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Master of Music, Yale University School of Music, 2011
The central question that runs through my artistic research project is perhaps the most essential question for all musicians and artists: how can we create compelling, living performances or works of art? How can we achieve the necessary state of mind and being in order for such performances to flow through us? This ‘creative state’ is one of complete creative freedom, openness and receptiveness, in which all of one’s creative impulses can be followed to form one spontaneous, effortlessly cohesive unity.
The groundbreaking actor training techniques of Michael Chekhov can assist musicians to achieve this state of creative freedom by awakening the connection between the physical body and the inner life and developing all the facets of the imagination.
Aura Go (Master of Music, Yale University School of Music, 2011):
Playing in the Creative State: Awakening and devleoping the musician's psycho-physical technique for living, compelling performances
Art Study Programme, Piano
Abstract of the concert series
With the music of Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara as a starting point, the concert series presents five important aspects of Rautavaara’s music through a diverse selection of compositions ranging from Beethoven to newly composed work. While exploring five central themes of Rautavaara’s music, the wide range of other composers and works programmed in each concert also present a variety of different “authority”-performer scenarios and allow us to examine the notion of authority in relation to the performer’s creative state. Examples of authority-performer scenarios include the authority of a rich history of performance tradition and scholarship (Beethoven Op. 111) and collaborating with a composer on the creation of a new work (Tiina Myllärinen). The concert series can also be seen as an extensive lab experiment, or series of lab experiments, in which I observe, test and overhaul my creative process as I grapple with my central question.
Abstract of the written thesis
My thesis aims to be a practical resource to help musicians on their path to achieving the creative state. Adapting Michael Chekhov’s exercises for actor training specifically to musicians, I explore practical ways in which the musician can awaken and enliven the psycho-physical connection and use natural principles to develop imagination, creativity and freedom in practice and performance. I also discuss the notion of authority in classical music and how we can work in the creative state in harmony with our intellectual understanding of music history and style, without these aspects encroaching on our creative impulses. Throughout my thesis, I draw on my own creative process of practising and performing the works in my concert series. Each practical exercise and principle is connected to a musical example to illustrate how musicians can use the Chekhov work in real musical contexts. Finally, I provide a detailed description of my creative process of preparing a work for performance, putting all of the exercises and principles together from my first encounter with the score.