Saturday, August 10, 2013

Increase Your Creativity - A Tail of Failed Promises

Beauty shot image of "Increase Creativity", "Ignite Imagination and Insight" by Kelly Howell
THIS WILL MAKE YOU CREATIVE. Well, at least that is what Increase Your Creativity by Kelly Howell seems to promise. From its title, one would think that this recording shares the hidden secrets of the art of being creative. Unfortunately, this was not to be.
As a voracious business information consumer, I often supplement hard books with audio books. In general, I find audio books to be just as good as those of the regular page-turning kind with the added benefit that they can be consumed while driving. Thus, I do not think twice about buying anything from the business or self-help section in the bookstore in either form. Boy, was I disappointed this time.
As I begun to play what I thought was an audio book, it took me several minutes to get past the shock that the narrator was notably absent. After I realized that the terrible introductory music that's generally used to start audio books was in this case the main course, I was dumbfounded.
As someone who has been extensively linked to music at both personal and professional levels, it is very difficult for me to get past the point that the long notes contained in this recording would have a different impact on my brain than music from an improvised Jazz quintet, for example.
How was I to get to a creative state? For one, I have always found it much easier to day dream or enter a state of trance when listening to "real' instruments. Hearing synthesized or fake music, which is what this recording packs, is rather distracting to me.
Moreover, it is my empirical conclusion that tonality is inversely related to the state of detachment from reality when listening to music. Let me explain.
There is a fantastic saxophone quartet from San Francisco, California called Rova. All their music is completely improvised. While the musicians start and end together, not one of them follows any other during the song. They all fall on their own unrecognizable dissonance as each saxophone jumps from note to note. To me, Rova defines cacophony.
Yet, listening to their music live immediately takes me into LALA land. Endorphins kick in so rapidly that I begin to drift into a day dream almost as soon as they start playing.

In a way, their atonality is unpleasant. Yet, my subjective visceral response is fantastically vivid. It would seem as if the disorderly nature of my body's activity would resonate with the unlistenable noises they make. The experience is pleasurable in a odd sort of way.
On the other hand, Increase Your Creativity has a very tonal, albeit slow; a character that immediately annoyed me. It was not engaging at all. I know that it could be argued that it is not my kind of music. Nonetheless, I remain with the impression that the recording would exclusively provide its alleged benefits of boosting creativity on those who have just consumed illicit drugs. But for someone in the hyper aware state I live in, the recording seems like pure hype. I hated it as much as I can't stand people who waste their life consuming such drugs.
If this recording is a serious attempt at creating a tool that delivers its stated promise, I certainly doubt it. While I am happy being the statistical outlier, I revert to feeling that the recording is rather a piece of garbage. I would instead suggest that you enrich your collection of music and that you invest on a very good audio system. In that way, if your creativity doesn't improve along the way, you would at least enjoy the ride.
Photo image of two cartoon characters at the high end audio shop discussing the problems with Bose
Must Be Bose

On a separate note and while I am on my ass-kicking mode, I will end by suggesting to stay away from Bose. In the professional audio world, everybody has a saying: "No highs, no lows, must be Bose". To insiders, Bose is for the ignorant wealthy who prefers to impress their friends over listening to real music. There, I said it. I have knocked two ugly birds with one post.

Book Title: Increase Creativity
Book Subtitle: Ignite Imagination and Insight
Author: Kelly Howell
Publisher: Brain Sync
ISBN: 978-1881451501

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