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Arno Bornkamp, Dutch Classical Musician, Educator

My reaction to the concept of carrying weight has many facets.

If I think about the concept of influence too much, it can interfere with creativity. So, on one hand, I try not to be aware. I just try to create. On the other, when it comes to my teaching, I’m aware of what I think and what I share, and especially what worked in the past. There is security in what has worked. That said, discovery often occurs by doing the wrong things – we learn from our mistakes.

I once saw paintings by the artist Alfred Sisley, who was devoted to outdoor landscapes, and essentially always painted the same thing.

I also saw work that utilized the Droste effect, which is the effect of a picture recursively appearing within itself in a loop. In theory it could go on forever. It occurred to me that this is what I do as an artist. Why am I rediscovering myself again and again? I look at notes and how they relate to each other, similar to how syllables create words, and words create sentences. What is it that these notes have to do with each other? I keep looking, and keep trying to do the same thing in the next image, within the next loop. What effect does this have? Within the musical world, the number of people I may affect does not feel like a weight. The concept of carrying weight becomes a lightness.

The phrase to carry weight also contains the word “care”. This suggests that it relates to caring for something. If I care about something, will I have to carry the weight associated with it? There is power in caring, and a responsibility to act upon it. If you care about something, how do you prove it? You act. If you don’t care, don’t carry the responsibility. It can be very heavy if you don’t care, because you don’t want it.

After carrying weight for a long time, you may not need to care about it any longer. So let it go. It’s a bit like students, reaching the end of a degree. Let go. They’re on their own.


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