The Music Of JC Harris

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

Rants By Topic

Creative Strategies Number Four – Why It Matters

Part 4 on practicing creativity. AKA ‘our longest rant ever’. Why consciously practicing creativity matters. Jaron Lanier. Bernie Worrell. Mining for sapphires. Light pollution. Wilt Chamberlin. Malcolm Gladwell.

Roger CortonWe haven’t had enough talk, talk talk yet about ‘creativity’?

JCHNo. No we HAVEN’T. I promised last time that I was going to explain why this matters so much…

RCTo you.

JCHAnd should matter to you.

RCI am usually reluctant to use the word ‘should’.

JCHWhich is why I’m where I am and why you’re… er… never mind. (laughs) But assuming that someone cares about what I care about than yes, I am going to finish up my…

RCLecture is the word I think you were going for.

JCHAs Fred Flintstone used to say, “How very droll.” OK, here we go. I think it matters for music in general but for progressive rock in particular because, frankly, most of it STINKS.

RCMost of what?

JCHMusic, […]

Creative Strategy Number Three-Unmindfulness?

Part 3 on practicing creativity. Vigilance. Bee stings. Total Recall (yes, again). Was Not Was. Ejaculation. He Man Woman Haters Club. Hypnogogic states. Un-Mindfulness. Is eccentricity a prerequisite for being creative or does practicing creativity exercises turn you into a kook? Dog trainers.

Roger CortonHow you feeling, son?

JCHNot great. I just got past one of my little episodes, right? So I go out into the yard, you know, literally to smell the flowers, and a bumblebee flies right up my nose.Ever had a sting on the inside of the snoot?

RCUp your nose? Ouch! If it weren’t for bad like you’d have no luck at all, son. But you have been talking about expecting the unexpected!

JCHI have, haven’t I? Well, you caught me. That was a perfect moment to find me some creativity, but I missed it completely.

RCJust curious, what do you do for that sort of thing?

JCHMissing a creative opportuniy? I rant about it […]

Creative Strategy Number Two-Mutation

More on practicing creativity. Brian Eno’s cards again. Mutations. Mis-hearing. Mis-copying. Stravinsky. Rick Wakeman. Wagner Tiso. Mushroom hunting. Bruce Dickinson. Excuse me while I kiss this guy.

Roger CortonWe got comments from our last installment. The gist of which were, “I’m not interested in suffering.”

JCHWell, me neither. So let’s try this. I’ve made great sport of Brian Eno…

RCWho is crying about it at some Swiss bank even as we speak.

JCHNo doubt. But it was really only pique. He was right. I was wrong. I used to think that one could be truly ‘creative’. You know? Pull completely new ideas out of thin air. I had nothing but disdain for anyone who used gimmicks like playing cards to generate ideas.

I now realize that the idea of ‘creativity’ is mostly a myth. Ideas almost never just pop up out of nowhere. They are almost always the result of accidents, mistakes, kismet, coincidence or more precisely mutations. I also realise how hard […]

Creative Strategy Number One-Crisis

Remember that famous quote, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”? Stress. Limits. Eno. Deadpool. Frankenstein. Marie Kondo.

Roger CortonLast time you said you had various strategies for practicing creativity. Improving creativity the same way you practice scales. OK. Some specifics, please?

JCHThe word ‘strategies’ is something I ripped off from Brian Eno. He had this whole system of things to do to be ‘creative’. There were playing cards.

that’s why I’m such a believer in Crisis. Pain. Suffering. I know it sounds creepy, but these are often the biggest catalysts for profound change. Or failing that, at least a burst of creativity. So much of the reason we don’t improve is because we do things the same way over and over. And it seems like, for most of us, there is something about something ‘breaking’ that unleashes the mutant gene

RCI remember that. When you were stuck, you were supposed to throw down a card from the […]

It Might Get Loud Trying To Find Your Own Voice

It Might Get Loud. Schickele Mix. Can you teach creativity? How does one practice developing your own style?

JCHYou know that opening to “It Might Get Loud” where Jack White makes a guitar with a nail and a board?

RCKnow it well. I love that. I don’t like The White Stripes that much, but I love that opening.

JCHRight. It’s the classic rebuff to everyone with G.A.S.

RC Gear Acquisition Syndrome for the unenlightened.

JCH Or those who don’t play a musical instrument.

JCHIt’s a challenge. It says that you have this ‘thing’ inside that is gonna get out, whether you use a guitar or a trombone or a nail on a plank of wood. You have something to say. And sadly I think that very few of my students, or even people I work with, really understand this.

RCSo what does that even mean?

JCHOK, if this were […]

June, 2016
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