I was wondering the other day what inspiration and listening to music does for my composing. And I’ve found that I can divide the music I listen to into 3 different groups on an inspirational level:
There is the music that I can still listen to in the evening, even if the whole day has been about music. This is also the music that has a lot of atmospheric value for me and puts me in a nostalgic or meditative mood. But this music is specifically for listening! The kind of music I don’t want to analyse a chord progression and finally can stop thinking about my own demands or those of others.
Then there is the music that I admire. A melody that catches me, a form progression that surprises me, lyrics that tell the absolute truth or most beautiful story, harmonies that give me goosebumps on my arms and legs. Music that makes me a little angry about the fact that I didn’t come up with the idea myself. This is the music that I listen to so actively and intensively, as if I could transfer all these elements into my own writing. But often I have the famous fear of the blank page, when I intend to write music that has a similar effect on me.
This is the „I wanna sound like“ category.
And then there is the music that makes me want to compose and immediately sit down at the piano. Often it has to do with the artists themselves, who just glow with such a loving and grounded handling with their music. It seems that mental alignment is a very crucial element when it comes to making inner sounds audible and tangible.
When I improvise to my paintings I always notice that I simply have to decide to leave something as it is. To let ideas be as they want to left my head. Inspiration from sound rolemodels is important, but happens in advance. As soon as I follow it too much, I get a feeling of being restricted and wanting to force something.
So I try to let that go.
My task for one of the next paintings: choosing music that is instrumental and that has more atmospheric value for me.