Monday, December 2, 2013

The Transformative Power of Music

There’s a long history of the creative arts being linked—visual artists garnering inspiration from musicians, visual artists moved by poets... music begetting dance, dance begetting poetry, poetry begetting song. A tradition of creative growth, an evolution of inspirational symbiosis that continues forevermore.

(That’s pretty much straight from my first year of creative writing, by the way... feel free to Google it. I’ve basically remembered—and lived—that, along with the internal struggle of killing the baby, which I’m currently living..)


(Note:  No worries, said baby is figurative—there’s no actual baby killing going on, so don’t call the authorities. The baby is my manuscript, and the entire phrase is a metaphor for embarking on the editing process, so chill.)

Music has always been inspirational for my writing. Not simply lyrics, but musical scores as well. Atmospheres, emotions evoked—it doesn’t always follow a song to the letter, but if it does, it can give me the chills.

Even if only one line applies to my work in progress, I can fluff up a vision all my own; a personal, mental music video that I will relive every chance I hear that melody.

Of course this is equally a blessing and a curse.

The blessing of course being the ease with which I can slide into an emotional atmosphere conducive to the tone of a particular scene, and motivating myself to write.

The flip side of this is the ease with which can slide into an emotional atmosphere conducive to the tone of a particular scene—regardless of situation, be it at the laptop or driving the car—and have reality melt away in the onset of mental immersion, or find my mood affected instantly.

Mr Lannis knows certain songs to avoid, certain artists I gravitate to and therefore shouldn't be on a playlist for a long drive. Others I’ve managed to hide from him, but there are some he knows without a doubt transport me elsewhere.

I think the easiest way to explain the sensation is when a particular piece of music is tied to a something of your past, and whenever you hear it you’re suddenly shifted; you find yourself reliving that moment in time.

In my case it's usually reliving a scene I've written.

Many writers have playlists for particular works. I know I do.

And sometimes I need to remember the basics; to use the tools I have to help bridge the gap I’m living.

Music will get me back in the mindset of my broken manuscript, and hopefully allow me to fix what needs fixing. And I've been putting it off far too long.

I need to let music return me to Jane.




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