Monday, May 21, 2012

The Inspiration of Music

"Music is the only source of energy that I have known in my life that gives humans a chance to be instantly transformed into spirit."

- David Darling, Composer/Cellist

Listening to certain genres of music can make one feel one way or another. Lately I've gone back to listening to classical and new age music, the music that when I was younger inspired much of my writing and art, and in particular the music of David Darling and Ludovico Einaudi. The music is very soothing, calming, especially Darling's, and I play it with the volume low in the background while I write. For the past few years I had never been able to write with music playing, and music with singing was definitely out of the question, for it distracted me. But finding the right artists for me has helped inspire me to write more than without. And it's not just writing, it's when I draw as well that music is helpful in getting my artistic juices flowing, and if I were any kind of musician, I would think listening to works of other musicians certainly would inspire one's own work.

During the winter I had started listening to a radio program I used to adore when I was a teenager; I'd stay up late on Sunday nights, tape recorder going, listening to the Hearts Of Space program. Through their program I discovered artists I would otherwise never had heard before, and most likely wouldn't be listening to to this day: artists such as Enya, Loreena McKennitt, Richard Burmer, Steve Roach--and the list goes on and on. This past January I was introduced to Ludovico Einaudi and loved what I heard on that program. I have since bought six of his albums and listen to them a lot. On the way to work and back I have Einaudi playing in the car, when I'm writing I have his music playing on my computer. Without that program I may never have discovered my now favorite new age/classical artist. His music and Darlings puts me in the right mood to write in my novel. And being in the right mood really makes the muse happy and makes me more productive.

Music also has a way of bringing with it nostalgia. Listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival brings me back to my early twenties, driving down dirt roads in my home state of Michigan or floating down a river or fishing on Thornapple Lake. Alice In Chains and Sound Garden reminds me of friends in high school I no longer see nor sadly keep in touch. Listening to R&B, pop or rap brings me back to when I lived in the Detroit area. I do like all sorts of music, and I've noticed over the years my tastes seem to change depending on my living situation as well. My more "rebellious" teenage years I listened to grunge and rock, when I lived in the big city, it was music which was more popular within that demographic. Now that I'm back to writing, I've returned to the music which inspires me, and who knows? In the future my tastes may yet change again, but I will always go back to the music that me and my muse love.


DLM said...

Do you listen to music while you are actually writing? I haven't for a long time; I wonder sometimes whether it would help or hinder me.

K.E. Skedgell said...

It used to hinder me, and I still can't listen to music with singing. It distracts me too much. Light music that kind of just fades in the background helps with my mood. Nothing loud. Then there are those days I can't have any music or noise at all, and those days I usually end up not writing anything and just goof around on the internet.