Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Process

The impressive mural in the picture below mysteriously appeared on a wall in the University of Connecticut Art Department one morning.  Apparently a group of students erected it during the night, when no one was around.  I Googled the phrase, but nothing really came up.  It doesn't appear to be a famous quote, but yet it spoke to me on several levels.

the process of failure is greater than the product of success
THE PROCESS OF FAILURE IS GREATER THAN THE PRODUCT OF SUCCESS.

So, what does it mean?  The following thoughts came to mind:
  • The process is what matters.  The process is where we grow, learn and develop as artists, people/spiritual beings.
  • We often learn far more from our failures than from our successes.
  • As uncomfortable as it may be, stepping out of our comfort zones, stretching ourselves, and trying new things/approaches is of paramount importance if we don't want to stagnate.
  • It is better to try and fail than not to try at all. (OK, now I'm starting to sound overtly cliché.)
I think a lot about my process when writing music.  I walk a fine line in trying to be as efficient as possible with my time, while often trying new methods and approaches.  However, I think there are some steps I take consistently at the various stages of composing and arranging pieces.

This mural got me thinking...  Maybe I should take a closer look at my approach to artistic creation. Here's what I plan to do:  I was recently hired to write two big band arrangements of compositions written by Canadian jazz drummer, Tyler Hornby.  I hope to complete them over the next couple of weeks.  On this blog I will share my methodology, as well as my observations from self examination during the process.  Hopefully I will learn something about myself and the systems I employ while providing you with some insight into what goes into writing a big band chart.

Ultimately, failure is not an option for me here, but I do anticipate that there will be a few along the way.  Something would probably be wrong if there weren't.  :)  I hope you will come along for the ride.

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