Inspiration: Music

Stef Conner, image via
Stef Conner, image via

When I’m working on a project, be it web development, sewing, jewelry design, or some other craft, I prefer to have some audio input to help focus my mind on the task at hand, as well as provide the occasional respite for my eyes and thoughts. Sometimes, this distraction/concentration tool takes the form of tv shows or movies, especially long fantasy series such as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. Lately, though, I’ve been peppering my media deluge with more musical interludes. Especially for complex or detailed projects, it allows me to concentrate more directly on my craft, while still at times enabling my mind to wander and let my hands get on with the crafting!

Recently, I’ve been gravitating toward more orchestral and instrumental music, which combine inspirational melodies with a sort of serenity that helps to center and direct my ideas into physical form. Within the last few weeks, I’ve come across a number of artists which complement my current mood and tastes perfectly, so I’ll share a few of those with you now!

First I was introduced to Zoe Keating by Imp and Petal, whose flowing cello music I think would be the ideal accompaniment to a snowy winter day, cuddled up in layers working on jewelry with a mug of hot chocolate. Of course, whenever I’ve had the chance lately to sit down for a solid few hours and work on my art, the Colorado sky has been stubbornly sunny and clear!

Next I discovered The Flood. What can I say? This collaboration is utterly mesmerizing. Stef Conner, Andy Lowings, and Mark Harmer teamed up to bring ancient Mesopotamian texts to life, with lyrics in Sumerian and Babylonian. As some readers may know, I studied Archaeology in college, with a focus on the Ancient Near East, and spent two summers excavating in the Syrian desert (just before everything went to Hell over there). I LOVE anything Mesopotamian, especially the mythology and writing behind those ancient civilizations. Ever get that feeling where it seems like something inside of you is breaking, but in a good way, because you can’t believe something so amazing exists? Well, that sort of happened for me when I discovered this project and was subsequently blown away by the preview tracks. Anyway, the album is available for pre-order, which I fully intend to do very soon. Also, any other Near East fanatics out there recognize the playable recreation of the Bull-Headed Lyre (of Royal Cemetery at Ur fame) that Lowings created and subsequently used for this collab?!

OK, finally, there’s the soundtrack from Only Lovers Left Alive. I saw this movie a few months back and immediately fell in love. Side note: not long after, I was able to see a midnight showing of it at a local theater and came home with a free release poster! ^.^ My partner, Jannus, was immediately hooked as well, so as gift (to both of us, of course), I bought the movie and soundtrack, and have been listening to it almost on constant repeat for a few days now. The music varies quite a bit throughout, but it is all consistently, hauntingly beautiful. I find it quite soothing while working on jewelry, and I suppose it helps (or not?) that scenes from the movie randomly run through my mind while listening!

Anyway, I hope that gave you a little glimpse into my current preferred environment for creative endeavors and/or gave you some interesting new musical avenues to pursue. My musical inclinations shift all the time, so maybe I’ll do another “installment” in a few months if you found this helpful/interesting? Let me know what you think, and maybe suggest some of your favorite creative music! <3