Thursday, January 12, 2012


You cannot reconcile creativeness with technical achievement. You may be perfect in playing the piano, and not be creative; you may play the piano most brilliantly, and not be a musician. You may be able to handle color, to put paint on canvas most cleverly, and not be a creative painter. You may create a face, an image out of a stone, because you have learned the technique, and not be a master creator. Creation comes first, not technique, and that is why we are miserable all our lives. We have technique -how to put up a house, how to build a bridge, how to assemble a motor, how to educate our children through a system; we have learned all these techniques, but our hearts and minds are empty. We are first class machines; we know how to operate most beautifully, but we do not love a living thing. You may be a good engineer,  you may write in a good style in English or Marathi or whatever your language is, but creativeness is not found through technique. If you have something to say, you create your own style; but when you have nothing to say, even if you have a beautiful style, what you write is only the traditional routine, a repetition in new words of the same old thing. Having lost the song, we pursue the singer. We learn from the singer the technique of song, but there is no song. The song is essential, the joy of singing is essential. So, if you watch yourself very critically, you will see that technique does not lead to creativeness, but when you have creativeness, you can have technique within a week. To express something you must have a song in your heart and sensitivity to receive (J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life).
As an illustration of this argument we have chosen one of the hundreds of music pieces composed by G.I.Gurdjieff & Thomas De Hartmann, one of his pupils. And the reason is precisely that this music is not based on a great virtuosity or technical achievement –as it is the case in the works of Chopin or Liszt–, but rather on a slight brush that gives a glimpse of special places and something profound in ourselves.
Gurdjieff received much inspiration from folk tunes, songs and dances he witnessed while traveling through Central Asia and North Africa. Later, in the early 1900's, he found Thomas de Hartmann in Russia, a very accomplished and classically trained composer, who helped Gurdjieff to express certain Oriental themes by using Western harmony and instrumentation. Working together, beyond conventions and dead rutines, they crafted some of the deepest and most original compositions of the XXth century, most of which are an integrant part of the so called "movements" and "sacred dances" that Gurdjieff crafted as well. But that's another story.

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