Improvising with Mystery at CreativeMornings/Vancouver

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If you played an off note in the classical music world, you’ve made a mistake. And a big one at that. But what if it wasn’t? What if it was merely an opportunity for you to take the music down another path, merely adding to the mystery? CreativeMornings/Vancouver was thrilled for Craig Addy (Under the Piano) to speak and play on the theme of Mystery so we could all discover the inexplicable and unknown through his improvisation. Craig shows us how his odd notes lead him to a new business and a world where mistakes are never pushed away but embraced.

From a young age, Craig was always into making music, colouring, and drawing, mostly because his mother ran a kindergarten in their basement. His parents were gifted educators and encouraged play. Given such freedom, it’s no wonder he rebelled against the constraints many institutions tried to put on him. Growing up, he was as a classically trained pianist through the Royal Conservatory of Music, but there wasn’t enough space for him to truly ‘play’. It wasn’t until he reached high school when he learned the freedom of improvisation through the school’s jazz band. At UBC’s music program, improvisation was frowned upon, providing more frustration for him. And as many people’s lives go after you graduate from university, Craig was thrown off his musical path and went to work as a graphic designer.

It wasn’t until he spoke with a business coach that he realized how supremely unhappy he was with his life. Craig realized he needed to change and shifted his life back onto his musical path. From there, he’s made it his mission to incorporate more improvisation into his life. It wasn’t until he was in a piano store and crawled underneath a grand piano when his idea for Under the Piano came to life.

Under the Piano is an inherently personal and unique experience. Craig speaks with each person prior to the session, to set an intention or to assess what mood the person is in. From the conversations, the music that ensues is a physical manifestation of what the people described or talked about—the vibrations from under the piano provides an entirely new experience of listening to music. You’ll also receive a recording from the session you helped to co-create.

We need to treat our lives like improv: Make tons of mistakes because it’ll provide you with opportunities to explore the undiscovered areas of your life.

Check out his full talk and performance below:

CreativeMornings/Vancouver is a free monthly breakfast meeting for creatives, born to inspire, connect, and engage the community. Want to join us for our February speaker, Mark Haden, on the theme of Moments? Click here to join the waitlist.

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CreativeMornings is a monthly breakfast lecture series for creative types started in New York by Tina Roth Eiesenberg (Swiss-Miss.com). Each event is free of charge, and includes a 20 minute talk, followed by a group discussion and Q&A. The gathering begins at 8:30am with the topic presentation starting at 9:00am and everyone taking off for work by 10am. CreativeMornings now has chapters in over 125 cities around the world, including New York, Chicago, London, Zurich, LA, San Francisco, Berlin, Auckland, Milan, Paris, and Vancouver among others. The Vancouver chapter of CreativeMornings is run by Mark Busse (MarkBusse.ca) and his dedicated team of volunteers.