"The Place Where It All Comes From"

In Finding Inspiration in Improvisation, musician David Yazbek talks about "The Place Where It All Comes From, the place that Buddha and Jesus and these days Oprah talk about — The Now."

I’ve known clearly for years that that is where all my best work comes from and that 9/10th of my life is devoted to avoiding getting there. But I also know that when I can stop distracting myself and get there — writing or recording music — I’m a complete version of myself, open to an infinite source of creativity, and I’m happy.

I’m always looking for a ticket to Nowsville. These days what gets me there has something to do with what feels genuine and truthful, art as opposed to artifice. I’m not finding too much of it in modern music: the posturing rock, the stale classical institution, jazz, which mostly has its head way up its own rear, as does most musical theater, which really needs to open some windows and breathe some outside air. Exceptions like Jack White are few and far between, and I’d go anywhere to hear music that thrills me in a genuine way.

Weirdly, TV has been a reliable source of inspiration for me the last several years. Lately, it’s been Louis C.K., whose show is able to elicit sober introspection as easily as explosive laughter. He’s using his deep craft and gut instincts to make these exquisite half-hour movies and he’s almost always creatively in-the-zone...When Louis C.K. smashes us in the face with comedy that isn’t merely distracting, we’re all getting a giant hit of real art. Some of us will go home with that buzz and use it to help tap into our own creativity.

More on Yazbek.

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