The musician and the creative process.J Am Acad Psychoanal Dyn Psychiatry. 2005 Spring; 33(1):97-117.JA
Music is the embodiment through sound of lived experience. Conscious and unconscious modes of subjectivity are woven together in a tapestry of tone and sound, which is less about the world and more the symbolic equivalent of human subjectivity itself. Musicians through their interpretation of a composition invests their performance with self experience, and they come to experience themselves as vibrantly mirrored in the ideal form of the music. In other words, the musical performance is an opportunity for selfobject experience. Musical performance involves a two-phase process. The first is the practice phase, during which the musician seeks to achieve the experience of aesthetic resonance in which self-experience and music are brought into sync through the perfection of the performance. The dynamic role of selfobject failure and restoration in the musician's motivation to perfect the performance is stressed. The second phase is the public performance, during which the musician exhibits his or her ideal creation and experiences the mirroring of the audience. During these phases, there is a creative dialectic between internal and externalized aspects of self-experience. An examination of case material from analytic work with a musician shows how an inhibition in the creative process may be based on the expectation of selfobject failure, and how musical creativity can be facilitated through new opportunities for selfobject experience in the transference.