After digging into the recordings from the Painting Piano series of improvisations, I've found a few more tracks that are interesting, but did not make the cut for the album. One of my favorites so far, is “Cracked Open Blues”. Because the improvisation is so long, I've split it into a parts one and two and inserted the first part for you to hear while you read:
This is often the way creative or constructive projects go for me: There's the joy of planning for the creativity — What would work best? What raw materials do I need or what resources will I choose from? What time and where will it happen? Will I publicize it and, if so, how? And so on…
Then, the day comes and the creative moment happens. This is particularly true of improv since it can often mean that there is also the brevity of the spontaneous creation. No matter how long the improvisation, the ending can often seem very abrupt. (That was certainly true of the process behind Painting Piano.)
That's where the opening into the rest of life occurs. For me, this often feels like a kind of “blues”. There is so much adrenaline, juiciness, and emotional fire in the creative process. Once this is gone, it can leave a sort of vacuum that I sometimes experience as sadness or at least a sort of bluesy aftermath.
The bigger the project (in other words, the more I have to lose), the more potent these blues are. My wife and I recently came through a house remodel and the aftermath blues from that project felt almost like PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Fortunately for me (and my wife), it wasn't. It was just another day-to-day kind of blues in the wake of a big, “creative” project.
If you're a regular reader, you know how I deal with emotions of any kind including the blues: I play. So that is where I am right now: playing the blues.
I look forward to your comments about whether you experience the blues after creative projects and how you cope with them if they do come up.