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Topic: OT: Reading books, creativity, dreams, and composing...

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  1. #1

    OT: Reading books, creativity, dreams, and composing...

    First off, I should say that I have A LOTof extra time on my hands because I just graduated from college and I'm in that area between college completion and finding a job. Everyday consists of me waking up when I want and doing what I want and this has been going on for about 2 months now- I know what you're all thinking - get a job ya bum! I will soon enough I'm just waiting for a response from my applications. I plan going back to college, but I need to take a break,so...


    That said, I've been reading a lot books lately and something that I never noticed before is a correlation between my book reading and my creativity level. It's not that I get inspired to write about the stories, but the more I read, the easier it is to compose without any kind of block or hesitation whatsoever and ideas fill my head more than usual 24/7. I always have ideas and themes and such running around, but never at this level of intensity or abundance. The other thing is that I wake up every morning at about 2:00 a.m. and go into my studio and complete a piece in a few hours. This happens every night! I've completed about 20 pieces in the span of a month with a supreme quality that I've never attained before!

    The next thing is my dreams. Now this is weird, weird, weird. When I began reading the amount of material (mainly fiction) that I have been, my dreams become extremely vivid and as weird as they have ever been. I realize that there is an atypical dichotomy in comparison to our normal daily organization, actions and thoughts and our dreams, but I don't even want to mention what my dreams consist on this forum, hesitant because of embarrassment. Nothing scary or frightening, but exceedingly vivid, all-embracing, and just plain weird. This may also sound strange, but I can almost consciously control my actions in my dreams.

    For example, in the middle of one of my dreams I spoke a "number four" to another person, but I was holding up three fingers when I had said the number- so I remember thinking "that's not right" and I then held up four fingers and smiled knowing that I corrected myself in my dream. I knew I was dreaming, but the dream still continued. The dreams never contain any of the subject matter of my readings either, which I find odd.

    Now get this, I recently went to TMEA and I stopped reading for those few days due to time and I noticed my creativity/ inspiration level had diminished a tiny bit and so did the dreams. This may be painfully obvious to everyone, but I believe that my reading is a kind of exercising of the brain. I cannot think of any other reason that these things would happen just from reading books!

    Of course in college I had to read an atrocious amount of material, but never experienced any of the aforementioned changes. I attribute the amount of academic stress placed on me to have prevented these changes from happening, I'm not sure though. So, here I sit at 2:52 a.m. about to begin on another piece!

    Please excuse me for babbling on and being so off-topic, but I just wanted to know what you wonderful, intelligent people on the forums thought about these things.

    I know one thing for sure- I shouldn't stop reading books... ever!
    http://www.jamesjumonville.com

    Captain Hook (if you see Pan let me know!)

  2. #2
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    Re: OT: Reading books, creativity, dreams, and composing...

    Quote Originally Posted by capt_hook View Post
    Everyday consists of me waking up when I want and doing what I want and this has been going on for about 2 months now
    What do your parents have to say about that?

    Quote Originally Posted by capt_hook View Post
    That said, I've been reading a lot books lately and something that I never noticed before is a correlation between my book reading and my creativity level. ... but the more I read, the easier it is to compose without any kind of block or hesitation whatsoever and ideas fill my head more than usual 24/7.
    Yes - that would be called education; thus causing the imagination to do what it's supposed to do: namely to be creative.


    Quote Originally Posted by capt_hook View Post
    The next thing is my dreams. Now this is weird, weird, weird. When I began reading the amount of material (mainly fiction) that I have been, my dreams become extremely vivid and as weird as they have ever been.
    As before - only.......you're not smoking opium as well are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by capt_hook View Post
    ...but I don't even want to mention what my dreams consist on this forum, hesitant because of embarrassment.
    Oh go on!

    Quote Originally Posted by capt_hook View Post
    For example, in the middle of one of my dreams I spoke a "number four" to another person, but I was holding up three fingers when I had said the number- so I remember thinking "that's not right" and I then held up four fingers and smiled knowing that I corrected myself in my dream. I knew I was dreaming, but the dream still continued. The dreams never contain any of the subject matter of my readings either, which I find odd.
    Thanks - but if you carry on like this - I'm gonna start talking in an Austrian accent.

    Quote Originally Posted by capt_hook View Post
    This may be painfully obvious to everyone, but I believe that my reading is a kind of exercising of the brain. I cannot think of any other reason that these things would happen just from reading books!
    Good Lord! I think you may be onto something there!

    Quote Originally Posted by capt_hook View Post
    Please excuse me for babbling on and being so off-topic, but I just wanted to know what you wonderful, intelligent people on the forums thought about these things.
    Not at all. Any time.

    Quote Originally Posted by capt_hook View Post
    I know one thing for sure- I shouldn't stop reading books... ever!
    I'd be interested to know which books you've been reading.

  3. #3

    Re: OT: Reading books, creativity, dreams, and composing...

    Don't start with:

    - Harry Potter books (by the way too childish for adults like you)
    - Lord of the Rings
    - Steven King
    - Dean Koontz
    - Ludlum
    - Clancy

    then your dreams will be really scary and they don't add anything to your intelligence after all. Maybe MacBeth(has nothing to do with mr Donalds, maybe his nephew, the old MacBeth loved raw, bloody meat), Julius Ceasar, Hamlet (Shakespeare). Though the dreams will be scary enough, but at least you added something to your education (I hope ).
    For a really better composing I demand you to read all sorts of biographies of famous composers, maybe you will dream about Bach, Mozart, Rachmaninoff or when you are in the mood for it.... that sad life of Chopin. Or... you may start reading scores........ that's the best way to better composing, they always told me. For me it didn't help, though. I'll stick to Edgar Allan Poe.......

    A hopeless answer, I know, but my dreams are that I am always on the go to somewhere and never arrive......... Maybe the title of your next composition: La Rêve. Just an idea.

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Reading books, creativity, dreams, and composing...

    Quote Originally Posted by capt_hook View Post
    For example, in the middle of one of my dreams I spoke a "number four" to another person, but I was holding up three fingers when I had said the number- so I remember thinking "that's not right" and I then held up four fingers and smiled knowing that I corrected myself in my dream. I knew I was dreaming, but the dream still continued. The dreams never contain any of the subject matter of my readings either, which I find odd.
    Welcome to the world of Lucid Dreaming!

    Lucid dreaming is being fully aware and conscious while you are dreaming, and remembering fully the real world. Often the dreamer is in complete or near complete control of everything in the dream. Believe it or not, this practice can be learned and cultivated to a high degree, and used in many beneficial ways, including creative inspiration.

    I have been lucid dreaming for about 15 years, ever since I heard of the research done by Stephen LaBerge on the subject. About a year ago, I started to really practice the techniques he described to incubate more frequent lucidity, and have found much success. Now it's typical for me to have one or more lucid dreams about three or four times per week.

    It's the most satisfying hobby I've ever had, and I believe it helps me a great deal with my composition. I have written many great pieces in my dreams, and conducted dream orchestras. I usually remember very few notes upon waking, but often retain the flavor of the works.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  5. #5

    Re: OT: Reading books, creativity, dreams, and composing...

    My most frequent dream is that I'm in a concert, playing a piano concerto (sometimes several in one concert), and it's not until I play the first note that I become aware that I'm sight-reading. Up until then I'm absolutely calm - in fact I have the sensation of being thoroughly prepared. Then I sit down, the orchestra starts to play, and I realise I haven't learned the piece. It quite often takes me half the next day to shake off the terror.

  6. #6
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    Re: OT: Reading books, creativity, dreams, and composing...

    I think Capt Hook needs to watch this. This was the year I started at music college.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0fqg...eature=related

  7. #7

    Re: OT: Reading books, creativity, dreams, and composing...

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR View Post
    I think Capt Hook needs to watch this. This was the year I started at music college.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0fqg...eature=related
    and how did it turn out? Good gracious, what a noise.... Led Zeppeling

  8. #8

    Re: OT: Reading books, creativity, dreams, and composing...

    Are you sure you haven't been reading Carlos Casteneda? (Teachings of Don Juan)

  9. #9

    Re: OT: Reading books, creativity, dreams, and composing...

    Hey Captain Hook,

    Mostly all I can do is be jealous of your free time!

    You mentioned academic stress... I've noticed its effect on dreams as well. I seem to have very strange and vivid semi-lucid and perhaps even musical dreams when I finish some tough project or a semester ends and I'm "free".

    Music creativity wise, though, I'll sometimes write my favorite pieces when I'm academically stressed out, when exams are coming up and I'm supposed to be studying for them, or something. I write melodies everyday automatically, but actually fleshing out a piece just seems to happen randomly.

    Oh well, I could autobiographically blather on and on, but I don't want to think too much about how my subconscious works, it might break.
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  10. #10
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: OT: Reading books, creativity, dreams, and composing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pingu View Post
    My most frequent dream is that I'm in a concert, playing a piano concerto (sometimes several in one concert), and it's not until I play the first note that I become aware that I'm sight-reading. Up until then I'm absolutely calm - in fact I have the sensation of being thoroughly prepared. Then I sit down, the orchestra starts to play, and I realise I haven't learned the piece. It quite often takes me half the next day to shake off the terror.
    Well, that is a good description of one of my recurring dreams! Fortunately, I usually wake up before disaster strikes.

    Richard

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