What stands between composing music and the world feels like a void that I simultaneously crave and loathe. On the one hand, I seek those moments when I am alone and self-absorbed over a score in progress. On the other hand, I reject the thought of being a loafer, oblivious of my surroundings, because in the end it is all about making a connection; it is about being in tune with the world.

The Creativity of Loafing: Ricardo Lorenz in Venezuela, May 2009.

The Creativity of Loafing: Ricardo Lorenz in Venezuela, May 2009.

What I mean is that composing music, like any other art, requires knowing when to immerse oneself into a vacuum and when to surface out of it. It requires negotiating between the oblivious attitude of childhood and the tenacity of someone running for government office. While it requires a marathon runner’s resolve and discipline to bring projects to completion, composing also relies heavily upon the creativity inherent in the act of loafing.   Being idle can cause surprisingly original and spontaneous music to emerge.

Inside of the void I care only about musical flow, elegance of gesture, rhythmic intricacy, and unexpected harmonic shifts. Outside of the void I strive to evoke human drama through music, often fantasizing that I can be an agent of change or that, in the least, my compositions are imaginary solutions to real problems, as Claude Levi Strauss described culture’s role in society.

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