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David Byrne on How Music and Creativity Work

David Byrne on How Music and Creativity Work
by Maria Popova “Presuming that there is such a thing as ‘progress’ when it comes to music is typical of the high self-regard of those who live in the present. It is a myth. Creativity doesn’t ‘improve.’” Great times and tall deeds for David Byrne this week: First his fantastic collaborative album with St. Vincent (which made a cameo on Literary Jukebox), and now the release of How Music Works (public library) — a fascinating record of his lifetime of curiosity about and active immersion in music. Among the book’s most fascinating insights is a counterintuitive model for how creativity works, from a chapter titled “Creation in Reverse” — a kind of reformulation of McLuhan’s famous aphorism “the medium is the message” into a somewhat less pedantic but no less purposeful “the medium shapes the message”: I had an extremely slow-dawning insight about creation. He turns to nature for confirmation of this model: David Byrne photograph via Wikimedia Commons Share on Tumblr

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/09/13/david-byrne-how-music-works/

Are all new things a mash-up of what came before? A Q&A with Kirby Ferguson In today’s TEDTalk, director Kirby Ferguson outlines a bold vision of creativity — that it’s not about dreaming up a new song, a new piece of art or a new form of technology in a vacuum, but instead about remixing what has come before. In his fast-paced talk, Kirby reveals that many of our most iconic thinkers — from Henry Ford to Bob Dylan — embraced this idea of what it means to create. As we watched Kirby’s talk, a slew of questions popped to mind. What does this mean for creative people? Can we reach a point where ideas become too self-referential?

Eurocrat addresses copyright issues *Huh, I’ve never seen an intellectual property system that helped artists live by their art. I guess one could at least imagine such a thing. *There’s nothing said in this speech about the numerous troll-shaped stakeholders who are making sure that this culture-war grinds on endlessly.

Behavioral Economist Dan Ariely on the Relationship Between Creativity and Dishonesty by Maria Popova “Creativity can help us tell better stories — stories that allow us to be even more dishonest but still think of ourselves as wonderfully honest people.” The first use of the U.S. Macro Photographs of Dew-Covered Dragonflies and Other Insects by David Chambon Over the past few months photographer David Chambon has been working on a phenomenal series of photos featuring insects covered in tiny water droplets. These are a few of my favorites but you can see dozens more over on 500px and Flickr. If you liked these also check out the dew-soaked macro photography of Sharon Johnston and Ondrej Pakan. (via faith is torment)

The Role of Intuition and Imagination in Scientific Discovery and Creativity: A 1957 Guide by Maria Popova “Those who do not know the torment of the unknown cannot have the joy of discovery.” Last week, we took in some timeless vintage wisdom on the role of serendipity and chance-opportunism in creativity and scientific discovery, culled from the 1957 gem The Art of Scientific Investigation (public library; public domain) by Cambridge University animal pathology professor W. I. B. Beveridge — a brilliant treatise on creativity in science and, by extension, in all endeavors of the mind. lour film of 1901, judged world's earliest ever, found at media museum There is not much of a plot – goldfish in bowl – but the scene and others from the same rolls of film were revealed on Wednesday as the earliest colour moving images ever made in a discovery that does nothing less than "rewrite film history". The National Media Museum in Bradford said it had found what it contends are truly historic films from 1901/02, pre-dating what had been thought to be the first successful colour process – Kinemacolor – by eight years. "We believe this will literally rewrite film history," said the museum's head of collections, Paul Goodman. "I don't think it is an overstatement. These are the world's first colour moving images."

How We Measure the Universe, Animated donating = loving Brain Pickings remains ad-free and takes hundreds of hours a month to research and write, and thousands of dollars to sustain. If you find any joy and value in it, please consider becoming a Member and supporting with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner: On Bob Dylan And Jonah Lehrer, Two Fabulists : The Record hide captionBob Dylan at a press conference at the Savoy Hotel in London in 1966. Fiona Adams/Redferns/Getty Images Bob Dylan at a press conference at the Savoy Hotel in London in 1966. Yesterday my husband and I had the same thought at the same time. It's not an uncommon occurrence for two writers who've spent decades arguing and enthusing about pop music.

Computing and Visualizing the 19th-Century Literary Genome Overview In literary studies, we have no shortage of anecdotal wisdom regarding the role of influence on creativity. Consider just a few of the most prominent voices: ‘Talents imitate, geniuses steal’ – Oscar Wilde (1854-1900?).1‘All ideas are second hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources’ – Mark Twain (1903). John Cleese on the 5 Factors to Make Your Life More Creative by Maria Popova “Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.” Much has been said about how creativity works, its secrets, its origins, and what we can do to optimize ourselves for it. In this excerpt from his fantastic 1991 lecture, John Cleese offers a recipe for creativity, delivered with his signature blend of cultural insight and comedic genius.

Charles Bukowski: Depression and Three Days in Bed Can Restore Your Creative Juices (NSFW) Pico Iyer once called Charles Bukowski the “laureate of American lowlife,” and that’s because he wrote poems for and about ordinary Americans — people who experienced poverty, the tedium and grind of work, and sometimes frayed relationships, bouts of alcoholism, drug addiction and the rest. Bukowski could write so eloquently about this because he came from this world. He grew up in a poor immigrant household with an abusive father, took to the bottle at an early age, worked at a Los Angeles post office for a decade plus, and had a long and tumultuous relationship with Jane Cooney Baker, a widow eleven years his senior, who drank to excess and died at 51, leaving Bukowski broken.

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