Training is the more repetitive part of practice, not so much concerned with creativity but with exercises that are repeated, like fingering or stretching. Physical condition improves with training and is also lost without it. Like with brushing your teeth, it’s no good thinking you already did it yesterday. What physical abilities make your life a more enjoyable experience? How do you take care to ensure that they’re there when you need them?
Repetition and minimalism are two of the approaches with which postmodern music and dance in the 1960s questioned traditional forms. Attention is challenged by not feeding it with the contrast that it naturally gravitates towards. Instead, the same pattern or element is looped ad infinitum, with or without slight variation or developments. When we hold ourselves in there long enough, our perception will sooner or later switch into a different perception paradigm. John Cage said, “If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.” A bit like meditating. At first it may seem like nothing is happening, but at some point there is a shift in the mind and we start noticing the subtleties that usually pass us by unnoticed.
We are used to the idea that theatre, dance and music pieces are written and set, so that every interpretation is a reproduction of the original within a certain margin for variation. Notation can never capture every detail of action. The map can never be as rich as the territory. Already in the Baroque period, composers wrote scores that provided a backbone for musicians to improvise to. Wanting to perform a set script for our life is bound to bring frustration, because there is so much out of our control. However, we all have needs and preferences in life that we want to address. How about using a score to compose in real time in order to keep the essential orientation while remaining open and flexible regarding the way in which progress?