Coach Creator

It Might Get Loud is a documentary that consists entirely of Jimmy Page, Jack White and The Edge swapping stories and deliberating on their experiences of coming into their own as musicians.  Jack White states, “It’s almost like having three carpenters sit around talking about the radial-arm saw,” or I would say, “three Maestros discussing the new timings of the FIE boxes and their impact on fencing in each weapon.”

I was struck by each of their stories describing their own individual creative processes.  Jack White, who would be the foil Maestro, is kind of “emo,” and was inspired by Southern blues roots.  He took the basics and colored it with candy stripes that evolved to a coarse sound, with a fierce showy edge.  His psychological and spiritual states are clearly revealed through his music and depicted by his stories of his experiences growing up. The director of the film, Davis Guggenheim, clearly tells a personal and propelling story of his evolution as a fencer, er… musician.

The Edge, or The Epeeist, is the technical creator.  He talks a lot about his amps and how he was able to see and use the machines that became popular in the 80’s to design the worldly sensation of U2. I wasn’t too impressed with his “playing skills” but you cannot doubt the genius of his work with these electrical machines.  I did find new respect for him as the movie wrapped his story up– he really is on “the edge” of the electrical guitar world, making musical discoveries in very new ways.

Jimmy. Man, I fell in love with Jimmy watching this movie.  I am only the millionth girl to do this I am sure (geez, I even refer to myself in third person as “girl”).  His playing has always been hot, but I had no idea he fenced sabre too!  He was cool, happy and joyous in the way he moves though the movie.  Nothing really fazed him.  He learned about how to play by being a studio recorder for many other musical groups.  He was an adapter.  He adapts. He knows true joy as is evident watching this film.  So fine, so fine.

Not sure why this movie hit me so hard…. It forced me to reflect on my own creative process as a coach.  It details when they “got it” and had that moment of intense, great creative insight that I think can only come if you work regularly at a craft of some sort. I can think of a few times I have had an “Ah Ha!” moment coaching.  The last intense one I had was giving a lesson at the last NAC.  Watching the fencer’s problems, seeing him fence, and in the lesson I realized how I needed to manipulate how his body was practicing differently, so I did, and it’s starting to work.

The fencer analogies are all in gist of fencing stereotypes, but I was also struck by how the musician’s personalities and personal experiences propelled the mode of how they explored creativity in music, not necessarily the means of how they did this, because they were all guitar players… Coaches, even though we are all sculptors of fencers, are all influenced by our experiences, histories and personalities, which affect the mode of how we create “the fencer.”  No doubt, what materials the student brings to the coach also affect the “final product,” or work of performance art, known as “the fencer.”  And of course, fencers have their own track with destiny. People are just not a ball of clay for us to mess around with! At some point the clay starts talking back at us, and it becomes truly a collaborative work. I hope to be a Master Collaborative Sculptor one day!