Music and Other CreativityI’ve just been transported back 40 years. My husband bought me the new Neil Diamond CD as a present to welcome me back from a business trip. Listening to the wonderful melted choclate voice, I remembered one of the first LPs I bought as a teenager – a much earlier version, a much younger voice – but still the same gentle guitar playing and comforting tone. I’d forgotten all about that LP – but suddenly, I’m back in the dining room, doing my maths homework to the strains of Sweet Caroline, with my parents telling me to ‘turn it down and concentrate’.
I’ve had a week full of music one way and another. My business trip was to Russia, where my clients know my love of classical music and always try to indulge it. We had two trips to the ballet, including a fresh, lively version of ‘Swan Lake’ with the happy ending, which is much more satisfying – even if less authentic – than the traditional one. We also spent an evening at the philharmonic hall for the closing concert of the season – a cocktail of classical suites and overtures follwed by a compilation of music from Soviet films – not unlike the sort of scores we would expect from John Williams and the like.
Throughout these evenings, I was enthralled by the creativity of the composers and their ability to ‘hear’ and interweave the themes for numerous different instruments. I can’t do that – my musical talents stretch to piano lessons as a child – long forgotten. However, it made me realise that creativity is within all of us; we just express it in other ways. For some, it’s notes on a stave; for others brush strokes on canvas. For me (and many others like me), it’s words on a page. Writers often say that their main joy comes from delivering the words – that they write for themselves and it doesn’t matter if no-one ever reads those words. I wonder if that’s really true? Would the value of a Tchaikovsky ballet be as great if it remained on the page and was never staged? I doubt it.