Thursday, 5 March 2009

Great combinations

- A cup of tea, a Snickers bar and Gyorgy Ligeti at full volume in complete, total darkness.

- Late period Beethoven with a nice, cold can of Coca-cola.

- A bunch of Diazepam pills to get you drowsy and then lots and lots of coffee... Exhilarating effect and results.

- Engrossed in the middle of Thomas Pychon's Gravity's Rainbow in the woods at 4AM with poor illumination but courageous persistence.... Both these wonders mesh together inexplicably well...

- Lying down on my really nice beambag whilst watching a movie by Jean-Luc Godard.

- Creative writing with Edgard Varese bursting out of my stereo (I don't get to pay much attention on my writing with this combination and I get distracted, but it still induces creativity a bit...As a matter fact, I can only write with complete utter silence.)


Doug said...

Sk, when you write, are you currently also reading a book/books? Or do you prefer not to be in the process of reading a book when writing?

How does film/music/etc effect your writing? When working on a short story or something to you try to avoid direct exposure to other art forms during the time period?

Simon King said...

The only times I have religiously devoted myself to my creations have been far more ephemeral and smaller. I think that during the process of those creations I didn't read anyting at the time, but with my works that are more elongated and ambitious (like the ones I'm writing at the moment)I take it easy with them and read other works of fiction in the process of writing them.

But the thing is that novels don't to be that disrupt because, as far as I know, you can't write and read at the same time. I'm sensitive to noise during the process of anything that's non-sound related. I can't read novels or short stories with music on at the same time either.

Simon King said...

What about you? How do you digest other works of art while composing?

Doug said...

As an example, the piece I've been working on for the past 9 months. A very lengthy (pushing 40 minutes, probably) piece for piano cello and clarinet.

One of the reasons it has taken me so long to get anywhere near a complete first draft of this piece that i am happy with is because of the sheer volume of new perspectives and ideas that I've been exposed to since I graduate from high school. The piece was conceived on the backs of Samuel Beckett and Ingmar Bergman, perhaps most musically inspired by the composers of the wandelweiser collective. But int he wake of its conception everything from Antonin Artaud and Richard Foreman, to Toru Takemitsu and Virginia Woolf, to Goya, Agnes Martin and Cy Twombly ... and especially both John Cage and Harry Partch, have put me in such a confused state about music in general that there was a period of time when every day that i would work on my piece, my idea of what it is and what it should be changed. This ultimately led to my not understanding what the piece was about at all.

I've worked through that now. So I'm thinking this case has been a significant landmark piece in terms of my coming to terms with the direction of my music while being face with such a wide array of other possible influences/perceptions.

On the other hand, I do use other artists/writers/composers work as an inspirational jumping off point. I've recently finished a first draft of a piece for piano and clarinet, inspired by Messiaen and Carter. The piece uses both non-retrogradable rhythms and metric modulation.

Now I must dash.