Tag Archives: inspire

Inspired by the Creativity of Others

A few days ago, I attended a concert at the National Arts Centre, here in Ottawa, to see The Tenors perform with the National Arts Centre Orchestra conducted by Jack Everly.

Much like all of the Pops series concerts I have seen in recent years, the concert brought me on a roller coaster of emotions, between goose bump moments of arias and their triumphant crescendos and moments where I felt a tad verklempt, hearing favourite songs performed live in brilliant new arrangements.

Throughout great performances like that, I can’t help but ask myself, “How do they do it?” How much of it is natural aptitude and how much is hard work? How many thousands of hours each performer put into their craft over the years, to become one with their instruments and to make it look so easy? How hard did each one have to work to achieve this level of proficiency, to produce such beauty that can elicit such strong emotions from spectators?

This inner monologue replays in my head again and again whenever I feel deeply inspired, whether it’s at a concert, in a museum, in a theatre, reading a book or watching a great movie. It’s like a vortex of creativity, swirling around, reaching out and stirring up my own artistic momentum to keep doing what I love doing, keep practicing, work hard and don’t let go.

I sometimes pause and wonder if I will ever get to the same degree of skillfulness and versatility in writing as someone who can pick up an instrument and play a song, just like that. Then I think to myself that I have been known to pull a rabbit or two out of a hat on a few occasions.

Whether it’s a blog post that I was able to commit to paper in one sitting in under two hours (it doesn’t happen often, but it does), a blog post that successfully reached out and really struck a chord with readers, or writing a piece at work that was exactly what was requested, offering the right words at the right time, and being able to do so under crazy time constraints. I reassure myself that I am on my way. Continue reading

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Filed under Inspiring, photography, Theatre, TV, Writing

My Muse, “So Red the Rose” by Arcadia

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES I think it would be fair to say that everyone has that one masterpiece that they hold near and dear as a constant source of inspiration. It does not matter the medium, whether painting, sculpture, music, theatre, opera, dance or literary works, but we all have that one masterpiece that at some point was a game changer. It is that one piece of art that reaches out, grabs you, won’t let go and resonates on a level that defies words. Yet, my challenge today is to try to find those words anyway!

To me, that unique piece is the 1985 album, “So Red the Rose” by Arcadia, a project by Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor, better known as three fifths of the musical group Duran Duran.

Also contributing to “So Red the Rose”, were Sting, Herbie Hancock, Grace Jones, David Gilmour, Carlos Alomar, Mark Egan, Rafael De Jesus, David Van Tiegham and Masami Tsuchiya, all gifted artists spanning the music spectrum. Then with Alex Sadkin’s masterful hand as producer, this brilliant cornucopia of talent converges into a truly remarkable work of art.

For pop music at that time, it was experimental, it was pioneering and it extended beyond traditional pop boundaries. As a devoted Duran Duran fan, this project was a huge gift. From a creative perspective, it was like a good friend taking me somewhere I had never been before, and I savoured every moment of the journey down that very different road.

While each song is a very unique creation, vastly different from the others, there still seems to be a cohesiveness to the album overall, a puzzle I am still trying to figure out 30 years later.

Starved for that creative spark as I was just starting to find my own voice as an artist, the first few times I listened to the album, it blew my mind. It was an awakening!

I remember from the years that followed, a regular ritual of lighting candles, putting “So Red the Rose” on the record player and letting the music waft over me like a gentle breeze. It was a meditation that awoke me spiritually and creatively, Continue reading

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