What It Takes To Make Art

The iconic tortured expression of Frédéric Chopin

I need a long stretch of time to mess around on the keyboard, to experiment. Arrangement and composition require that, along with blood, sweat and tears. I haven't made a significant investment in either time or bodily fluids. Instead it's been 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there. No wonder I've gotten nowhere.

For Polish Composer Frédéric Chopin, writing music was anguish-inducing, as described in the book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey:

His creation was spontaneous and miraculous. He found it without seeking it, without foreseeing it. It came on his piano suddenly, complete, sublime, or it sang in his head during a walk, and he was impatient to play it to himself. But then began the most heart-rending labour I ever saw. It was a series of efforts, of irresolutions, and of frettings to seize again certain details of the theme he had heard; what he had conceived as a whole he analysed too much when wishing to write it, and his regret at not finding it again, in his opinion, clearly defined, threw him into a kind of despair. He shut himself up in his room for whole days, weeping, walking, breaking his pens, repeating and altering a bar a hundred times, writing and effacing it as many times, and recommencing the next day with a minute and desperate perseverance. He spent six weeks over a single page to write it at last as he had noted it down at the very first.

I'm not comparing myself to Chopin in any way. He was a maniacally hard worker and musical genius. I have no innate abilities in music and my work ethic is inconsistent. I could go on with how basic my skills are in playing the keyboard and reading music, but I must stay positive and look forward. To me, Chopin is an exemplar of what it takes to make art.

I start my new job next Thursday. It's night shift at a local homeless shelter. A dream job for me (no pun intended). A calling in life. Because of the weird work schedule, it should free up longer stretches of free time for me to experiment. Then I can give project Dhymn an honest chance.

Meditation Time meditating today: 0 ... "Sleep is the best meditation" says the Dalai Lama. I needed it and slept in. Quality of meditation (out of 10): 0

Practice Minutes on the keyboard today (out of 40): 15 minutes Quality of practice (out of 10): 5

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