Thursday, 3 April 2014

Capture and combine butterfly ideas

'I'll put thirty ideas together, and that will be 1 piece'

John Zorn
From 'The Muse that Sings: Composers Speak about the Creative Process', by Ann McCutchan

One of the ways the composer John Zorn creates his music is by combining small, simple ideas.

Combining ideas is a widely used creative problem solving technique, but the importance of combining small, simple, seemingly insignificant ideas is not always emphasised as much as it could be.

A simple suggestion or passing comment can float by during a conversation, catching our attention like the occasional summer butterfly, but then, also like the butterfly, be quickly forgotten.

Develop the habit of netting the butterfly ideas that flutter around you: make an instant note of them; pin them into your mind; collect them.

Then review your collection. What interesting patterns do the butterfly ideas reveal? How do they complement and support each other? How could they be combined in useful and attractive ways? 

By the way, this is a butterfly idea for your collection...

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