The Geniuses


Imaged by Bessi |

By Muhammad Natsir Tahar

It’s hard to find creative passion from your comfort zone. Something that is stable even becomes the enemy of genius. Too miserable in the long run or too comfortable, does not cause celebrities to emerge from there. They live off the quick flash between the two. Even those who surf more in the sweep of fierce waves are the best of all.

Many great people suffer from illness and disability. Edison was half deaf, Aldous Huxley was half blind, Alexander Graham Bell and Picaso were dyslexic. Michaelangelo, Titian, Goya, and Monet all have illnesses that are the driving force behind their work.

Michaelangelo, for example, was in too much pain while painting the Sistine Chapel, which then gave birth to twisted figures. It even became the school of mannerism, the next great art genre.

Socrates had another misery, he had Xanthippe his wife, the most chatty woman in ancient Athens. The more Xanthippe babbled, the more Socrates went on preaching. And it seems that apart from the children, almost one Athena had scolded Socrates.

In a quiet room of furniture, a small piano the size of a child has been used by Beethoven to write his first and only opera, Fidelio, as well as a sweet short composition entitled Fur Elise. He knew he would be deaf and suffer from the loss of one of the most important senses in his world. But the deafness did not interfere with the creative productivity of the Maestro.

Vienna was the most musical city of the 18th century. Crowded and dirty, with noisy horse-drawn carriages, the sound of horse hooves pounding the cobblestone streets created a constant nuisance as well as routinely splashing dirt and dust.

Coolies spray the streets twice a day in their futile attempt to maintain sanitation. But the musical genius emerges like a Lotus flower, amidst dirt and chaos. Mozart and Beethoven two great composers –both 15 years apart emerged from there. Joseph Haydn, Bach and Handel too of course.

At that time the composers bounced and collided which then changed the direction of their speed and trajectory. Mozart and Bethoven, these two musical giants only crossed paths once, in 1787.

Bethoven was only 16 years old but already arrogant, he heard Mozart play the piano and then said his style was zerhackt, jerky. The two poles of a magnetic field should not be brought together. Similarly, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo snorted at each other.

Mozart loves money. He earned a lot of money but spent even more on clothes, fine meals, and especially gambling. Until he found himself owed 1,500 florins, worth more than a year’s worth of income at the time.

Until these debts became a source of misery, which prompted him to write more music. Without this bitterness, the world would not be able to thank him for so much of the beauty of his music.

Mozart composes symphonies like Pixar composes his films: designed for different audiences at the same time. But unfortunately he is a part-time world musician. The uncertainty of income and the crush of debt caused much grief and perhaps hastened his death at the age of 35.

Mozart once created a strange and shocking quartet. It was the result when he wrote it just as his wife was struggling with death to give birth to their first child. Everything that was uncomfortable gathered there when the music was born one after another with his first child.

An observer of Constanze’s music later confirmed that the quartet contained several passages that reflected his pain, particularly the minuet.

Throughout his life, Beethoven always found it difficult to shake off anxiety. It creates a messy room. An honorable guest from France described it as the dirtiest and nastiest place imaginable.

Damp spots covered the ceiling, an old piano covered in dust between the sheet music, a pile of pens with hardened ink, chairs covered in dirty dishes and leftovers from last night’s food. Or once in a while he takes a shower in the living room, wet anything.

But a great symphony has emerged from that chaotic situation. In a city that venerates music in the highest respect and admiration that can be transmitted to every single age.

They even wrote to each other, Mozart writing to Haydn, his mentor and adoptive father. Haydn taught Beethoven then was influenced by him. Beethoven wrote for the late Mozart, going to great lengths not to imitate him, to the point that his attempts have become a kind of imitation.

Einstein praised Mozart as something pure born of nature. Borrowing Zen philosophy, something that appears and astonishes the world is harmony, it will appear repeatedly from all other times and places.

Remember that the trio or anyone else at that time never wrote classical music, they were racing to perform the most spectacular symphony of their time. It is we who call it classical music, because we suffer from a linear monochronic understanding of time.

It was Wage Roedolf ​​Soepratman –a symphony that emerged from chaos– in the difficult colonial era. When the national anthem Indonesia Raya was composed and sung for the first time, he was hunted by the Dutch East Indies police, until he fell ill in Surabaya.

And when he broadcast his last song Matahari Terbit in early August 1938, he was arrested with scouts in Malang, then arrested and imprisoned in Kalisosok. Soepratman died on August 17, 1938, exactly seven years before the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence, August 17, 1945.

He did not have time to watch Indonesia Raya become the national anthem. As Mozart also did not get to see Beethoven grow up to be juxtaposed with his name in the future. Guys, stay in your comfort zone, or bring out your masterpiece and whatever will make you great! ~