How are you inspired? What do you do outside of the visual art world to seek inspiration?
I've always found that when things seem to be getting a little closed in and my muse is nowhere to be found the best cure is to step outside of my comfort zone a bit and seek inspiration from other creative endeavors. To take some action that gives me a break from whatever I'm working on and also allows me to see other creative people operating at their best.
Last week I was invited by Kate Peters to attend a performance of the American Composers Festival at the new Segerstrom Hall. It's not very often that you get a chance to experience the work of living composers who are at the fore front of contemporary classical music, so I jumped at the chance.
This years theme was The West: Music Inspired by the American Frontier and Mrs. OC Art Blog and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I won't go into all the pieces, but the two stand outs for me were the two world premieres by living composers Stephen Scott and Curt Cacioppo.
Stephen Scott's two works in the festival were based around a bowed piano. The Bowed Piano Ensemble didn't actually hit a key but played sounds made directly inside the piano using fishing line, guitar picks and black plumbers tape. During the performance they had a camera set inside the piano so you could see all the activity. It was a new and rewarding experience for me. A clip from the piece Vikings of the Sunrise can be found here.
Curt Cacioppo's piece Crying for Justice was a powerful piece that actually used authentic Native American instruments including a grinding stone, and a water drum accompanied by a full orchestra which made for a very emotional piece depicting the brutalities against the Native American. A sample of Mr. Cacioppo's work can be found here.
Needless to say the evening was full of inspiration. So if you find yourself in your studio hitting a wall, you might find it useful to get out and cross pollinate a bit. Go see a contemporary dance concert, hit a poetry reading or go catch the next performance by the Pacific Symphony. It could be what you need.
PS. The Richard Serra outside the Hall is excellent.