Long-time friend, collaborator, and schlagzeuger, Doug Nottingham, greeted me last week with the declaration, “I’m committed to doing a creative act every day of the summer break.” I wasn’t surprised at this comment, its a great idea, but I was at first puzzled - how is this different than our usual practice? Most days of an active musicians life has to be this way to teach, present concerts, make recordings and get better at our craft.
After mulling it over for some time here are the ways this proclamation is different than our typical modus operandi. First, for those of us whose body clock shares DNA with the academic calendar, this statement suggests that the summer break is not for finding the nearest couch and the remote that is sure to be on the arm rest. Second, and more importantly, the concept is rooted in commitment, in acknowledgment, in some form of accountability. There is a lot of power in owning something no matter if in the arts or any other aspect of life. Lastly, the pledge also suggests priority; to pull it off would take energy, planning, and active participation.
Consideration over, because it is a great idea and for how it coincides with other current things I have been chewing on about what it means to be a successful artist I, and fellow music faculty member Keith Kelly, have decided to take the same oath as Doug. Over the coming weeks each of us are going to post on weekly basis about what we get up to and share with you our progress, sources of inspiration, finished works or anything else that illustrates our acts creative.
I hope that at least you will find it interesting, better still it might encourage you to take the plunge with us and do the same, no matter your field, area of the arts, or otherwise. As a warmup here is clear documentation of a creative act, shared by Keith and I in the making of his most recent record:
Enjoy the music, see you next week.