Long ago, I heard a lovely definition of creativity: “Finding what has been lost and making it new.” I’ve never been able to track down the source of that definition, but it’s stuck with me. We’ve all heard there is nothing new under the sun — and we can certainly extend that axiom to the knowable universe – but the number of things that have been lost perpetually increases. Maybe newness is a matter of perspective, of encountering and arranging the things we have lost into formations that engage us in new ways.
I’ve just completed a new brass quintet that takes this proposal literally. Called Lost and Found, it arranges rediscovered objects (toy, frog, bicycle) along with concepts (love, fear, memory) into a design of aphoristic compositions, linked by brief passages of rummaging. The objects and concepts themselves are nothing new, but their juxtapositions put them in an unfamiliar – and therefore revealing – light.
Lost and Found is in fourteen attacca movements, ranging from 6 seconds to two-and-a-half minutes in length:
I mentioned the brevity of these movements in my last post. The effort to say a lot with a little, to find the infinite in the infinitesimal, to speak with restraint rather than bombast – this is where I feel I need to be right now.