I went to see a cello recital at the Royal College of Music, a neighbour of RCA in South Kensington. The building of RCM faces straight to the Royal Albert Hall. The space in between makes me feel dramatic whenever I walk there, especially in late afternoon.
From time to time I feel like making use of being in London more and dive into to something without thinking much ahead. When I watch the cellist playing, I am inevitably reminded of my experience of playing the contrabass. When he, for example, does arco on the lowest string with an accent, it makes me recall the moment of doing the same action on the contrabass. My mind seems to be somewhat thinking he/she knows how to act like the cellist just because of the comparable shape and scale of the instrument and the akin posture of the player despite there being so much difference in the volume between cellos and contrabasses. Indeed I'm able to more clearly imagine the kinaesthetic sensation when I watch someone playing the contrabass. Interesting how intensely this kind of empathic imagination works even for an amateur player like me.
Another thing I was thinking, or was invited by the music (and the venue) to think, was: whatever kind of objects -music, art, dance, or anything- it is, ideas that are quite unformed in my head start to crystallise vividly during the appreciation of the works. Presumably the senses which cannot be experienced in sitting in front of a desk stimulate the seeds of ideas lying on the bottom of my mind and lift them up to the surface. This sort of ideation seems to work better when the work is not too exciting and interesting to keep my full attention. The similar thing was mentioned by one of my colleagues in Design Research at RCA. He said that he does not see the exhibits in detail but just skims the works and it helps him generate new ideas. Actually the internal exhibition happens very frequently at the RCA, and it takes more than three days if you have a look at all the works seriously in the final show or the Work in Progress show. Something which you know is important yet cannot explain will be collected and make a reaction happen in the mind.
Once this magical reaction happens, the Shostakovich cello sonata already fades to a BGM-level. All I have to do now is to rush to the studio and try the fresh ideas (or at least just take notes/sketches). Such spark occasionally happens while taking a shower or sitting in a boring meeting or lecture. There seem to be multiple kinds and levels of spark e.g. only a bit of the problem in my research become solved, or a new idea suddenly appears regarding living that I never thought seriously.
The last and sad fact I must say on this is that writing a blog post seems not the very catalyst to crystallise the magic out.