August 19, 2015 § Leave a comment

It is the summer holidays, currently, and the workshop schedule is, as a consequence, all over the place. My partner and I are topping-and-tailing the days with either Claire working during the day or us both spending time with the kids and, then, me going to work during the evening. This has meant regular sessions through the night. I have just walked to the workshop now (8pm) having spent a lovely day with the family, which included a trip into Bradford.

When walking into work, I like to listen to something and discovered Radio 3 podcasts a while ago. In the last couple of days, I have found Composers’ Rooms. We have really enjoyed watching What Do Artists Do All Day on BBC4 and Composers’ Rooms is a radio version for composers. I love them; they are utterly fascinating. I downloaded a couple to listen to on the way to the workshop this evening and instead of settling down at my wheel, which was my intention, I felt I had to write a blog post first.

Gavin Bryars’ Lauda 13

I listened to the interviews with James Macmillan and Gavin Bryars – they are about 13 minutes each. I found them both to be hugely inspirational and affirming regarding the creative process. As I was listening, I was struck, more than that, I was overwhelmed, by their deep humanity. They were discussing the creative act itself, the point of turning something from an idea into a tangible (audible) thing, something abstract into something concrete. It drove home to me how important this is to our collective soul. Our society needs to make things, with our hands, in the material word. Gavin Bryars talks about how he likes to compose with a pencil on paper, so that when he makes changes, when he rubs out a note, a trace remains. Sara Mohr-Pietsch, who interviews him, believes this layering process to be evident in Bryars’ music.

We wonder why as makers we should make things – the evidence shouts out of these interviews. The act of creation, whichever form, touches the very core of our being and speaks to us directly and personally. It emanates from our mind and flows out through the tips of our fingers straight to the person who uses, listens, holds. It is that act, the cusp of being and non-being, the revelation in the world – the fallibility of that moment – that carries with it the essence, the beauty of life. We need that moment, we need that connection, we need that mystery for the well-being of that collective soul.

So, on with those plates and mugs…


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