Generic filters

Creation’s fever

Last updated Dec 19, 2019 | Published on May 22, 2015

Winner of a fellowship at the Bayreuther Festspiele, Mr. Griglio’s conducting has been praised for his “energy” and “fine details”. Mr. Griglio took part in the first world recording of music by composer Irwin Bazelon and conducted several world premieres like "The song of Eddie", by Harold Farberman, a candidate for the Pulitzer Prize. Principal Conductor of International Opera Theater Philadelphia for four years, Mr.Griglio is also active as a composer. His first opera, Camille Claudel, debuted in 2013 to a great success of audience and critics. Mr. Griglio is presently working on an opera on Caravaggio and Music Director of Opera Odyssey.
For a long time I thought it was just a myth, an old wives tale that people like to ramble about to look cool.

Until I experienced it first hand. I was writing the libretto for the opera “Camille Claudel” and abruptely Rose, Rodin’s wife, came into the scene. The scene is a fight between Camille and Rose, extremely confrontational and passionate on both sides.

As I was writing, I realized that my temperature was rising, I started sweating, my heartbeat increased considerably, my forehead filled with cold drops. My hands started to shake and yet I couldn’t stop.

I was fully focused but everything around me was blurred.

It happened again later on, while composing the opera and then again a couple of months ago, composing a song on a Baudelaire’s poem.

I must say, when it hits me and ultil it lasts, it feels great. It’s like your body is producing something you keep being high on. And when it’s not there anymore, your head is aching, your stomach is upside down and you just want to collapse on the bed.

Technically, it seems like creation’s fever and mental dissociation are very much alike. The difference lies in the fact that in the end (when you actually do get out of bed) the latter is a pathology while the former leaves you with plenty of satisfaction.

It deeply focuses the artist’s mind towards a specific point instead of being self-destructive, pouring all mental and phisycal energy into the writing. It manifests itself, at least for me, in a the form of a surplus of energy, an internal thrust that doesn’t leave me any choice but writing.

The difficult part is in between waves: creation, it seems, makes you exercise another art, patience. I take comfort in this by the fact that many other composers shared my same experience. Intuition, which can generate creative fever, is essential to art making. But the hard work that comes after is equally important. Patience is hard work too.

Stravinsky used to say: “I learnt to wait like an insect”. Nothing like a quote from a master to make you feel better.

PS: a good reading on creation process, offering a view from 25 american composers, is the book  “The muse that sings”  by Ann McCutchan.

Free Download

Conducting Pills

A FREE video series with an analysis of structure, phrasing, and, of course, conducting tips of repertoire works: from Mozart to Brahms, from Beethoven to Debussy. A new episode every week!

Pass the baton

10 chapters, 11 videos, practical exercises, and examples with scores: this video course produced for iClassical-Academy will show you, through a bar-by-bar analysis of excerpts ranging from Mozart to Mahler and Copland, how to build your own technique in the most logical and effective way.

Gianmaria Griglio is an intelligent, exceptional musician. There is no question about his conducting abilities: he has exceptionally clear baton technique that allows him to articulate whatever decisions he has made about the music.

Harold Farberman

1 Comment
  1. Teresa

    purtroppo mai provata questa cosa ma goduto assai dei risultati della febbre artistica!

Submit a Comment

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This