Hi, I’m Sarah. I absolved the preparatory course ‘Filmscoring and Production’ at Musicube Academy and now I am a third year student of Composition for Film and Theatre. In this blog I’m gonna share my personal experience as a student at ArtEZ in Arnhem.
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I am a person who enjoys quietness very much. Of course, I also need my social contacts, but I do seek silence very often. For a composer who spends a lot of time alone in his chamber, this is of course an advantage.
Last Thursday at ‘The minds ear’, a very exciting sentence stuck with me again. If you manage to focus and concentrate completely on one thing, you can find silence everywhere.
Every one of us knows this, but I was never aware of it. For example, when you’re so absorbed in a book that you don’t hear when there’s a knock on the door. Or when you’re daydreaming you don’t notice that it’s actually freezing. Or even when you are in class and don’t follow what your teacher is saying because your mind is somewhere else 😉
In these moments your ears don’t stop listening and the temperature doesn’t change either, only your focus changes and so your perception.
Yesterday morning, when I got up motivated to work, I poured a cup of tea over my MacBook. Since I could no longer work on my projects, I now had an unexpected day off. And even today, my work is staying put for good measure.
So when I woke up this morning, I decided to read a bit first. The exciting thing was that I encountered the same principle again in my book. Here the author said that any art, whether sports, music, painting, etc., is so fulfilling because you get into a state of perfect concentration. In this perfect concentration, your head stops thinking and you become empty. A stillness spreads that is so restful and relaxing.
In this state, you are free from expectations, desires, and any pressure. But to reach this state is not easy. Few people, especially film composers, manage to get out of their own way and let themselves go completely. However, the stress level in the industry is high and only a few know how to deal with it.
I don’t always get into this state either. But when I do, working is a blessing. I forget about time, creativity comes naturally, and even physical feelings like hunger or cold are muted. Often, especially in studies, you have to do things that are not so much fun or particularly challenging. Then it comes down to not constantly telling yourself that you don’t feel like it or focusing on how difficult the task is. My mental training teacher once said, “You have to go into it with the attitude that it’s easy and you’ll find it gets easier.
It is not without reason that masters of every kind also practice mental training. Everything starts in our mind and the most important task we have to learn is truly the mastering of our thinking, stopping judgment and finally learning how to concentrate perfectly. Once you achieve that, then you can find silence anywhere, whether it is in a noisy crowded city center or when your neighbour is listening to music while you are working 😉
All the best,