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2.2 Creativity

The four situations just exemplified present different organizations of space, sound, listening, relations between people, and approaches to sounds and settings. Each situation resulted in a good, albeit different, experience.

The first experience is the “simplest” one (which may occur almost in any place

and at any time), although it is not the easiest: on the contrary, it is perhaps the most difficult.

In second one, the classical concert, the main creativity is attributed to the process of composition by the “author”: J. S. Bach (absent). Only a second degree of creativity is attributed to the cello player's “interpretation” (present). The music may induce a sort of desire for creativity, an almost pre-creative attitude in the audience: the capability of paying attention to and understanding what is happening, perhaps an inner singing that desires to be repeated and continued on further occasions. But it may be that there is also only complacency on the audience's part in recognizing well known patterns or finding that the music matches their own personal taste.

The third situation shares with the first one the “spiritual exercise”[1] of feeling oneself free, of becoming part, by means of music, of the flow of life—interruptions and diversions included. Much of the “creativity” was ... prepared before the performance, through several exercises of attentive listening to the music, through the interplay between the musicians and the setting. But the main interest for creativity is in what happens in the appropriate moment[2]: music may go beyond some predetermined expectations and so the musicians are invited to answer in an appropriate, timely manner.

The fourth situation attempts to eliminate or at least diminish the boundaries and—to some extent—the hierarchies between the musicians and the listeners. The active participation of the audience and the dissemination of this creativity in other people are intrinsic to the relational and procedural nature of this kind of “creativity”. This creativity is the result of an attitude which is free from aesthetic and behaviour biases, and—above all—stems from trust in the fact that nature, the environment and human activities can be listened to and observed with interest and pleasure, as signs of life itself. Thus even the exercises I performed on my own, alone in an empty room and listening through the open window, are fundamental premises for this “creative” musical experience.

Indeed, not least because there is no real beginning to the flow of life, which is always a repetition and a renewal of what was already there, instead of the modern concept of “creativity”—which suggests a complete break and fresh starting point, without “imitation” (see Kant, 1983[1790], }} 46–47)—I would prefer to use the ancient words mimesis and inventio (Goldoni, 2013b). For what is new in human practices is always rooted in old ones, and somehow always constitutes a mimesis, that is a literal meta-phora` : a shift from one matter to another, from one lifestyle to another. However, I am willing to share the use of the word “creativity”, provided some clarification is made first. When I think of creativity (or mimesis), this is not necessarily in relation to “innovation”, especially as understood by economists: that is, as the implementation of a new profitable idea. Creativity is a new way of thinking and living, which may or may not be innovative. Creativity is also to listen to noises and the life with them, and find them beautiful; to find that something, which seems to be always the same and boring, like a repeated D 4, may be rich and different, interesting and even exciting. Some kind of innovation is to be found here, of course: within myself.

  • [1] I use the expression “spiritual exercise” in a sense somehow close to that of Hadot (2005)
  • [2] I have suggested the use of the “rhetorical” concept of “appropriate moment” (according to the meaning of the Greek word kairo`s) instead of that of “real time” or “instant time”, which is usually employed in the literature on improvisation (Goldoni, 2013c)
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