As I’m sitting writing this blog post, the soundtrack to Prince Caspian is playing on my little CD player (I’m an old fashioned girl and have not yet succumbed to the wonders of Spotify). I usually skip to my favourite tracks; one of which is ‘The Call’ by Regina Spektor, a quirky singer with a beautiful haunting voice.
This post is really about how music takes me to a place where I can get lost in my painting and somehow frees up my mind to create. Numerous dissertations have been written by scholars on the power of music and the effects it has on the brain but I don’t regard myself as an expert and certainly won’t be presenting you with a dissertation!
I am a classically trained musician and remember purchasing a ‘Baby Mozart’ CD when my first daughter was born. The term ‘Mozart effect’ described how playing Mozart could contribute to the positive development of the brain. I like to think I bought it just to help her sleep rather than in the hope of raising a genius!
When I was in my teens I occasionally tuned in to the Top Forty on a Sunday evening and bopped around to Bananarama and The Bangles but most of the time I listened to classical music which undoubtedly made my friends think I was a bit weird!
I still love Rachmaninov, Vaughan Williams, Delius and many others but my newly resurrected Faith since moving to Devon has lead me to modern Worship music. It has been described as ‘Christian music’s Coldplay’ which is a pretty apt definition in my mind! To anyone who is curious and thinking of dipping their toe into this stunning genre, I would recommend Matt Redman, Kari Jobe, Hillsong and, if you are into a good old Irish jig, the joy that is Rend Collective.
Much of my work is inspired by my Christian faith so when I hear the beautiful lyrics sung by these worship heroes it somehow reconfirms the intent and the message I am trying to convey. My hope is that the love I put into my creations is felt by those who see them, not necessarily because I want a sale (which is always a good thing!) but because I just want to put something positive out there. I’m not an evangelist who will stand on an old box yelling to every passerby that if they don’t believe in God they will go to hell (those people give Christianity a bit of a dodgy reputation but good luck to them)!
The great musical artist Bob Dylan who was quite deservedly awarded the Nobel Prize for literature last year, once said:
‘The highest purpose of art is to inspire. what else can you do? What else can an artist do for anyone but inspire them’.
So paint, make, knit, sculpt, print, crochet, compose, embroider on dear friends!
And play some nice music while you’re at it!