The travelling mindset: a method for seeing everything anew

Blier-Carruthers, Amy (2016) The travelling mindset: a method for seeing everything anew. In: Walking Cities : London. Camberwell Press, London, pp. 249-281. ISBN 978-1-908971-49-4


The Music section of the book Walking Cities: London focuses on walking as a source of inspiration and reverie, and on the correlation between walking as a method or process and the discipline of learning to observe the small details of one’s life, surroundings and artistic practice. Musicians are often engaged in the act of making and doing, but how might they capture these processes in order to be able to look at them more objectively? In order to look at creative endeavour as a social practice – to capture fleeting processes rather than focusing on an end product (the final performance or the finished composition) - they need different tools. By using a walking methodology to observe the details of their familiar surroundings, musicians and other creative practitioners may be able to discover a new objectivity, a renewed self-awareness, a new view of space, time, and self. As a musicologist and violinist, Amy Blier-Carruthers has developed a research area that focuses on how musicians engage in the act of music-making, both in a live orchestral context and a studio context. Her chapter elucidates ways in which it is possible to capture and reflect upon artistic process, using ethnographic techniques such as close observation and the taking of field-notes, as well as by entering into a ‘travelling mindset’ that tries to see familiar things in a new light.

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