We’re getting into the time of year when my personal creativity seems to spark. I should be way more productive creatively in the summer, when I enjoy loads of unstructured time, but I find that I work better in the constrains and confines of a busy schedule. For whatever reason, that extra pressure helps me to eke out, if not diamonds, then at least some lesser gems.
One well from which I have drawn some considerable inspiration the last couple of years was my Pre-AP Music Appreciation class. It was a broad survey of Western music from the medieval period to the present, with a strong emphasis on the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods. Due to a combination of scheduling difficulties and lower enrollment last year, the class did not run this year.
On the one hand, I’m thankful—it’s given me more time to focus on other endeavors. On the other, I do miss the almost-daily baptism in the works of some of the greatest composers in the Western canon.
One element of the course that was particularly intriguing was learning about the lives and creative processes of the composers. Many of them lived quite tragic lives; others (rarer, it seems, among composers) lived quite contentedly.
Gustav Mahler seemed to have developed a nice little work routine, as detailed in this post from October 2021. I like the idea of having a stripped-down cottage by the sea, with a healthy breakfast brought to me as I work. Sounds like the good life!
With that, here is 13 October 2021’s “Mahler’s Composing Shack“: