My music is a really important part of my work, it influences it to such a point that certain albums can make or break my artwork. It is not necessarily about the albums I love the best, sometimes an album I really like is missing the critical element that translates into my artwork. the important quality seems to be to have excellent and interesting composition and lyrics, complexities in music or story that allows my forebrain to concentrate on the music and my lizard brain to concentrate on the creation of art. being able to sing along is important as well – it’s something else that occupies my forebrain.
sometimes I will get stuck on one album and play it over and over again. if it is a golden album I will get fixated and it is all I can listen to while I paint – on loop, incessantly until the luck wears off. when the album’s magic finally dissipates it leaves me depleted, broken and bereft. it sounds stupid but a lot rides on these golden albums. here is a list of the music that have propelled my work each into new stages, the golden albums for my artwork.
March Of The Falsettos / Falsettoland – William Finn
25th annual putnam county spelling bee – William Finn
A New Brain – William Finn
Brooklyn the Musical – Mark Schoenfeld, Barri McPherson
A Night at the Opera – Blind Guardian
Nightfall in Middle Earth – Blind Guardian
Little Women – Mindi Dickstein, Jason Howland
Bat Boy – Laurence O’Keefe
Rent – Jonathon Larson
Jerry Springer the Opera – Richard Thomas
Passing Strange – Stew
Most of these are musicals because the story occupies my brain and holds it allowing me to move into the zen state the easiest. some of them are very emotional, which also helps for some reason. All have captured my sprit and my soul in some way indescribable. I enter into a relationship with these albums and you can often see the continuity and development of my works based on what I was listening to. when the relationship ends, when the golden moment passes, it’s like the ending of something wonderful – I can return to the albums like you can run into an old lover, and remember what was great to begin with but it takes a lot of time and a long break before I can embrace them again.
I have just ended my long affair with Passing Strange. I have been listening to it solidly for about 10 months – an amazing run. I think, in part, that is why I’ve been feeling a little lost in my work. I still adore it, it still has the power to move me in ways I have never felt before, but I think it is time I gave it a break. the last two pieces I tried to paint to it went…poorly. I will probably return to one of my old favorites for a little while (Bat Boy seems to have perennial magic) while I look for the next Big Thing.