What’s in Your Playlist?

Music comes in a lot of different flavors. If you ever listen to the podcast, Sound & Vision, you will know that the host Brian Alfred considers the music he listens to as an important aspect of his own artistic process, and thus the interest he has in the musical influences of those he interviews for the podcast.

My own personal musical tastes run far and wide. If you have read more than a couple of my newsletters you probably have some sense of that. Music is nearly always playing in my studio in one form or another. Depending on the task at hand that music can change drastically.

When was the last time you listened to Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor? A musical construction that is that complex, that involved, and that epic might seem to be a distraction to creating work that requires dedicated focus. This particular piece is so visual, so cinematic — yet I find that it allows or maybe even opens up pathways to deeper engagement with my artwork.

As we have made our way through a full year of this pandemic, we can’t help but come to feel like we are left up to our own devices now more than ever. For me, that has granted permission to explore the possibilities of how we can get to where we want to go, to a place that I would be content to be.

What might those things be that will allow you to turn on all the right parts of your brain so that, ‘you get on the bus Gus?’ In the parlance of our time, could it be a new ‘playlist?’ Could it be studying an artist that you don’t know so much about?

Keeping the arteries pumping that feed that creative monkey on our backs is essential at just about any cost. Or maybe better said, we can’t afford not to keep them pumping.

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