Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Motionless Music

It's still so strange to me to call myself an artist. When I was growing up, my visual arts skills were...well, practically non-existent. Even when I was an adult and first took up rubber-stamping, my own parents said my cards looked like a 3rd grader made them. And not a talented one, mind you. O_O But music... now I have always been into music. I sing, I play percussion, and I'm learning the drums. Music is, and always has been, the primary force which drives me. I call my iPod "my Ritalin", though it's my Prozac as well. Not to mention my meth, my ambien, and whatever other drug I need it to be. Music makes me move. But music can also make me mutely motionless.

"Despite its connection to dance, music is nonetheless the emblem of immobility, for when it is really great it seizes time and holds it still in an invisible grip." ~Mark Helprin

I wrote a few days ago how I create out of joy, not pain. Similarly, I create out of motion - frenetic motion - rather than stillness. I tend to pick music that keeps me at a certain sustained hum of mirthful a cute and stingless bee. And most of the time when I see artists talking about music for the's about music that makes them go. But it's good to stop and be still sometimes. And it's good to let the music hold you breathless while you feel parts of yourself you might have forgotten. Opening some of those closed places and letting in some air and sunshine. Like spring cleaning for the soul.

One piece that stops me in my tracks with its yearning loveliness is the Adagio from Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A Major. How about you? What music makes you still?

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