Friday, March 4, 2011

When you are strange

I am in a period in which I have re-visited The Doors, I have been listening to their music, reading about their story , and watched the several movies and documentaries related to them and Morrison. And being under the influence of their pure creations, something happened to me, something that I haven't experienced for almost 3 years. I felt an urge to grab my guitar and when I did that, melodies and lyrics started to come out, I started to write a song! Inspiration...

I have spent years during my graduate studies, trying to keep the door of inspiration always open and I have spent this period, which may be a stereotype for students, I was writing songs and poems, I was in a band, etc. At those days, every time something was coming out, I knew that I had to write it down and to record it immediately, in order not to lose it. Last Monday, and after spending the last years being more preoccupated about my research, rather than my artistic creativity, I did that very basic mistake. I didn't write down anything.

After 4 hours I tried to play again my 'song' and I couldn't recall anything. It was completely gone and the reason is obvious and known among 'artists'; it wasn't mine! Unlike science, philosophy and other creative activities, artistic inspiration is not something that has to do only with the creator, it is a gift at an instant. The ancient Greeks believed that the cause, the driving force responsible for everything was the muse that was whispering the words, or singing the melody. The artist was just listening and repeating. And that releaved the creator from some of the stress of being creative...

I believe that one of the most stressful thing in trying to create art is to maintain the ability to listen to the muse, whenever she 'decides' to speak. Jim Morrison believed in extended states of illusion and strong drug and alcohol consumption, which allowed his unconscious to emerge. Keeping his 'doors of perception open' was his way of communication with the muse. Original creation involves this 'bypassing' of the conscious mind which is useful mostly to refine the final product. Of course connecting with the muse, the unconscious, or keeping inspiration alive in general is a very exhausting activity and the reason that many artists don't enjoy long and prosperous lives.

Those who have experienced being a 'porte-parole' of inspiration can recognize it in the creations of others. It doesn't mean that all inspired songs or melodies will talk about the truth or will change the world. Inspiration is a spark of energy that hits us, refracts through our knowledge, feelings and experiences and gives birth to something. The muse can whisper a melody to you and it's up to you if it will become a joke, a nice story or big idea. Inspiration only gives you the option to create and for that reason it is a unique opportunity.

This is also the reason that I am very skeptical about most of the cover versions of existing songs. Somebody else's muse has spoken and the difficult, the struggling part of creation has been done. Rearranging songs is much easier than creating them, even if the cover is made by extremely gifted people. Some covers have also some spark, but most of the produced cover songs that have flooded the music industry since the 80s are just easy ways to exist in the music map and mainly to make money.

And the magic thing about the music of The Doors is that it is flooded by pure inspiration and originality. Flowing lyrics and ingenious music generated by the lust of four talented people to create something unique. And immortal...

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