Extraordinary how the human brain works. All day we observe, absorb, collect, re-tell, confirm and update about the world around us. Those who write books, journals and such are the ones who understand the need for commonality and uniformity in human thinking. The rest of us lift those people to an elevated human position because they ‘speak, collect and collate’ for the greater human condition. The rest of us are self oriented collectors and curators of obscure information and bias. We don’t collect for the greater population, because we all harbour the idea to some degree that we are each unique thinkers and must therefor collate and process information differently to everybody else.
My mind requires a different food from yours even thought we may observe and remark on the same object, incident or idea. In doing this, we can become quite narrow in our want to collect ideas that are strange, or at least look like someone else’s stuff. And when we get busy, we can focus on the job at hand (especially if its someone else’s job) and our information scoop can get put away. Garaged for an available time. It can be easy to think you’re shut down sometimes.
But the information already collected sits there. Waiting. It must do. Where else can it go? I’ve often thought that if I lost a leg, would I lose thoughts, memories and ideas that have been stored in the cells there, waiting for the perfect day to retrieve them? Or perhaps waiting for the right smell to trigger their release? Like the smell of fresh baking brings my grandmothers face to mind. All because of one day, painting on a ladder near her kitchen window. But there; I didn’t need that smell to recall her memory then did I? Hmmm. I shall consider this further.
But when a deadline is presented, confirmed and paid for, there can be no greater trigger of style, genre, speed, colour, or mood. A pressing end to a project opens flood gates to collections that were until that time unawares to even you. (What else lurks within unawares?) I have a recording this weekend of music for a film. I’ve been sweating on it all week; arrangements, schedules, mood matching the images and such. But even now as I am still missing connecting fragments of music, the deadline has given me strength to stop writing the music…and write this! How is this possible, when last week I could barely string a sentence together. I was, perhaps hung over, but I’m sure my point is made.
When there is a reason to create, we create.
My best barometer for this need (without a 3rd party deadline), is to look at my record collection. If nothing inspires me to listen to it, take it from the shelf and drop the needle, no familiar sound wants to spark old memories, I know the only sound I can hear is the one that I have to write. Now! My mind needs a new music that is a response to all the listening that came before it. And it can only be written by me.