Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for January 10th, 2016

True and false surfaces

with 4 comments

Suzan-Lori Parks

When I was having such a hard time finishing Venus last year, it was John Coltrane’s Blues Train that totally got me through that experience. I listened to that so many times. I must have listened to it a million times. Then it was also The Goldberg Variations, because Bach is like jazz. I don’t mean to say it that way, but The Goldberg Variations are so great. It does feed. It’s faith, structure. Sometimes if you have nothing else to balance you, you have to create a surface like a painter would. A surface on which you can build the foundation of the play. Some people use an idea, which I think is a false surface. I think you need some sort of structure like The Goldberg Variations…What a nice structure, how easy. So you have that surface, and you just do your thing. The same thing with Ornette Coleman. There he goes down the road, and then they all sort of come back together, and they might do something weird at the end, but it’s structure. It’s a kind of structure, so it sort of creates a surface. That’s why I steal from them all. I do. I steal a lot from these musicians because they have a great structure.

Suzan-Lori Parks, in Suzan-Lori Parks in Person

Written by nevalalee

January 10, 2016 at 7:30 am

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