Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Practice--Purposeful Music for Creativity & Artistic Pursuits

Mural at Boulevard Park, Bellingham, Washington

Perhaps I take for granted my multimedia approach to artistic projects.  Art involves all the senses, even the 6th sense to such a degree that it seems foolish not to play music in the foreground or background when in the throes of making art.

For instance, some writers prefer silence or the birds in trees or wind flowing through an open window while other writers play their favorite music to get them into the flow.  So let's look at the musical benefits for writers, both fiction and non-fiction.

As we know music creates flow and works different parts of our brain with some music bridging the gap between the left and right hemispheres. For writers who are also musicians, taking a music break.  Playing an instrument or singing enhances our creative problem-solving abilities while engaging us deeper into the flow.  Certain types of music also uplift us, put us in a good mood, and help us to release doubts, worries, fear and anxiety.  I recommend sound healing, especially Reiki healing videos you can find on YouTube.

Writers and I would imagine, all artists benefit from using brainwave enhancing CDs.  These recordings feature Alpha, Beta, Theta and Delta brainwaves, but use the brainwave recording that keeps you alert and focused as opposed to tempting you to take a snooze early in the day.  Check out the label Sounds True for these types of recordings.

Music helps us to create movies or flowing images in our minds. If we are writing flowing literary fiction for instance, then listening to classical or melodic music that moves at a slow to medium pace works best.  People who write action-packed novels would do better to listen to faster paced music.  Also match the music with the setting and personality of the characters in your stories.  I select pieces of music as themes or motifs because my novels and short fiction run like movies in my head and there are few movies without musical soundtracks.  The music also keeps me awake when I feel exhausted and don't feel like writing.  In this regard, I use music to keep me motivated and on track.

Painters, sculptors and other designers benefits from playing music in the background too.  I don't think I've ever visited an artist studio where music of some kind or another wasn't playing in the background.  Some artists use the music as motivation or as a way to create rhythm and tone in their work.  Since music also is made up frequencies and vibrations, the artwork exposed to music absorbs those energies, in the same way that Dr. Masaru Emoto's water absorbed musical vibration from musical recordings.  And if the patrons are sensitive types, they pick up on the musical vibes in the artwork on a subtle level.

Since art involves reflective and active periods, listening to music also enhances the imagination or daydreaming stages that occur before we manifest our work in the world. Music helps make the intangible tangible by revving up our imaginations and recharging our passion to create something new.  Music inspires us and sometimes the themes of the music creates the art.

Of course we know that music plays a huge role in the performing arts, but music enhances the creative process period whether we're designing a new line of clothing, cuisine, a new living space, or woodworking.  However, having said that, watch out for and eliminate the following:

  • Music that distracts 
  • Music that depresses or causes anxiety
  • Music that takes over the senses 
  • Music that puts us to sleep
  • Music that jars the senses and leaves us feeling hyperactive 
  • Music that feels like a drug

The key is to use music to enhance the artistic experience and not to show off musical tastes.  Exploring different types of music also enhances the artistic experience because this process opens our minds and our hearts.  When we open our hearts with music, everything flows, including prosperity into our bank accounts and patrons for our work.  Try it.