Kieran Klaassen

I'm Kieran, a creator and engineer, composer and baker. I craft with love, creating code to croissants. My journey is one of curiosity and discovery, guided by a simple vision: to inspire and be true to myself.

Systems, Structure, and Creative Freedom

Creative Process

Why Creativity Needs Rules

When I was younger, ideas swirled in my head like a whirlwind, beautiful…until they scattered. Only when I learned to build walls – not out of fear, but focus – could my storms take shape. Systems became my shelter, where the restlessness turned into something creative.

As a young musician, the world had endless options. Systems in music and daily life became safe harbors where I could play. My system was like building a sturdy sandbox – I had space to experiment, and my ideas wouldn’t spill out and get lost.

Composing in Miniatures

That daunting blank page before composing? I learned to trick my brain. Like Schönberg with his miniatures, I’d break the goal into five bites instead of one symphony. I’d write a musical snippet, just a taste, then another, and another. Suddenly, I had a collection, and that finish line didn’t feel so distant.

My composition, These/These, was born like this. My melody felt like a spark I didn’t want to lose. Those systems I loved? They were like fanning the spark into a bonfire. The piece felt strong but with space for the melody to breathe. It was a balance I was proud of.

<div]( style=”font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;”>EnsembleFive · 4. Kieran Klaassen - These / These</div>

The Power of the Grid

My obsession with structure found its way beyond music. Grids… not just those on music notation paper, but everywhere I looked. The clean lines of beautiful typography, the way well-designed pages guide the eye, and even the invisible layout of thoughts in my mind have a structure supporting them.

A grid brings a tangible framework to abstract ideas. It tethers those sparks of creativity, giving them a place to settle and burn brightly.

From Museum Visit to Creative Insight: Rebecca Morris and the Joy of Structure

Sometimes it’s the simplest works that have the most unexpected impact. While exploring the Museum of Contemporary Art, a piece by Rebecca Morris, resonated deeply with my own creative approach.


Unlike some contemporary art that demands attention, this piece invited me in with its quiet intrigue. It looked like a series of miniature paintings, each with intricate details and subtle variations. Initially, it was just playful and fun, but that feeling evolved. Looking closer, I found a sense of peace amidst the structure.

Each square, while imperfect, felt deliberate. Its details weren’t about showing off, but about small joys of mark-making. It made me realize my own perfectionism is often a creativity killer. Morris’s piece didn’t just visually please, it reminded me that the process itself can bring happiness. It’s within those little details, and the space for play within a framework, that the magic can happen.

Her work sparked a shift in my thinking. Structure isn’t about limiting myself. Done right, it becomes a launchpad, freeing me from the fear of a blank canvas and letting me start and build something worthwhile. This, to me, is the true gift Morris’s piece offered – a simple reminder that creativity can be found and nurtured, even within the tightest of spaces.