As an extremely creative, reflective and philosophically/purposefully oriented person, I find it interesting how I work and function as an artist and individual – more specifically “how do I possibly survive the way I am?” Because some of the errors in my work habits can be just so pitiful, yet in the end they just fit together in the most perfect of successes. To put it concisely, I’m a hedonist, a daydreamer, and a very passionate one with a drive for perfection that motivates me for hours and hours without end.
I’m one of the impetuous hedonists who – when composing, is constantly hitting the “playback” button to make sure that the harmony and counterpoint sounds really nice for the instant gratification. It can even be so extreme that I simply cannot motivate myself for the task at hand – such as practicing a violin etude for more than ten minutes at a time before I revert to composing alternatives. But the thing is that just because I am a hedonist doesn’t make it a bad thing that shouldn’t be embraced to the fullest. On the contrary, it’s because of this hedonistic compulsion that I indulge myself to compose hours and hours a day, and because of it, I value my hedonism as my greatest asset. It’s this hedonistic unsatisfaction with my lack of harmony/theory skills that forced me to make it up developing years of contrapuntal mind training. It’s this greedy hedonism that motivates me to push my mind to include more and more and more layers of counterpoint in my music, to the point that I can include 3-4 parts on the spot with ease, not to mention 7 or so on score. It’s my hedonism that makes me throw out bad themes immediately and search so constantly for the great ones I can revel in. It’s the hedonism that makes me savor every second of the music I’m writing, and that really makes every second of the music count and worth listening to. Now of course, what I’m describing isn’t just hedonism, it’s also a drive for perfection that turns me into a workaholic. To give an example, on at least three different occasions this summer, I woke up at 11 am, started composing, and before I knew it I was lightheaded and drowsy and couldn’t realize why. The reason was because it had already become 8:30 pm and I hadn’t even gotten up to eat breakfast yet.
Ironically, the same hedonism that can’t get me to concentrate on a violin etude for more than ten minutes before starting to compose and improvise is the same motivator that can turn me into a workaholic of the dysfunctional Einsteinian order who’s too busy to even remember to have breakfast. And so, while wielded intelligently, it can become one of my most worthwhile and valued assets. And it really is, because do I really need to become a violinist or must I really do something I’m specifically and blatantly not motivated for? Not at all. After all, the concept behind capitalism was never that you need to do able to do everything well, or care to do it, just to be interested and very, very good at one thing and mass produce that ability. So, in a sense, it’s a good thing that as a kid, I was curious yet impetuous enough to write off strategy game creating, painting, novel writing, short story writing, filmmaking, inventing, designing, violin performing, playing chess, pretending to be superman and every other childhood whim that I had, because each one led me closer to finding the task I’m completely geared to. And so in that respect, I suppose it makes me a master of Fordism.