Memeteria by Thomas May
It is about the music of Krzysztof Penderecki, (a polish contemporary composer) and focuses mainly upon his "Concerto Grosso for Three Cellos".
For me, given my interest in how the principles and practices of music and musicians can help us all be more creative, two things stand out as very significant:
- Penderecki has very wide and diverse interests. He has deep interests in philosophy, classical antiquity, science fiction, theatre, visual arts and botany. This is significant because, time and time again, I see this trait being possessed by those widely recognised as some of the most creative and innovative of thinkers: Fry and Silver (the scientists who invented "Post It" notes); Bill Bowerman (the inventor of the rubber soled trainer); Carlos Kleiber (the renowned conductor); Leonardo da Vinci (the archetypal Renaissance Man). Whatever the fields of endeavour, the most creative and innovative within them have wide and diverse interests. Having wide interests helps people see opportunities and make connections that others do not. It also helps people to describe things in new and original ways that can lead to unique insights and interpretations. (For example, Carlos Kleiber used descriptions of the pictures of Caspar David Friedrich to inspire his orchestras to create memorably great performances.)
- Penderecki's "Concerto Grosso for Three Cellos" treats each solo cellist as a personality with something of its own to say within the context of the piece as a whole. Again, this is significant because it emphasises another key aspect of effective creativity and innovation: individual voices need to be heard, acknowledged, valued and developed within the context of the creative endeavour as a whole. People need to work together to creatively problem solve but whilst doing so they need to aim for unity of purpose rather than uniformity of perspective. They need to develop and support each other's individual insights and ideas and work together to harvest those that lead to the best, most innovative solutions.