Fire Flames

One of the greatest qualities music has is its ability to inspire.

Music turn to music for inspiration for endless endeavors, like working out, schoolwork, processing internal emotions or ideas, and dealing with stress.  Music has the amazing ability to speak to whatever a person is going through.  We might find an emotion or idea shared with a particular artist or song, or might discover emotions or ideas in ourselves we did not know were there until music spoke to it.

Music truly is powerful.

I personally love working out.  I’ve always been a very active person and as I’ve entered adulthood and the school sports and things have come to an end I’ve developed quite a love for fitness.

Music and fitness are closely related, of course.  Go to your average local gym and nearly everyone will have headphones in, grooving to their personal playlist that motivates, drives, inspires or energizes them.

What I’ve always thought is funny about myself is that my energy levels, motivation, inspiration or whatever you want to call it hasn’t ever been strongly connected to the music I’m listening to.

I’m sure I’m not the only person like this,  but rather than needing high energy, loud, fast-paced music to fuel my intensity I need either music I like or no music at all.

I can legitimately get super hyped and fired up by a song or album or artist not necessarily because it is hyped and fiery, but because I just like the music in general.  I’ve been known to work out very intensely to classical music or jazz.  I do have some heavier sounds I’ll turn to on occasion but it’s definitely not the norm.

I’ve even had some of my best training sessions with no music on at all.  Depending on my mood music may even just annoy me, preferring the sounds of the weights and the company of my own thoughts and emotions to fuel my focus.

A buddy of mine is the exact opposite.  He does a similar training regimen as I do but also does mixed martial arts.  He’s truly a fighter in the gym and life.  He goes hard in everything he does, 110%, even in his landscaping business he owns.  He’s like most exercises I know.  He loves and feeds off face paced, high energy, loud and even angry music on a regular basis.  If we trained together and I pumped so Beethoven or Louis Armstrong he’d laugh in my face or maybe even get frustrated.

I guess I’m a weirdo in that respect.  But that’s the beauty of music.  It truly has the power to reach any type of person.

 

The Grain

When beginning any creative endeavor a crucial choice must be made.  The artist must decide how to navigate the world of risk.

It’s pretty easy to see what success looks like in the creative realm.  Movies x, y and z followed this template and everyone loved them and they made tons of money.  Authors x, y and z followed this story arch and everyone loved them and they made tons of money.  Musical artists x, y and z made songs in such a way that delivered catchy, like-able sounds.

But what if you want to break away?  Most artists genuinely do.  Nobody pursues an art in the hopes of simply mimicking some other artist.  Inspiration and copying are different things.

The risk/reward paradigm of breaking away is extreme.  You could start a new trend, break new ground, speak to an emotion or idea in a completely unique way that touches the masses.  If this happens you’re sure to make millions.  The reverse is also possible.  Ridicule, scorn, and misunderstanding potentially await you.  You could be broke and lonely for a long time.  Of course your work could become famous when you’re old or deceased but what good does that do you or your kids now?

When it comes to music I love music that pushes the boundary.  But by its very nature of pushing the boundaries I also don’t like a lot of music out there!  As you may have guessed from the video on my homepage my favorite band is Mewithoutyou.

Mewithoutyou  definitely pushes the boundaries.  while their Pandora Radio station is pretty solid there isn’t a single band on it that sounds like them! This is a true testament to both their ingenuity and their brilliance.  They’re a very successful indie band but are not millionaires by any means.  They have a powerful cult following but never transcended into the next stratosphere of success (don’t think they wanted to).

Another testament to Mewithoutyou’s uniqueness is it legitimately took me two years before I began to appreciate their music.  My friend would tell me how awesome this next song was, what it was about and why, and I just couldn’t get into it.  Like the finer things in life the taste for Mewithoutyou was acquired, something musicians and artists in general fear too much.

So next time you hear music you don’t like try and appreciate that the artist is trying to actually create something unique (unless it’s country music that doesn’t count it’s not creative or good).