Would that I could write down my dreams. They are very complex. Containing plots, subplots, maps, familiar people in new context, or those same developed but with a new history because of different life events, it could be easy. Not a copyist, though, my memory for these complex stories is not that great.
But wait. My dreams arrive in layers, just like my art speaks in layers. Hmmm. The layers of my visual work come together in a process like pick-up sticks. Could one look at writing the same way?
I do have a tool, though, should an attempt be made. Months ago a very detailed map of the campus of Northern Illinois University was sent to me by a student group. Could not believe it! Devoured it. There is where much of my dream drama takes place. Checking my dream world against the real, it seems that the former is a combination of the campus of the University of Missouri and that of NIU. Makes sense.The map sent to me was much more complex than the above. It viewed the world of the university at an angle. Little rendered buildings popped up. The art building, of course. It suggested the highway which was the road to Oz, Annie Glidden, barbed wire. That map wouldn’t be stolen to put on another site. Sheesh.
Meanwhile, real life took me to St. Louis. Read almost two books during that drive. One old one, “Mozart” , by Marcia Davenport, written in 1932, is still steeping in my brain. And the old images from “Amadeus” provide more visual reference.
So this was Mozart’s deal, which makes the images from “Amadeus” more sensible. He had one kind of special memory, not to mention talent beyond comparison. He worked on his music when doing other stuff, tilting his head, accessing the special recesses in his brain. A multi-tasker. He put the entire piece, when finished, in a “pocket” there, fully realized, all parts.
The work was done, it only had to be copied out. What we saw in the movie, using his beloved billiard table, was the copying out phase, which was done perfectly needing almost no correction. He was under pressure, with better things to do, like sleep. Wet pages were raced out to the conductor and musicians. More than once, the overture was played for the audience at first reading by the orchestra.
The life of Mozart is also instructional to any artist. In his genius, he was forced to observe the success of much lesser artists, whether his assignment to the bowels of employment were because of jealousy, ignorance, or politics. He did not create an image of himself, he simply was himself. He thought that was enough, that the magnificence of the work would carry him.
It takes time for that, as we know. He was buried in a mass grave of impoverished souls.
One more thing to know about these kinds of brains. When commissioned for a requiem, his brain told him it was for his. It was not, but turned out to be. Brainpower.