FULL-TEXT AVAILABLE IN PRINT EDITION ONLY     You haven’t picked up your guitar in weeks, if not months. You stare at the staff paper and the rows of empty lines burn an impression on your retina. Is this just writer’s block, or is it gone for good?
Many artists have an up-and-down, on-again-off-again relationship with their muse—that cruel mistress, that truant slacker. Clichéd and romantic as the idea of a muse may be, such metaphors may be the only way of talking about the unquantifiable phenomenon of creativity, especially in the abstract, amorphous world of sound. And many artists hang on to a sense of shame when it comes to creative dormancy, as if it’s a sign of failure, that you’ve really lost it—or maybe you never had it to begin with. Damned by the notion of genius, we begin to believe that creativity should just flow out of us.
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Image: Bassist Clint Conley on stage post Mission of Burma reunion. Courtesy of the artist