Monday, November 18, 2013

The Role of Design in Creativity

Some artists create spontenously some think ahead and even make roadmaps to reach the end of a creative process: the work.

Spontenous creativity may make recursive walk throughs of the incomplete work.  Sometimes a breakthrough happens and you enter a creative space which you just imagine at one step or it is relatively easy to proceed.  Intuition is triggered by the minute steps of the creative process even by coincidence.

 Sometimes the creative process gets very slow and difficult and come to a halt.  The waiting period for a new beginning may take a few days or years in some cases.

 Large scale work creation, even sonatas, chamber music, are difficult to manage without seeing forward.  Musical structure helps the composer to keep a sense of direction while
proceeding the creative process.

 Design helps the creator to do size scaling.  For example, selecting  a variations form enables you to increase the size as you wish.

 Design helps the composer to divide the heavy load to small pieces and concentrate on every and each section.  Design also enables the  composer to correlate  the small pieces and build up music that is  impossible for an individual to keep in mind as a whole.

 It helps to define the entities that build up the work.  This gives the possibility to observe the relative affect that arises when they come together.  

 The composer interacts with instrument players and singers through the score.  The design of instrumentation and characters in an opera is simply the design of interface between them.

 Design also enables the composer to set explicit intention and task set for the work.  The composer must know what he wants to get at at the beginning.  This increases the coordination of many elements of a complex art work.

 The timing, duration, flow of events in an opera, flow of information in an abstract music form, the characters, moods all can be designed.

 The design has to be guiding and opening the way when it gets narrow.  It should determine the main contours of the work.  It should not specify all the details.  This may cause you to get lost even at the design phase before beginning to write.

 The more details defines the design, the less flexible it becomes.  But this does not mean that the design even at its birth moment should not define any details.  Sometimes you work for 12
months for a simple symbolic trick that you believe it has to live for as long as possible.

 Designs help the creator to come over deadends.  The design of the nature is the genetic material in the nucleus of each living creature.  The nature has overcome her failure by being flexible enough to try new species with different genetics namely different design materials.

 Design has to be dynamicly updateable.  The tendency to make change or not is left to the creator.

 The dynamic decisions may be given by cognition or by intuition.  The balance between them depends on the artist and th character  of the work, also on the genre.

 The design serves as a prototype which serves as a model for the intuition and imagination of the composer.  It gives clairvoyance to the composer mind's eye.

 Design has an organising, guiding and regulating affect on the  creative process.  It also enables the creator to repeat the same design and create other works with the same theme.  The 'Rondeau' form is a simple example.

 Design is more than what I have described upto this point.   It can be described but it is not definable.  I believe, the flexibility of the design element of the creative process is at its best when it leaves intentional spaces for intuition and crafty spaces for imagination.


Note: This article is written as a byproduct of my work 'The Music of Words' for Soprano and Pierrot Quintet.  There will be another article named 'The Role of Design in Software Development'.  These works were accompanied with my engineering project named 'Turkish Language Parser'.  This is the first time my works in both engineering and music composition are correlated.




Friday, November 15, 2013

The Music of Words - introduction

"The Music of Words"

Pierrot Quintet
Soprano solo (recitative & chant)

Flaute, Piccolo
Clarinet in B

to the idea of Europe

Ali Riza SARAL



Music is universal.  Then what is "Music of Words"?
What is the thing that makes words universal?

Phonetics.  Phonemes...

Namely the sounds, humans produce
to express themselves with words,
are almost universal.

But still the use of these sounds
may vary a little among different nations.
Hence different languages may sound completely

Then what is the real thing that makes
GRACIAN's words universal?  What is the
music of GRACIAN's "The Art of Worldly Wisdom"?

It is what GRACIAN says.  It is what
GRACIAN expresses with these words.

The music of words is their meaning.