There are so many ideas I could write about, so many moments I could reflect on...but here are the main things that have struck me over the past two weeks:
After our amazing, creative outpouring at Porthmeor Studios, I returned to instrumental pupils preparing for concerts and exams (making these lessons are a contrast to the creative freedom we gave the primary pupils during our workshops). Despite encouraging my pupils to be creative in their approach to music, all too often the majority of our time is spent on playing the right note...at the right time...for the right length of time...at the right dynamic...with the right articulation…
I am rethinking how I can bring more of the creative freedom into my regular instrumental lessons. One of my pupils is very musical, plays four instruments and finds the violin very difficult. They get frustrated sometimes, because they know how they want the instrument to sound, but are not at that level technically yet. However, they love exploring the instrument through improvisation. In our first lesson back, I played this pupil an excerpt from time - trace - place and they realised that improvising isn’t just a game we play in lessons. I could see their determination to improve return because they wanted to add tools to their musical tool-box so they could be more creative in their improvisations. They even promised to rope their sibling into improvising with them!
The traces we leave…
I spent a lot of my time in St Ives looking for interesting bits of rubbish to pick up. As Gary said, St Ives seems quite idyllic to those of us coming from Manchester but we still weren’t short of bits of plastic, chocolate bar wrappers and other assorted trash to use in our installation.
Because we were in such a picturesque place, we would have tuned out the rubbish if we weren’t looking for it. However, on arriving home I realised that I tune out the rubbish in Manchester for a different reason. There’s so much of it. It’s everywhere. And I think part of the reason that there’s so much of it is because we tune it out. I did have a vague idea of starting a project in which I picked up every bit of rubbish I saw while going about my daily life, but I quickly realised that would be impossible. I would never get to work on time and I’d have to carry around bags and bags of the stuff. However, that project has been tweaked into a project where I document the rubbish that appears in my front garden.
Back to normal life, creative ideas forgotten
It wasn’t until I listened to Gary’s reflections on the project that I remembered my intention to find a space in my home to continue the collage of creativity. Being flung back into normal life meant I had completely forgotten about this. I am resetting my intention. Watch this space...