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  • Writer's pictureJennifer E. Rose

Inspiration and The Muse

March 25, 2017

Someone asked me once how I get my musical ideas. She quickly followed up with, "What inspires you to compose music?" I find inspiration in many place

Inspiration to me means that I hear a musical idea or motive in my head and need to write it down. A muse is that thing (emotional pain in my case) that moves me to communicate on a level that does not allow for words. It is a musical prayer or a statement of my heart. When I am moved to communicate in musical terms, I can feel the music in my heart and hear many different motives in my head. When I am able to get the ideas out, it is as if I am putting together a jigsaw puzzle of sound. I know the piece is done when my heart is depleted and my thoughts are silent. Now, of course, I will edit scores and adjust articulations and dynamics, but the work is done before those edits ever begin. Honestly, for me the most difficult part of composing is preparing the final score and parts...that is the least musical part and the most tedious.

I am in the midst of a rejuvenation in composing. I am finding inspiration everyday and in the most unlikely places. That mundane and repetitious clunking of my windshield wipers, the consistent swinging click of my turn signal, the hum of the band room air conditioner in combination with the hum of the lights, the constant audiation of John Williams's theme to "Jurassic Park", the slight drag in my step when I wear a certain pair of shoes, the sound of the powwow drum during a Gourd Dance, the newfound-but already fading-trend of "bottle-flipping", and the list goes on. I have so much I want to get out, but I simply don't have the time to get it out there.

Until next time...

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