Musing over Music

We all have our muses, whether they be our own lives, mythology, or other works of fiction. One of my own most powerful ones is music.

As a musician myself, I am often hyperconscious whenever a song is being played over the radio or on my phone. While I am aware of the words, I tend to pay more attention to the notes that the vocalist is singing and the instrumental supporting those notes. My director often says that the singer and/or the melody parts are the icings atop the musical cake, and the rest of the ensemble play various levels of support, whether it be counter-melody or background. As a trumpet player, I often have the melody more often than the others in my ensemble, which consists mostly of saxophone players, but tend to switch easily to other parts as well.

However, I am sometimes stopped dead in my tracks over the lyrics of particular songs. When I am listening to the words of some songs, I am struck by the visual imagery that they can create, and the deeper layers added to that imagery by the instrumental beneath those words. While writing a piece for my first rotation turn on The Sisters of the Pen, I decided to take advantage of one of these instances.

Twin Skeletons by Fall Out Boy is a song that has always struck me as important to my own creativity. In my mind, it’s a very contemporary Gothic piece, and has just the right amount of creep factors. As someone who spends a lot of time within the contemporary Gothic genre, I found it an immense help in writing the piece.

What are some of your thoughts on music and writing? I think they can stick together like the perfect Oreo, or sometimes fall flat like an untuned instrument. It depends on the person, I suppose, as well as the type of music and writing being done.

Best wishes,

Skyler

Creativity Breeds Compassion

This is a beautiful post about the arts and what our world has become.

Clare Chodos-Irvine

The current state of the world, and especially America, my home, is heartbreaking. There have been more violent shootings in the United States than there have been days in 2016. Within a recent 24-hours, two pre-meditated shootings happened in the same city. One was the murder of 22-year-old singer Christina Grimmie, who I personally admired since she was about 19, for her incredible voice and kindhearted nature. The other was the brutal attack on a gay night club, resulting in the deaths of almost 55 members of the LGBTQ+ community and almost the same number of injuries. Although these two crimes were of different calibers, they reiterate clearly many issues that come up again and again and again within our society. It’s hard, seeing this type of violence happen somewhere I call home, to people I feel a bond with. Although I did not know anyone involved in either event…

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