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Communal creativity

Looking back along the path from Blackburn to Nunawading

“We all gravitated to that space. It was free, it was accessible, because not only did I find a music that I loved, I found a community I felt part a part of and I found my best friends.” – Femi Koleoso

Growing up in a flat city with sweeping skies and fields and the Southern Alps a stones throw away have given me a taste for huge open spaces. They are the perfect place to think and to let thoughts and ideas bubble up.

The stretch of path between Nunawading and Blackburn train stations is like an oasis for thinking and processing – a decent stretch of road with a great view of the sunset, reasonably quiet except for passing trains, and lots of indigenous plants and birds to look at.

I’ve been thinking a lot about communal creativity this week. A jazz-groove band from London called Ezra Collective has just released an album called “You Can’t Steal My Joy”.

In an interview with Loud and Quiet, band leader Femi Koleoso says, “…that feeling of joy of being together – that’s what matters.”

In another interview with Beats 1’s Julie Adenuga, they say, “The success of the music is less important than the success of the relationship of the band.”

There is something magical about having the right combo of people in the room together, creating something tangible, something beautiful.

Creating communally with people you know and trust, with people who get you and are willing to ride on the waves of creative impulse, take music making to a deeper place than, “that sounds nice.” The music shifts to a place where the chemistry on stage infects the whole room.

I’m curious about how else I can shift my creativity to being more communal and collaborative. And I’m ready to pick up my tools and get stuck in with the work and the stories at hand.

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