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KIRK NELSON

Southern rock / new orleans blues KEYBOARDIST, COMPOSER, PRODUCER

Who or what controls creativity? The answer to that may seem like an enigma. When it comes to music, creativity is a talent that cannot really be taught.

Traditionally speaking, the musician turned composer, through the discipline of reading and performing another composer’s works, has etched a parameter for the mind to reflect its experiences. Sometimes this can restrict those in the industry to a comfort level of what they are used to or what they believe is appropriate. Unfortunately this rarely transforms into an entity that takes on a life of its own. It seems there is an unwritten rule that if you can get away with stretching the limits and ignite a trend then you are the new hero in town.  Composers like Thomas Newman, Danny Elfman and Jonny Greenwood are good examples. 

In my case, it has been a journey with respect for many genres of man’s musical history coupled with the courage to explore new sound design techniques and maintain the integrity of composition — without stripping harmonic effectiveness into a state of techno-expressionism.  We are now living in an age where musical composition can be at the push of a button unlike the execution of a creator that has a relationship with their muse.  These special few know when they are “connecting” and there is magic appearing before them.  

As a performing keyboardist most my life, I have experienced the sensation of traveling in real time down new avenues and improvising to the extent of watching my hands spontaneously dance before me. Once this “world within” is recognized we become attached to it as a mother would to its child, yearning to nurture and attend to its every need.   On the other hand, the production process can be time consuming and the antitheses of creativity to many composers. That is why typically in the past a composer hands off their writings to orchestrators, producers, and engineers to breathe life into their works.  It seems the majority of modern composers and songwriters these days have acquired the technical experience to produce their own music. Being of this sort, it gives me an edge to not only be creative in terms of composition but also to exercise the muse as a recording artist.

 

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