A couple of weeks ago, I talked about trying on other creative roles, suggesting that we often identify ourselves in a certain way and it can sometimes keep us in a box so it can behoove us, if you will, to try something new to inspire us and to see things from a different angle.
Today I’d like to talk about being inspired by art forms other than those in which we currently engage.
As a musician, for example, I am often inspired by the music I hear, by the elegant poetry of the lyrics, the unexpected chord progressions or the effective production of the recording. And, while I would never attempt to take from another’s work, it is only natural for a person to learn from the work of others in their field.
But I can also learn and grow as a musician from things that are not music-related. My musical inspiration can come from many places, and by that I do not mean seeing daily events as thematic material for my work. There’s more to it than that.
Sometimes dancing can make me think of music. Sometimes a scene in a movie can bring melodic motifs into my head. These are obvious pairings as most dance is performed to music and there is a musical score behind most films.
But it’s not even about these art forms working together in an expected way.
When I was directing a musical earlier this year, there was a character in the show who was a refined and, yet, passionate man of Russian background. I suggested to the actor portraying him that he view videos of the amazing figure skater, Victor Petrenko. I gave him this homework because I wanted him to sing and act like Petrenko skated, with that technical perfection infused with emotion that was both moving and mesmerizing to watch.
When you watch a great new film or one of your existing favorites, notice the pacing of the action of the dialog. Notice the setting. Can you use any of the stylistic or linguistic techniques to enhance your own work? What would the bold colours of a film from the 1960’s look like as a musical piece? Does a brush stroke in a painting make you think of a haunting cello line? Does that small statue of a little girl in the museum inspire a poem or, perhaps, an entire novel telling her story?
This is all about creating a kind of artistic synesthesia, if you will, whereby the different art forms inspire and fuel each other. More about synesthesia in a future blog post.
In Swimming Tigress Music news,
We are now well into September, the new lesson season. So, if you or anyone you know is looking to experience the joy of learning to sing, I am currently accepting students in person and via Skype for the upcoming year. You can find more information on the Music Lessons page on this site and then contact me through the Contact page if you have any questions.
Well, that’s all for now. Have a fabulous day!