Bill Bruford Says He Is Interested In The Psychological Aspect Of Performance

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In an interview with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, former drummer Bill Bruford recently detailed how he started questioning his creative process. Bruford shared that he tries to navigate creativity from a psychological point of view.

Bill Bruford initially gained recognition as the drummer and percussionist of the progressive rock band Yes. He played in the band’s first five albums during his first tenure, including ‘Time and a Word’ and ‘Fragile.’ He also contributed to the records as a writer. After parting ways with Yes, he joined another progressive rock band King Crimson.

The musician recorded and toured with King Crimson between 1972 and 1974. Following his departure, he toured with Genesis and U.K. He also formed his own band, Bruford, which disbanded in 1980. Later, he reunited with King Crimson for three years and collaborated with different names like Patrick Moraz and David Torn.

In 2009, Bruford announced his retirement from professional drumming and focused on other projects, such as the operation of his record labels Summerfold and Winterfold. He released an autobiography and earned a Ph.D. in Music at the University of Surrey. The former drummer has now come to the fore with his speeches and writings about music.

Recently, Bruford stated that at some point in his life, he began questioning what creativity is in detail. He was exploring what he was creating and why he was creating it. Bruford revealed that he began to be more interested in the psychological aspect of performing. He was curious about the underlying meaning of creativity and how this meaning could help musicians discover themselves.

Bill Bruford said the following about his point of view on creativity:

“I came to the idea of creativity really late on. Musicians can sit around talking about creativity, saying, ‘Gee, we’ll be creative tonight.’ I don’t want to do that. I’m sure the great artists in the past didn’t do that one way or another. Later on in life, I started to question what it was I was doing and why I was doing it, and I got more and more interested in another aspect, the psychological aspect of performance.

Why do musicians do the things they do? Is there anything creative about it? If there is something creative about it, how does that affect the performance? So, how’s the influence of that performance? Is there any way that we can help musicians if we investigate that, trying to find what musicians want, what they do?”

You can check out Bill Bruford’s explanation below.