The fine arts, to me, are closely related. The emotional appeal of a great book seems similar to that of a painted or sculpted masterpiece. So I find it helpful sometimes to use another artistic genre to inspire my writing. Lately, I’ve turned off the news stations during my commute in favor of music. Same for those hours at work spent on less cerebrally taxing tasks—I’ll pull out the earbuds and channel whatever strikes my mood.
Thanks to iTunes and a wealth of online music stations, I’ve been experimenting with new genres, as well as revisiting classics and long-forgotten songs of my youth. This week’s playlist has included everything from the synthetic music of Dutch duo Tennishero to British sophisti-pop group Swing Out Sister. On Wednesday I had an inexplicable jones for some disco, and found an old video of Andrea True singing “More, More, More” on YouTube.
But clearly the most inspirational music for me is still classical. Give me Mozart, Bach and plenty of Vivaldi. Something about that music gets my creative process going. Perhaps because of the complexity of their baroque compositions, the music seems to affect both the conscious and subconscious areas of the brain, and it’s the subconscious that needs to work on the plot, themes and characterization necessary for a writer to compose a story that is both entertaining and provocative. I find that solutions to story barriers occur on a regular basis while I’m listening to classical. No wonder some scientists recommend classical music for everything from infant brain development to helping cows produce better milk. As far as I know, the only drawback to listening to classical is the concerned stares from coworkers who catch me waving the air baton.
But that’s just me. What music inspires you to write? Or do you get your inspiration somewhere else?
P.S.: Thanks to blogger friend F.P. Dorchak’s recent post at Runnin’ Off at the Mouth, which got me thinking about this.
Next week: I’ll be on vacation all week on the Oregon coast, so there may not be a SatMoPo next week. But who knows, the ocean vistas may prove even more inspiring than music.
 There are all-Mozart and all-Bach channels on the web, but alas, no all-Vivaldi.