Bron-Yr-Aur and Creative Spaces

16 10 2012

I am a guitarist.  I took up this amazing instrument in the mid ‘70’s.  I saw a friend of mine play three songs—“Time In A Bottle”, “Dream On” and “Smoke On the Water”–the riff that launched thousands of guitarists in those days.  I freaked.  And fell in love.  The love affair continues thirty-five years later.

I owe a great deal of my early formation as a guitarist to Led Zeppelin in general and Jimmy Page in particular.  I learned a lot of the classic rock Zeppelin tunes in those days.  But I was especially drawn to their acoustic work.  It was just so interesting.  Rare chords.  Alternate tunings.  Mandolins.  J.R.R. Tolkien in the lyrics.  Multiple overdubs creating marvelous sonic textures.  A world of wonder and colorful sounds. A fair amount of Led Zeppelin’s creativity in those days emerged as Jimmy Page and Robert Plant retired to a little cottage in the Welsh countryside.  Bron-Yr-Aur.  It was here that music was inspired and created that endures to the present day.  They even named music after this quaint locale, pictured above.

Where are your creative spaces?  A cottage?  Water?  Forests (my personal favorite)?  Urban life?

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4 responses

16 10 2012
Batmensch

Personally, I’ve never found a particular place that was more conducive to creativity than another. A horrible, noisy space might inspire you to write horrible, noisy music, or it might inspire the opposite as an antidote. And if you have an idea that has to bust out it probably will, despite the environment.

16 10 2012
Christian Fahey

I think everybody has to find out what is optimum for their own creativity, Hugh. And kudos to those who can be inspired and productive, even in “uninspiring” surroundings. I’m surprised, however, that you don’t find the homestead–which I’ve been by numerous times in the past 3 weeks tending to my dying stepfather–a source of inspiration. It’s a special spot in a beautiful area. Ah, but either way, whatever works for you!

16 10 2012
Jennifer Stuart

I find a similar situation to Batmensch. Sometimes, I’ll curl up with a notebook in the woods and write a ton, or get lots of ideas that slowly trickle in over time as I leave. At the same time, some of my favorite ideas happen when I’m waiting for the bus in the city, looking up at skyscraper windows, or walking around a new crowded area. I think for me, it comes down to “something new.” The newness inspires creativity and ideas. Sometimes I put music on, sometimes I need it quiet. It’s so strange!
I think being flexible and aware of the momentary conditions that are most conducive to my creativity is a skill I try to improve all the time.
Of course, if I had access to a cottage on any countryside, I would probably love to create there. Especially music.

21 10 2012
Christian Fahey

That’s a great approach to creativity, Jennifer–being able to be creative and imaginative even in “uninspiring” surroundings. Thanks for reading!

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