Thursday, April 10, 2014

Music and quiet

Silence: the exterior sort is often inspiration for creative work, and the interior sort is that, too, and is also part of creation itself

So it might seem a paradox that music is very often a gateway to silence. However, when you think about it, really think about and feel music -- and especially if you are a musician yourself -- you’ll come to know that music arises out of silence. It’s not just, hey, we begin! music is, if it’s really good, continuing of and sharing of the inspiration and conversation that begin with that interior quiet. That’s a thought which sounds like another paradox even as I write it, but that makes it no less true.

That idea of creativity arises from silence -- sometimes long quiet, sometimes just the beat of a breath between observation and connection -- works with other sorts of creativity, as well. The dancer in the moment before the dance, the chef at the moment of connecing ideas are also there in that silence. As I write this it is National Poetry Month in the US, so I invite you to think about how this might apply in that area. A recent trip to spend time with the paintings of the Glasgow Boys at Kelvingrove in Glasgow had me reflecting on how this works with visual art as well, especially, for example, the two very different paintings of the Victorian scene in Stirling Station and the evocation of druids in Bringing in the Mistletoe.

Musicians paint their pictures on silence, as the saying goes.

Music to go along with these ideas

Cathie Ryan: The Farthest Wave
Kathy Mattea: Calling Me Home
Hanneke Cassel: For Reasons Unseen

and this Eddi Reader: Wild Mountainside

You may also wish to see
Music, meditation, creation
Cathie Ryan: teaching tradition
music, silence, and spiritual journey

Photograph of a wild mountainside in Ireland is by Kerry Dexter, and is copyrighted. Thank you for respecting this.

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Anonymous Brette said...

That is interesting because for me writing arises out of silence also.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Alexandra Grabbe said...

I, too, value silence for creativity. This spring I have noticed how the music of birds calms the soul. I often think about how different society might be if our young people didn't listen to such raucous music.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous merr said...

The quiet...this is what is so meaningful to me as a creative.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Jeanine Barone said...

Always loving the music you post. But I'm one of those creatives that actually requires a noisy environment to create. Who knew?

12:53 PM  
Blogger Jane Louise Boursaw said...

It wasn't until I started going to a weekly yoga class that I realized the importance of music and quiet. And how helpful music is to focus and getting into my inner being.

2:08 PM  

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