Composers & Creativity

Inspiration. Creativity. Where do they come from? Pianist and 2011 Featured Composer Ian Munro has written works influenced by folk tales, woodcuts and poetry. Last year violinist Alina Ibragimova told us that her violin teacher once took her to the Tate Modern to work on the Beethoven Violin Concerto. “You come out and you suddenly have more ideas of what you want to do or how. Music isn’t just about learning notes.”

It’s an idea Ian Munro touches on in his latest blog post, on finishing his new Piano Quintet.

“Almost every questionnaire and interview I have entertained over the last year has posed a question about writers’ block, and I suppose it is the converse of that perennial fascination we have for ‘where artists get their ideas’. Where do the ideas go when artists are not getting them? Neither is easy to answer. Nor is the question, “What do composers do when it happens?” which, I suspect, is where the real interest lies.”

Read the full blog post here.

Many of us may idly wonder about artists and their inspiration, and even scientists and scholars have been moved to research this area, with varying approaches and degrees of success. There is even a conference dedicated to issues around Creativity and Cognition.

On a practical level, composers and artists often struggle to describe their creative processes, and they are different for each individual. A composer himself, Carl Vine recently mused “I have yet to find out from Ian what kind of alchemy enables composers to make a series of sounds resemble a set of wooden carvings, or indeed any form of visual imagery… Fortunately, my uncommon lack of visual response to musical stimulus was no impediment to enjoying the captivating sound images evoked by this music…”

Inspired by, though not necessarily depicting, the poetry of Judith Wright, we all look forward to hearing the world premiere of Ian’s new Piano Quintet in August. In the mean time, you can hear Ian speak further about this work in this video.


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About Musica Viva Australia

Welcome to Musica Viva’s International Concert Season blog. Here you can follow and read more about our wonderful touring artists.

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