Tuesday, November 8, 2011


This week in the hatch we discussed the finer points of creativity and wood with Harvard alumni named Paul F Tompkins. We learned that he had magnificent hands! Take all the time you need to stare at them. Because these are hands that create... words on a note pad! 

Now onto something we did not get to cover on the episode. The healing power of music. As we all know, a good lullaby can send us right to sleep. My wife does not sing lullabies to me because she says I am too old for them, which really gets me angry and makes it so I can't sleep, so I don't ask her anymore.

The research I did on the healing power of music lead me to the story behind that movie with Iron Man and Jamie Fox where Jamie Fox played a schizophrenic musician named Nathaniel Anthony Ayers and Iron man played a Los Angeles news paper reporter who discovered how classical music seemed to have a pharmaceutical effect on Nathaniel Ayers.

Here is that clip

Pretty cool huh? As for me, creating music is very therapeutic... for me. Not so much for everyone else within earshot. I love to sit down at the piano and just play. I could play for hours and feel like a million bucks after words, but as soon as I try using my left brain to formally compose something I become agitated. It's like my right brain telling the left brain "stop crashing the party man!" or woman, in case Tig reads this. Piano lessons always gave me anxiety. Any attempt at taming that wild raw musical exploration always killed my buzz. I wonder if others are the same way. Maybe that is why people love free form art. There is something sooo relaxing when you can turn off your brain and use muscle memory to play a few chords or paint completely abstractly, not worrying if other people find your creation pleasing. True bliss is when you just play.

But creating something that is therapeutic to other people's eyes and ears is hard work, you're not so much playing anymore when you get caught up with music theory or whether your first act in your three act play is overly expository, whatever that means. I like to know that the creator really put some work into their creation, but not while I'm consuming it the first time. I like to sit back and take it in, and then think about all the work that must have gone into putting me into this pleasurable trance. Sometimes though I like to just remain in ignorance and pretend that the magic is real. Other times I can't rest until I find out how something was made, like how did they make all those dinosaurs look so real in Jurassic Park?! And how much of that realism was due to my 11 year old imagination filling in the gaps? And how skeptical will I become when I'm 81, will I allow myself to suspend any disbelief then? I really hope so, because looking back, being able to get lost in the same movie 29 times made life seem so much more adventurous. Now it seems like I have to see 29 movies before I can allow myself to turn off my critical mind.

Thanks everyone for reading. This first post is extremely free formed due to my limited time to edit. But writing this was very therapeutic, I apologize if reading it was not.

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