Next Vancouver speaker

Craig Addy

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January 6, 8:30am • SFU Woodward's — Goldcorp Centre for the Arts •

Our January speaker on the topic of Mystery is Craig Addy!

How do you define creativity and apply it in your career?
This could have so many definitions. Here are some of mine. Creativity is the practice of discovering ways to reveal and step past limiting viewpoints. It’s playing in the sandbox without expectation of a particular outcome. Creating can have a plan but being willing to go in a different direction when it presents itself is creativity. It’s saying what’s been said many times in a new way. I try to do all of this, to varying effect and degree, when I perform, compose, cook, and teach.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration?
I find it in a few places. First and foremost is when I sit at a piano. As a spontaneous improviser, this is the moment of truth, the point of no return, the do-or-die place. While improvising at the piano, I find creative inspiration the sound of the piano, in the sound and aesthetics of the space in which the piano exists, in the conversations with the listeners before I play, and in the “mistakes" or unintentional results that present themselves while I play. To succeed, you must accept these unintended musical elements and allow them to take you somewhere you had no plans on visiting. I also find creative inspiration in nature and other art media such as painting, sculpture, poetry, film and dance. They are great starting points and catalysts for creation.

What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person?
My conversations about my own talent, attributes, and aptitudes were and still can be my single worst enemy. They give nothing more than an excuse for not doing the work. Why would I bother if I think I’m not good enough.

Who would you like to hear speak at CreativeMornings?
Tien Neo Eamas.

What books made a difference in your life and why?
“The Brain That Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge.
Your brain is plastic. It can transform, expand it’s capabilities, develop, and re-create itself until the day you die. In this lies freedom if you are willing to accept it for it means there are no excuses and it is never too late to begin.

“Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell
Particularly the passage called “The Structure of Spontaneity” which examines improv actors and reveals how the improvisation will fail if the actors get an agenda and fail to accept and work with what is presented to each other by each other.

“Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell
The chapter that examines a study about violin students of varying levels of accomplishment reveals that the ones who were most successful were not the ones perceived to be the most talented or accomplished at the beginning of the study. The successful violinists were simply the ones that practiced the most. It was a sobering wake up call to the reality that I had used my own self-doubt and poor opinons of my talent as an excuse to practice less than I could have. Your success is most profoundly determined by your willingness to work, with guidance, rather than aptitude or talent.

“The Rest is Noise” by Alex Ross
This book examines the history of western classical music and revealed to me that the reality that a universal harmonic language in music no longer exists. The quest to be the next towering master, such as Beethoven, Mozart or Bach, during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s was exhausted and unsuccessful. We now live in a world of niches when it comes to musical harmonic language and genre. This gave me the freedom to pursue my own aesthetic of beauty in music and to let go of the idea that I had to somehow say something radically new as a composer or performer. I no longer have to convince everyone of the value of my music. I just need to find my niche audience who share my aesthetics about music.

“Sound Business” by Julian Treasure
This book examines the positive and negative impacts of noise, sound and music in every aspect of our lives. Simply mind-blowing. I think about sound everyday and everywhere because of this book.

“The Music Lesson” by Victor L. Wooten
A radical and truly out-side-the-box exploration of music and what it is. I’m still reading it. It has already influenced how I teach and improvise.

What myths about creativity would you like to set straight?
“I’m not creative” - I no longer accept this statement from people. Everyone is creative. If you say you are not creative, you will then fulfill on this by not participating in creative activities. If you participate in creative activities and you do it consistently, you will discover that you ARE creative. “Perfection” isn’t an outcome or something to be attained or achieved. Perhaps, you do need to practice and work hard to master skills that make perfection possible but as soon as you try to be perfect or do something perfectly, perfection is lost.  Mistakes or undesirable results are actually gifts if you are willing accept them and work with them. Allowing yourself to get it wrong is the best gift you can give yourself and the most powerful way to progress and expand.

Gotta love the @likemindvan tribe. The right people always show up to fill our hearts to overflowing. #community (at Save On Meats)

What if we said our Nov 18th event will be hosted by @saveonmeats? True story! Meet us there at 8am for coffee and conversation! (at Save On Meats)

Our next speaker for December’s theme of “Sound” will be Dr. Valeria Vergara from the Vancouver Aquarium!

From the Vancouver Aquarium to Hudson Bay, from the Canadian Arctic to the St. Lawrence Estuary, researcher Valeria Vergara has listened to the communication sounds made by belugas in diverse environments.

She is primarily interested in the communicative and perceptual abilities of marine mammals, and the conservation implications of such capacities. She directs and coordinates studies on beluga whales through the Marine Mammal Research Program at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Valeria Vergara’s ground-breaking doctorate research at the University of British Columbia was the first to document how beluga calves develop their rich repertoire of vocalizations and to identify contact calls critical for maintaining cohesion within the group and mother-calf contact. Her studies allow her to address the problems that this sound-centered species faces in an increasingly noisy environment.

Any predictions whether @markbusse will behave and represent Vancouver well in Austin at #cmsummit16?

Yeah, we’re nervous too. (at Impact Hub Austin)

WARNING! CAUTION! ALERT! The Canadians are jacked up on Tim Hortons and on their way! Watch out Austin! #cmsummit16 (at Vancouver International Airport)

Our next CMVan speaker for November is Hamish Purdy!

Hamish Purdy is Oscar nominated art director and set decorator known for his work on Man of Steel (2013), Watchmen (2009) and Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011). A born and raised Vancouver boy, Purdy attended UVic and UBC before going into film and TV, working on local independent film Impolite and TV series The X Files and films like Watchmen and Sucker Punch. He’s worked with respected industry folks Jim Erickson, Elizabeth Wilcox and Lin MacDonald here and abroad. Most recently he worked with Jack Fisk on The Revenant, for which he was nominated for an Oscar for production design. Hamish lives in North Vancouver with his wife and three kids.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your career?
A combination of imagination and problem solving. Coming up with concept and designs and the figuring out how to achieve it. Learning from mistakes or, in hindsight, unnecessary hardships. For me the joy of figuring out a clever soloution or method is equal to the pride of a perfect set.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration?
Excellent design in a movie or TV show. Also, seeing a successful set of my own completed I’m amazed it has come together and encouraged that bigger& better could be done next time.

What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person?
Keep eyes open at all times. Every single thing you see object, product, structure, article….it was all considered, thought through, planned, and executed. Decisions were made on knowledge and instinct and eventually it was time to go ahead a do it.

Who would you like to hear speak at CreativeMornings?
Pat Metheny… Good luck with that!

What practises, rituals or habits contribute to your creative work?
Always tackle the hardest technical problems first. As the solutions unfold, the pressure eases and my creative instincts kick in allowing me to explore possibilities, I love to take details to my sets to a level that only a few might notice. It raises the bar all around and keeps me from letting things “slide.”

What was the best surprise you’ve experienced so far in life?
Learning that my wife and I were going to have twins. Getting an Oscar Nomination…a close second.

#Repost @interestingvancouver
・・・
Our speaker lineup is out - roll call! Gaby Eirew is a grief counsellor and hospice worker who created an app so parents can leave messages for their children posthumously. It’s going to be #interesting!
Grabbed your tickets yet? Tickets at www.interestingvancouver.com (at Vancouver, British Columbia)

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