Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mr. Stravinsky Rode A Horse Called Serendipity

Fig. 1. Igor Stravinsky

'I was made a revolutionary in spite of myself. . . . All creation presupposes as its origin a sort of appetite that is brought on by the foretaste of discovery. This foretaste of the creative art accompanies the intuitive grasp of an unknown entity that will not take definite shape except by the action of a constantly vigilant technique. This appetite that is aroused in me at the mere thought of putting in order musical elements that have attracted my attention is not at all a fortuitous thing like inspiration, but is habitual and periodic, if not constant - a natural need. The very act of putting my work on paper, of, as we say, kneading the dough, is for me inseparable from the pleasure of creation. So far as I am concerned, I cannot separate the spiritual effort from the psychological and physical effort; they confront me on the same level and do not present a hierarchy. What concerns us here is not imagination itself, but rather creative imagination: the faculty that helps us to pass from the level of conception to the level of realisation. In the course of my labours I suddenly stumble upon something unexpected. This unexpected element strikes me. I make note of it. At the proper time I put it to profitable use. The faculty of creating is never given to us all by itself. It always goes hand in hand with the gift of observation. And the true creator may be recognised by his ability always to find about him, in the commonest and humblest thing, items worthy of note. The least accident holds his interest and guides his operations. If his finger slips, he will notice it. On occasion, he may draw profit from something unforeseen that a momentary lapse reveals. One does not contrive an accident: one observes, draws inspiration from it.'

Igor Stravinsky