Being creative isn’t always easy. There are certainly the fireworks moments where you are overwhelmed by an idea and hold on to the handle of a bottle rocket that shoots you into whatever it is your “thing” is. But most times, being creative is a willingness to sit down, push through your doubt and fears, and apply sweat and hard work to creating something. One of the things that helps me in times like that is music.
I’m in the middle of writing a book right now. And as I do, I find myself consistently returning to four bands/people/albums for musical inspiration:
1. Explosions in the Sky
I’ve written about these guys before. They create big, wide open, haunting yet strangely hopeful music. Sometimes I can’t listen to songs with lyrics while I’m writing or the words of the song bump into the words in my head and get all tangled up. Here’s one of their songs that I really like.
2. John Williams’ Harry Potter Soundtracks
I love John Williams. He did the score from Star Wars, ET and a million other movies. I have a few of the Harry Potter albums he did and find it easy to get into a creative space when he Williams does his thing. (Especially the score from the first movie.)
3. Glory Revealed
This is a great album. Glory Revealed essentially a random collection of different musicians singing Bible passages. In moments of creative discouragement, it’s encouraging to return to music that reminds me of who the creator of all creativity is. (Check out the Zephaniah 3:17 song, that one is perfect.)
4. Bob Schneider “40 Dogs.”
Schneider is someone I’ve written about before and was actually the subject of a Serious Wednesday post once. His song “40 Dogs” is one of the happiest songs I’ve ever heard. The rhythm, the lyrics, the joy expressed in it, I love it. As he sings to a girl, at one point he says, “You’re the color of the colored part of the Wizard of Oz movie.” Great line. Here’s a video of the song. I didn’t pick the official one because it started with an ad.
What music inspires you?
What music makes you feel creative?