Drawing Inspiration from the World Around You

When you find yourself a little empty on inspiration, where's a good place to go? If you find yourself over-stimulated by a little too much next-level, innovative art around you, then maybe it's time to take it back to the basics. Let's go back to the source and listen to what it's saying. 

Now, when you’ve found yourself in this state, is the time to soak up the world around you. Have you allowed yourself to simply sit back and let your ears do the work? We’re often overactive listeners, especially as trained musicians, trying to pick up those mini nuances built into each and every riff. Sometimes though, we must travel back to a place where we listened with ease. Allowing nature to teach us it’s own song will provide life lessons on the organic cycles that are built around and within us. 

Research Gate states “The undersea songs of humpback whales are similar in structure to bird and human songs and prove that these marine mammals are inveterate composers. If songs can be defined as “any rhythmic repeated utterance, whether by a bird, a frog, an insect, a whale or a human being”, then humpback whale songs are constructed according to laws that are strikingly similar to those adopted by human composers. Singing humpbacks use rhythms similar to those in our own music, yet they could just as easily formulate free-form, arrhythmic sounds.”

“They use phrases of a similar length to ours--a few seconds--and create themes out of several phrases before singing the next theme. Their songs could easily “grow” organically without the need for repetition but, like human composers, these marine mammals prefer to reiterate their material. Whale songs fall between the length of a modern ballad and that of a movement of a symphony. Perhaps they have chosen the same length of performance as we have because, with their large cerebral cortex, they have a similar attention span to humans”.

Even if we count the natural song patterns of animals, plant and element life around us can often have even more patterns built in. Have you lent an ear to the rustling of the leaves? The way the tide goes in and out, like a symphonic crescendo that you can count on to be consistent? We can find a pure source of inspiration in these moments and create instrumentation to mimic both it’s smooth transitions and sometimes random upheavals. 

This is where true beauty is born. Often we listen and think too hard. Taking a step back is what can actually propel us forward in a new way. If we promise to at times simply be a witness to the world around us, we can pick up on the subtitles that we hadn’t noticed prior.