Music Transforms My Art And Soul
The other day I had a hankering for some REM
I discovered REM in high school. They were my 1st concert, and there is something sacred about attending your first concert. (Being dragged by your parents to a Engelbert Humperdink concert doesn’t count!)
I spent a glorious morning painting my son’s room while listening to old REM songs (never quite got into their later music after the Monster album), reminiscing about high school, and my 1st few years of college.
REM will always remain close to my heart for being there for me in those formative years. They will always transport me to another time and place.
Music can also transport me to a place I’ve never been. Yesterday I went for a run and allowed my music to randomly select itself. (Which meant there were a few Christmas songs in the mix * Mental note- take Jingle Cats off my playlist!) Solea, a Miles Davis song from his Sketches of Spain album began to play.
In my mind it was a hot, sultry night in a spanish hacienda, and an old romance story was playing itself out. I’m not sure of the characters or what was happening, but I could definitely see a Frida Kahlo sort of woman with dark hair piled high on her head and ruby red lips.
The trumpet was intoxicating and nuanced. Miles Davis wielded his trumpet as an artist paints with a brush. Amazing, what a great musician can do with an instrument!
It actually wasn’t the best song to run to, but I’ll give it a pass since the music filled my mind and soul.
This past June I began a new 365 project. In attempt to keep my creativity flowing, even through the dry periods when I’m unable to paint (Like much of the summer while the kids were home!), I decided to attempt a drawing a day based on a song I’m listening to.
While I can’t say I’ve been consistent (aka: not daily like I had hoped), my sketchbook is slowly filling and I’ve found this exercise to be quite freeing. It also gives me an excuse to listen to music. Really listen.
What I’ve found is that I’ve been given a deeper appreciation of musicians as artists and my artwork has become a sort of tribute to their work. I’m not sure if my art is what they imagined as they play (if they imagine art as they play?), but it sure has meaning to me.
Every color, line, or dash I create pertains to something I’ve heard or felt as I listen. The swoops, the circles, and the scribbles correspond to a repetitive measure, a soft refrain, or a loud, raging line to a song.
The best thing about this exercise is that I feel disinhibited as I draw. No one needs to see them unless I choose to share. (I do share every once in awhile, especially on my Instagram account.)
Music has become another vehicle to express myself, even though I am not a musician. It continues to transport me and inspires my creativity. It strikes a nerve within me (a reference to an old blogpost on music) and I am grateful to use the gift of sound to feed my art.
How does music feed your soul? What song transports you to another place and time?