#1328 - not knowing
On a video that I can't find right now (this is one of the downsides of having only 15 minutes to write my morning posts, anyway I think it was related to the documentary "If this walls could sing"), I heard an interesting theory on why the 60s have been such a defining period music-wise. Back there, the world was recovering from two devasting wars, so the music scene wasn't so rich, and musicians didn't have much to build upon. That's why they were so creative. They had to. Over the decades, plenty of music has been created and released, so musicians now have way more history on their minds when they sit to compose new stuff. According to that video, this is why it's harder nowadays to create something as defining as the music of the 60s.
In a famous TEDx session, Dr George Land explained how he and his team developed a test to help NASA identify the best candidates to become astronauts. The experiment aimed to measure the creativity of the potential astronauts, and the test was so simple that Dr Land and his group decided to submit the test to 5-year-old children to see how they performed. 98% of them passed the test. They then tested the same group at five-year intervals, and the results were surprising. Only 30% of those same children passed the test when they were 10 years old, decreasing to just 12% when they reached the age of 15 and plummeting to 2% once they reached adulthood.
These two apparently disconnected stories got connected in my mind when, thanks to my dear friend Giulia, I discovered the Nobel Lecture that Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska gave in 1996.
In that, there's a gem only an inspired poet could write.
Whatever inspiration is, it's born from a continuous "I don't know."
Kids live in that state of not knowing. In the same way, musicians in the 60s didn't know much. Two different stories but a similar invitation.
If we want to awaken our inspiration and creativity, we need to practice and nurture the wonder of now knowing.