Plant this Seed, Grow a Garden: Explorations in Creative-Collaborative Provocation
In this thesis I explore a particular kind of collaborative process where partners are invited to transform one of my own pieces in their own way. I begin by sending the same initial piece of music to a filmmaker, a dancer, a taonga puoro musician, two visual artists and a poet, and ask them to create a response. I, in turn, compose my own responses to each of these works and compare outcomes. This is an appealing collaborative model as it offers partners a high degree of autonomy in their own creative processes, while also providing them some guidance with which to structure their responses.
The model also encourages me to consider new pathways in my own creativity. Each collaborator’s work represents an intervention into my creative process, provoking unforeseen reactions and leading to novel solutions. This kind of deliberate intertextual thinking has similarities to the ‘provocation operation’ described by De Bono, or Eno and Schmidt’s Oblique Strategies. It also leads to a careful re-examination of prevailing models of musical transmission and problematises traditional notions of ‘the work’. The resulting pieces are diverse and yet intimately connected, illuminating the interwoven nature of communal creativity even in cases where individual backgrounds, methods and interpretations differ significantly. The portfolio is in two parts, contrasting this collaborative model with more conventional creative frameworks and thereby examining the advantages and pitfalls of this collaborative approach to musical composition.