
2
0
51
Carlijn
May 07, 2020
In BLOGS
‘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.
0
0
12
Carlijn
Nov 04, 2018
In BLOGS
It’s an unusual and wonderful experience, being in a room full of creative minds with everyone pitching in to find interesting and promising sounds. Working with a musical ensemble as a group of composers has sparked and developed so many ideas, and the input and suggestions of the members of Berkeley ensemble immediately make these ideas much more concrete. For me, the biggest inspiration so far has been having the time to listen, to hear musical ideas developing, and hear the experiments. When an idea can take longer, and at what point it needs developing? How do other people in the room hear it? These questions are so difficult to judge when working on a piece away from an ensemble. It’s fantastic to play with the ideas so directly, almost like sculpting sound. After two sessions with the ensemble used for trying out ideas and experimenting, I am excited to start work on the final piece. There are a couple of ideas I keep thinking about now, probably because I now have a much better idea of what they’ll sound like. I’m also really looking forward to hearing everyone’s finished pieces in February, and get to hear the final fine-tuning.
2
0
12