Samek Music

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Perspective – Seeing is not always believing

Perspective

Perspective could be compared to the lens through which we see ourselves and the world which will be heavily influenced by so many factors. Some from external experience and some internal  workings of our emotional sense of self which combined will effect how we think and what we do.

It is an almost indisputable fact that each one of us will look at a picture, see a view, hear a story, interpret a news headline quite differently. Take this idea into the context of relationships we form with others and how each one of us will feel a different emotional response towards another person whether in a social or work situation, even from one day to the next! Accepting as we must the part our emotions play on our perspective (some might be more familiar with the cup half full or half empty concept), I feel certain that no one could deny the inevitable impact on our behaviour.

One of the critical factors which can play a decisive part in influencing perspective is what in science is referred to as ‘Vicarious Experience’, defined as an incident we have experienced. This could involve something said to us directly, something we heard being told to another or even something we saw or read. Whatever the source, somehow the resulting effect touches us and in turn touches our emotions to leave an indelible memory. A vicarious experience often lurks below the surface but invisibly colours perspective when a particular situation activates that memory; sometimes positively, often negatively.

Take this potentially volatile unregulated and unquestioned perspective with its powerful influencer of emotions into practice and performance and you have a recipe for chaos. And yet the reality is just that for those who accept (without questioning) that emotions are simply part of being creative, being artistic. Some might shirk the idea that applying methodical systems with formulated strategies on what rely exclusively on creative intuition might indicate some failing; ultimately interpreted as a lack of talent.

Yet alongside the high value we place (quite correctly) on intuitive spontaneity, imagination, and inspiration we are also exacting in the importance we also place on accuracy, precision, technical command, and indeed musical integrity. In which case is this really going to be realised by taking a chaotic and unsystematic approach. While we can not turn off our emotional responses or how we are feeling on a particular day or that we have certain internal anxieties and doubts, surely the prospect of an alternative more reliable and purposeful approach must warrant further investigation.

I believe labels are hugely important as I believe they help to identify concepts which in their illusive state can cause us trouble. Revelation comes from knowledge, understanding, the courage to reveal a cause from which we then can apply reason. ‘Out of sight out of mind’ or ‘if I don’t think about it, it will be ok’ and the many unhelpful short-term fix phrases will not exact a long-term solution. Our perspective is heavily influenced by how we see ourselves and our potentially prejudice belief systems. Go into a practice or performance with volatile emotions and no systematic and methodical process to manage the untamed forces of a skewed lens and we have inadvertently increased the risk factor of failure 100 fold! In simple terms it is like playing the lottery in directing perspective appropriately to the needs of the task in hand or having a blurred vision causing inefficiency by misappropriated diagnosis caused by the emotional lens dominating clear thinking.

Perspective is an amazing natural human resource but one which demands science rationale to ensure it is ‘fit for purpose’. Untreated and unregulated it will cause distraction and destruction, refined, and managed it will give an immense depth of understanding and awareness that will enrich and elevate our performance beyond what we might have thought possible. While the definition of creativity includes: Responsive, Imaginative Inspirational, Sensitive and Musical. The definition for scientific includes: Objective, Accurate, Clarity and Control. It is time to put prejudice and ill-conceived notions of science quashing creativity. In so doing, acknowledge the part which perspective plays, a force for good or a force for self-harm impairing our ability to do, give and be our best. Rather embrace the tremendous importance perspective alongside the many science concepts and labels which will inform our understanding ensuring creativity which we so cherish will be fully realised enriching every part of our performance.