I finally joined the twenty-first century and got an I-Pod. Now I usually like to write in total silence, just my imagination and the clicking of the keypad, but a cool gadget like the I-Pod interfered with this habit.
I realize I risk dating myself here, but I’m an old California punk-rocker who cut her musical teeth on the Strokes and Plimsoles. Imagine my delight when I realized I could download juicy tracks from the past without having to buy the album; even better, my taste for Euro pop and ambient could be indulged and I wouldn’t have to pay import prices. A whole new world, this I-Pod brung me!
I’d forgotten how inspired I could be by a well-crafted song. Sometimes the poetry of the lyrics grabs my soul and I’ll rethink ways to put my own words together.
Such is what happens when I listen to the songwriter John Ondrasik from Five For Fighting. The song that always brings a lump to my throat is “The Riddle”
There was a man back in ’95
Whose heart ran out of summers
But before he died, I asked him
Wait, what’s the sense in life
Come over me, Come over me …
Ondrasik uses fresh metaphors and unexpected word choices for ordinary things. I’m always challenged to rethink my prose when I listen to him. “Superman” is a particularly good character study.
Other times it’s a feeling I get when I listen to a particular song. Kate Bush is an artist that sets my imagination flying. I can’t believe I waited until this weekend to download a collection of her songs, but once I did I kept playing them over and over. My favorite Kate Bush song is “Cloudbursting”. Remember this MTV classic? Or maybe you’re–koff–too young.
As I mentioned above, I’m a fan of ambient…music that’s combines classical with modern. It makes great background noise and can be the soundtrack to your own work. My current favs are E.S. Postumus and Iceland’s Sigur Ros. When I write to these artists, I seem to be able to access areas of creativity that I hadn’t been able to before. I also can write for longer periods. Scientific proof that music can support genius? I dunno. I just likes the pretty, pretty sounds.
Is your work inspired by music? Please feel free to share your favorites with us. I’m always eager to hear of new artists. My I-Pod has plenty of space on it left.
(My apologies for not embedding the YouTube image here–it made our template all wonky.)