“We can play anything”: a conversation with Satoko Fujii on creative determination and the musical self

Image result for "We can play anything": a conversation with Satoko Fujii on creative determination and the musical self

A FREE PUBLIC EVENT

An interview and demonstration with Satoko Fujii
In conversation with Alister Spence

‘Unpredictable, wildly creative, and uncompromising…Fujii is an absolutely essential listen for anyone interested in the future of jazz.’ 
– Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

For virtuoso Japanese pianist and composer Satoko Fujii, the search for musical identity has been a long journey. Training in classical piano from an early age constrained her improvisational urge to ‘just hit things’ on the piano, to explore sounds in themselves. Later studies in jazz at Berklee College of Music, Boston, reinforced her view that following conventional approaches to improvisation and composition was creatively inauthentic. During further advanced studies at the New England Conservatory, pianist and improviser Paul Bley encouraged Fujii to pursue her musical ideas however inchoate they might have initially seemed. From then on Fujii followed her intuition unwaveringly and created sounds that she liked – ‘violations’, as she calls them. The determination to forge her own creative path has produced music that has brought international critical acclaim.

In this lecture demonstration, Fujii will reflect on the importance of curiosity and determination in creative development vis-à-vis the notion of talent. Allied to this is the discussion of the developmental relationship between personal musical expression, formal training and cultural background as exemplified by her engagement with Okinawan music and min’yo vocal styles. Fujii’s broader vision is of a vibrant, multi-faceted, and multi-dimensional music community, one that champions individual endeavour and a commitment to the creative self.

Read more about the Roger Covell Fellowship

On the night:
7pm – 7.30pm – Drinks in the foyer of Io Myers Studio with Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura
7.30pm –  8.30pm – Interview and demonstration with Satoko Fujii and Alister Spence

Finding us
Io Myers Studio is located at the entrance to Gate 2 High St, Kensington. Look for the Creative Practice Lab neon sign in our foyer windows.

Parking
There is limited parking in the Gate 2 area around Io Myers Studio but free parking is available from 6:30pm in the car park next to NIDA accessed through Day Ave.

Links
More information on getting to UNSW.
Download a campus map.  (PDF)

The ‘Imagine Meeting you Here: Fujii/Spence performance, education, recording project’ is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-Japan Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Want to Be More Creative? Do Something Mindless

CREDIT: Getty Images

It’s an obvious truism that creativity is the source of innovation which is in turn the source of business success.

Not surprisingly, most companies try to make their employees more creative, usually through brainstorming, collaboration and open plan offices that encourage social interaction. Unfortunately, these make people less creative.

Take brainstorming, for instance. According to research published recently in Applied Cognitive Psychology, individuals working alone are more likely to come up with creative ideas than groups working together.

Collaboration, same thing. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review cited a study of 300 organizations revealed that in most cases, as much as a third of the value-added collaborations come from only 3% to 5% of the employees. Similarly, a study at the University of Iowa showed that the most effective teams have an “extra-miler” who ends up doing most of the work.

As for open plan offices, they are so full of noise pollution and visual pollution, and create so many interruptions that creative thinking becomes almost impossible. This is because social interaction is the opposite of creativity.

Turns out that people are most likely to think of new ideas when their minds are wandering, according to research conducted at The University of York and the University of California Santa Barbara, (Classic example: having a great idea whilst in the shower.)

To be consistently creative, you need cognitive variety, says Emma Seppälä, Science Director at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, writing in Quartz:

“The idea is to balance linear thinking–which requires intense focus–with creative thinking, which is borne out of idleness. Switching between the two modes seems to be the optimal way to do good, inventive work.”

In her book The Happiness Track, Seppälä cites Nikola Tesla (who invented the key technology behind alternating current while taking a nature walk), Friedrich Augst Kukule (who figured out the structure of benzene while daydreaming) and Albert Einstein (who wrestled with complex mathematical problems by listening to Mozart.)

Unfortunately, today’s busy workplace doesn’t leave much time for letting your mind wander. However, you can put your mind into a more creative space simply by doing something mindless, like playing a computer game or even aimlessly walking around.

Thus, if managers and executives truly want employees to be more creative, they should stop trying to force the issue and instead learn to tolerate, and even encourage, employees to spend more of their workday simply goofing off.

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The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
[“Source-inc”]

Using creative capacities is like meditation: George Kembel

George Kembel says his current mission is to raise a global fund to unleash the creative potential of every human being on the planet.  Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint

Mumbai: An internet entrepreneur and investor-turned-educator, George Kembel co-founded the d.school at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California in the early 2000s. The school’s start-up design programme has had a remarkably global impact in terms of its intellectual, pedagogical and tangible reach. While most design programmes admit students with an art or design background, the Stanford d.school’s gospel is more secular. Its courses are offered to students from any of Stanford’s graduate schools, including those of management, medicine and education, as well as to executive education students.

Kembel’s current mission is to look beyond the Stanford campus. With Silicon Valley-style evangelism, he aspires to put together “a global fund to unlock creativity, to fundamentally transform how we educate our children, how we lead our organizations, and how we tackle some of the most significant challenges of our time”.

Speaking on the sidelines of the SingularityU India Summit, a conference on exponential technologies held in Mumbai recently, in association with ideas-and-conversation platform INK, Kembel shared his views on why design thinking promises a brighter future for all of us. Edited excerpts from an interview:

What is design thinking to you?

It is an invitation to a broader group of people to tap into their creativity, not just the people who thought they were creative. Somehow, I think, culturally, we’ve over-associated creativity with the arts. That’s a huge and important part of creativity. But for us everything is a creative act. Hiring is a creative act, designing a business model is a creative act, designing better ways for farmers to irrigate their land is a creative act, as is figuring out a fourth-grade curriculum, or a hospital space. Every one of those things has constraints, has humans involved, has technical issues, has business issues, and if you are trying to make things better, or create new value, you have to find unexpected ways for it.

[Source”cnbc”]

Japan Creative shines a spotlight on the “different characters” of the country’s regional crafts

Japan Creative

Japan’s unique regional manufacturers are put under the spotlight by Japan Creative, an organisation that has paired them with international designers including Jasper Morrison, Daniel Rybakken and Industrial Facility to create new work.

Japan Creative

British designer Jasper Morrison has expanded on his earlier Palma project for Japan Creative, adding a second tea kettle

The non-profit organisation exhibited for the second time at this year’s Milan design week, presenting new products based on laquerware from Sabae, paper from Shizuoka, cast iron from Mizusawa and Aji inscription stone from Mount Goken.

In previous years, it has instigated projects like Stefan Diez’ Soba furniture, made using unprocessed bamboo from the groves surrounding manufacturer Taketora in Kochi Prefecture.

Japan Creative
Morrison’s homeware is made at cast-iron foundry Oigen, which has been in operation since 1852

The organisation launched in 2012 and works to bring international attention to Japanese craftsmanship, or “monozukuri”, which locally is already highly valued. Each year it picks three of Japan’s many small specialty manufacturers to focus on, and then selects a designer from overseas to complement each of them.

“Each area has a different character, and it affects the manufacturer’s techniques,” said Maho Masuzaki from Japan Creative, explaining the country’s many diverse specialities.

“We focus on whether the manufacturer has some unique material or technique, not only traditional ones. First we select the manufacturer and then we think about which designer to put together with the company.”

Japan Creative
This year Japan Creative also launched kitchen tools by Leon Ransmeier made using Aji stone by manufacturers Shimamoto Sekizai

Many of these manufacturers have been in continuous operation for centuries. Industrial Facility worked with Sekisaka to produce the Store vessels based on the manufacturer’s 300-year-old laquerware techniques, while British designer Jasper Morrison expanded on his earlier Palma project, adding a second tea kettle created at cast-iron foundry Oigen.

The manufacturer has been producing this kind of ironware – named Nambu after the former ruling family in the Iwate prefecture – since 1852.

Japan Creative
Aji stone is known as the “diamond of granites” for its texture and sheen

Also included in this year’s new launches were a sound-absorbing hood made by Norwegian designer Daniel Rybakken and the Tokushu Tokai Paper company, and kitchen tools by Leon Ransmeier made using Aji stone by manufacturers Shimamoto Sekizai.

The stone is apparently known as the “diamond of granites” for its texture and sheen, and is usually used in gravestones, but Ransmeier used it in a rolling pin, nutcracker, and mortar and pestle to showcase its potential for “everyday use”.

Japan Creative
Industrial Facility worked with Sekisaka to produce the Store vessels based on the manufacturer’s 300-year-old lacquerware techniques

Industrial Facility’s Sam Hecht likened the country to Italy in the way it has managed to preserve its traditional crafts.

“With companies like Sekisaka, it’s very similar to Italy, where they are family companies that are generally handed down through generations,” he said.

“And the thing about family companies is, you can’t just stop. You can’t just close the door and say ‘oh well I’m going to do something else’ – you keep it going by default. So that’s why they have this ability to be able to adapt and to maintain their quality and their interests.”

Japan Creative
Industrial Facility’s Sam Hecht likened the country to Italy in the way it has managed to preserve its traditional crafts

Outside of Japan Creative, the country’s strong craft tradition is a frequent inspiration for designers. Barber and Osgerby worked with regional paper-lantern makers for their Hotaru lighting, while Nendo made a ceramic speaker in partnership with a potter.

Industrial Facility frequently works in Japan, including with the country’s design megastore Muji, which makes its products locally and recently collaborated with a number of artisans to introduce the handmade Tatazumai collection to its stores.

Japan Creative
This year Japan Creative also brought together Daniel Rybakken and the Tokushu Tokai Paper company to create a sound-dampening hood

“In Japan I feel the idea of craft – and it doesn’t have to be only handmade, it can be something that is produced in significant numbers, but still the process is crafted – people are really into that,” said Hecht. “There are tons of magazines that are exposing that in Japan, and it’s constantly part of the conversation.”

Japan Creative exhibited its projects during Milan design week at Palazzo Litta, where other works on show included bikes created by Punkt in collaboration with leading design schools. Its previous collaborations include works with Claesson Koivisto Rune, Nacho Carbonell and Inga Sempé.

[“source-ndtv”]