An Artistic Connection

My head is full of new ideas as I head back to NYC after the ISJAC symposium (International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers). It was an opportunity to meet and hear many great composers, such as Maria Schneider and Billy Child and John Hollembeck.

It made me rethink many things.

Rafael Piccolotto de Lima - ISJAC presenter

I have been pondering about the sense of community around artistic projects and how to further foster those beautiful connections between artists, collaborators, participators and fans. In the position of a composer and director for a few large ensemble projects I feel that it is my responsibility to do all that I can to strength those connections and facilitate the engagement of all parts.

Seeing what an artist like Maria Schneider did in terms of creating a community around her work is very inspiring. Beyond her music, which is amazing, the impact of her artistic projects on the artistic community is quite remarkable. 

Having all that in mind, I have a number of ideas that I want to share, including the creation of new and exclusive material for this community, a community beyond geographical boundaries, happening in the physical and digital world. If you have interest in being part of it, please subscribe!

I’ll be sharing those ideas and exclusive material with everybody who subscribe via email!

And talking about creating and sharing material, I know that my last vlog post was months ago and I apologize for the delay. I have all the material filmed for a number of episodes but didn’t have time to edit it yet. I’ll promise I will work on in as soon as possible!

Musical parts, a strange pleasure

Here is a thing that brings me a strange pleasure: tapping musical parts. But there is an important detail: it cannot be any part, it must be MY parts!

This is one of the most tedious tasks I’ve ever done, and trust me, I have done it a lot! But at the same time it represents the end of a creative cycle, the last step before the musical realization of an idea that once was only in my mind. It is a proud and exciting moment when I look at printed notes on the page and realize that I have in my hands the physical proof of something completed, something that took me countless hours envisioning and struggling to make exist for others.

It is even more exciting when it is the day before you have a rehearsal! Not that I recommend anyone to finish a project at 5 am like I did this night… And other nights too.

Last vlog I talked about perfectionism, procrastination and work obsession. I just concluded passing trough all those stages that are – in different proportions – part of every project I do. Now I can proudly go to sleep and dream about the next challenge, the next step of the musical process: taking the notes out of the page and translating it into real audible music! One of my favorite parts of the process.

Perfectionism, procrastination and work obsession

I’m a perfectionist.

Many times I ask myself if this is a blessing or a curse.

By definition, a perfectionist is someone who demands perfection of himself, herself, or others. It is a personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection and rejects anything less. Whatever perfection is - but that is a subject for another vlog.

Perfectionism can be a great thing. It makes you try to be the best version of yourself in whatever you are. The problem is that many times, it may stop you from doing things that you consider you are not “good enough” to do.

We perfectionists deal with our own angels and demons: procrastination and it's counterpart, obsessive work.

This vlog episode, like much of my life, is the story of my own struggle between these two. It starts with a coffee break with my friend Joana. Actually it was not a real break.  Before that, I was checking my email messages - the voice of procrastination had been getting to me, and of course, I was pretending it is the most important thing to do at that time.

The voice of procrastination can be very helpful in the sense that it can let your work “breathe”, it allows you to mature your ideas, but it is very-very-very dangerous in the sense that many times it takes away your focus, time, and can even prevent you from completing the work you intend to do.

The voice that pushes you toward obsession can be very helpful in the sense that it can make you advance full speed your project, or at least improve in the best of your current abilities, but it is very-very-very dangerous in the sense that it can blind you from seeing other important things, make you walk in circles looking for perfection, and ultimately can lead you to a complete unbalanced life.

New York, the best and worst

New York has always been a favorite destination for me. I came to the city for vacations with my family, a 2-weeks workshop in filmscoring at NYU and my premier as a composer at Carnegie Hall, but never for an extended period.

The reality of who actually lives in the city is very different than the one of a traveler. This is the reality and the histories I want to hear from my friends who live in New York. I wanted to know their opinions about the best and the worst about living in the city. 

Where dreams (can) come true

A long distance journey pursuing a big dream is almost a narrative convention in most fairytales stories. The same has been true to my live, almost as a necessity.

Six years ago I planed to come to the United States. Now, after more than five years living in Miami, I look for the next destination in my journey. New York, an old dream of mine, seems to invite me for the next steps.

Why Share?

In this digital era of social media the concept of "sharing" gain new meaning, a new proportion and new powers.

I'm not saying that in the past we didn't share things, but it was limited to the people we meet personally, or to those we decided to call to tell the news. Only the big corporate media had the power to disseminate information in big scale.

Now this is changed. Anyone with access to the internet has the capacity to share an information with dozens, hundreds, thousands of people almost instantly. So then I ask myself: "WHY SHARE?" and also, maybe even more importantly "WHAT TO SHARE?"

My idea with this series of VLOGS itself is an experiment and an exercise in sharing.

In this second video of the series I decided to exaggerate: share the kind of thing that I would not normaly share. And for what reason? Question myself. Question yourself.

rpl vlog 001

After 10 years of having a youtube channel and more than 100 videos posted, I decided it was time to start a different video project for the channel. It was time to add another element to my internet presence. So yes, I started a proper vlog! My goal is to post a new video every week!

I know it will take a good amount of my time and energy to produce it regularly, but I felt it was the right moment to aim for a different kind of bond with the people who listen and follow my work. I hope you enjoy!

If you haven't subscribed yet, please do! =D