Creativity under fire

If anyone has been reading this (or the facebook posts for ‘Bach in the Dark’) they will know that at the end of January I’m recording a disc.

This is a big deal for me, as every recording project I have ever done has been hugely unpleasant. There is always something that goes horribly wrong – someone can’t play something, there’s too much noise outside, it’s freezing cold, egos get in the way…. this list goes on and on.

But after two years of a dear friend (and a musician I admire so very much) asking me to record with him, I have said I’d try it one more time. If I was going to record with anyone, it would be him. I have decided not to listen to raw takes – I am bringing down a very trusted pair of ears (that do not belong to me) to listen to the takes, as I know that at the first whiff of an out-of-tune anything, I will stop being creative and imaginative, and become some kind of uninteresting cello-playing robot. And that wouldn’t be true to everything I hold dear as a performer.

So, for better or worse (hopefully better), I am going to Melbourne to be a creative cellist with lots of patience as we have to do things a number of times to get everything right. (I am not so patient. That will be hard. Not as hard as the last Bartok piece we’re doing, though.)

We rehearsed a lot last weekend. We gave a little concert to some friends who gave up their Sunday afternoon to come a tell us what they thought. We’ve talked endlessly about how things are going to go. A recording schedule has been drafted. I have so many callouses I could stick pins in most of my fingers and not feel a thing.

So it’s nearly upon me. I am reminded of my favourite quote (at the moment) about creativity, by Anna Funder. “This is the trick to creative work : it requires a slip-state of being, not unlike love. A state in which you are both most yourself, and most alive and yet least as sure of your own boundaries, and therefore open to everything and everyone outside of you.”

Here goes……..