View Full Version : Does Music Inspire Your Creativity?

Mary Riggs
08-21-2003, 02:58 PM
A thought entered my mind just now as I was painting about music and its role in my creativity. It helps to strengthen the "flow" or stream of ideas/thoughts for me.

So, I am interested in knowing what type of music inspires you, if it is distracting to your creativity, what type of music turns on your "flow", and if you like music playing while creating, and why does it inspire you?

08-21-2003, 03:06 PM
YES !!! Music is my very first source of inspiration

Classical (Bach mostly)

House music


Down tempo

Why ? ... to take a walk on the white side...

Mary Riggs
08-21-2003, 03:32 PM
Axxxxel, what is "house music"?

........to take a walk on the white side Could you explain this also.

I am intrigued why these types of music inspire you. Would you go into it further?

08-21-2003, 03:38 PM
Hi Marry

What a difficult question :o

rhythmed purified ...

No sorry

just too hard

You have to listen to ;)

Can do nothing on a forum :o

08-21-2003, 04:19 PM
Music, by itself, does not inspire my art; however, I think it is part of the package that inspires me. I normally have only a slight idea of where my work is going when I start and I know that the music I listen to while I sculpt does influence my movement with my tools and materials.

I really find this is true with some of the techno stuff. I like the Opera meets techno and trance.

08-21-2003, 04:47 PM
i've listened to music since i was a baby. it does'nt directly inspire me, it's more indirect. all the music (and media) that i like forms a gumball in my brain, so to say, each new piece of media i absorb gets stuck onto the gumball, which has been growing since i was a baby, then i extrapolate the sum of the gumball's contents into my art; i don't hear a piece of music then say wow that inspires me to create something immediately.

i never listen to music while creating, too distracting.

60's psychedelic rock



are the only musics that inspire me visually.

08-21-2003, 06:00 PM
...just total silence.

08-21-2003, 10:08 PM
Did many of paintings to Miles Davis: "On the corner"
on repeat for hours... Very um.. . Non relaxing....
The tension in this album could feed a rubber factory
If youve heard it youll know why.

Ohhh just the thought of it is making my hands want to dance.

08-21-2003, 10:23 PM
Punk rock
metal rap
good indy rock (not pop)
industrial (so called)
listen to them all while working

many of my pieces take titles from music

Yes it influences me. It sets my work rythm.

08-22-2003, 03:26 AM
Sometimes, if I change the music halfway through something, I find that the way I work changes too. I find that music most definitely influences my choice of color. I also end up painting to the tempo. My choices in music run from blues to motown, classic rock, to country, but I find jazz or classical music distracting.

08-22-2003, 03:44 AM
I paint mostly to classic 80's rock or my hubby playing anything from classical guitar to rock. Music impacts my mood in a huge way but I'm not convinced it sets the tone for my art. I can say I find the beginner lessons (he teaches) a bit distracting at times so I go for a bike ride.

Don Berendsen
08-22-2003, 06:39 AM
Last weekend I was working on a still life with an emphasis on symmetry and proportion, and I found Bach's Brandenburg concertos a wonderful inspiration.

A few weeks ago I was trying to portray a dancer's performance in the drawing at


so it was Albeniz' Iberia that seemed to provide the best creative environment.

Usually it's silence, but at other times the particular sentiments of a work seem to draw me to certain music. Although it's always classical, sometines it's Indian classical by Ravi Shankar or Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.



08-22-2003, 09:08 AM
Music is the only sensual pleasure without vice.

Piano - Right now.. George Winston - "Solo Piano / Summer"

Chuck Leavell - "Forever Blue"

Norah Jones - " Come away with Me"

& of course.. anything by Vladimir Horowitz.

When I'm in the mood for something more lively..

Always Clapton.. Pilgrim, Reptile, Riding with the King and others, and Rikki Lee Jones, Steely Dan, Sting...

I am always inspired by instruments & voices.

08-22-2003, 12:01 PM
I didn't answer any of the questions in the poll.

I love music - many different types of it.

But it doesn't inspire me to do artwork.

Music is nice to listen to while in the act of creating, though.

08-22-2003, 01:18 PM
the dead,
jerry inspires me, and brings out the creative side of my artwork....

when doing major abstract work, though i also listen to radiohead, and smashing pumpkins for the freaky side i guess...lol

but nothing beets jerry playing along to the painting!

tom b

08-22-2003, 02:53 PM
Bravo Don! She is gorgeous!:clap:

08-22-2003, 05:17 PM
I'm a complete music addict. It not only inspires me, but sustains me. Much like oxygen.

Wanna have a listen to that which i listen?: http://www.live365.com/cgi-bin/directory.cgi?searchgenre=&genre=&searchdesc=garusa&searchfields=H


I'll play Everything from: Radiohead to Miles Davis. Beefheart to Yo La Tango. Beck, Console, Built to Spill, Tortoise, Macha, Nick Drake, Brainiac, Nirvana, Mogwai, Modest Mouse, Elbow, Can, Stereolab, The Books, Syd Barrett, Squarepusher, Granddaddy, DJ Spooky, Faraquet, 1-speed bike, Jim Morrisson, Hunter S. Thompson, Duster, Anthony Rother, Wilco, Four Tet, Blonde Redhead, RJD2, Super Furry Animals, Ester Drang, Team Sleep, Prefuse 73, Matt Marquee, Gastre Del Sol, The Notwist, Aphex Twin, Delarosa and Asora, The Verve, Cex, Badly Drawn Boy, Ed Harcourt, Eels, Mouse on Mars, Pavement, Ken Nordine, Mr. Bungle, The Frogs, Chili Pepper's, The Reindeer Section, Isotope 217, Brian Eno, Ween, Polvo, Portishead, Couch, Goldfrapp, Mice Parade, The Birthday Party, Primus, Leonard Cohen, Morphine, JSBLX, The Flaming Lips, Jim O'Rourke, Red House Painters, Otto Von Schirach, Velvet Underground, Matmos, Porno for Pyros, The High Llamas, The Orb, Negativeland, Death Cab for Cutie, Sublime, Royskopp, Blur, Kraftwerk, June of 44', The Smiths, Octant, The For Carnation, Future Sound of London, Coldplay, Dino Filepe, Adult., Sigur Ros, UI, Ladytron, Stephen Malkmus, Theivery Corporation, Air, early Floyd, Jesus Lizard, Shellac, Chavez, Faust, Slint, Ugly Cassanova...

08-22-2003, 05:28 PM
ahh nick drake
thats quite a list
gar's got taste :D

music inspires me just as much as everything else in the world does
i dont like to listen to it while making things
if it's on it gets tuned out
i prefer hearing what the earth has to say to me
door slams and distant yells
heart thumps and bumps
wind rain thunder sighs rustlings mumblings
things chirping croaking creeping atthepond
crawling bawling whispering weeping
the sun baking the dirt
the breath of self and other
the things inside my head

08-22-2003, 07:01 PM
A famous painter once said that it would do all painters good to become musicians. I wish I could remember who said that...

Music inspires my artwork a lot. I started playing violin when I was 3 years old, and have been in symphony orchestras, so music is embedded in my soul. So, when I listen to music when I'm working it's classical. I love all types of music but find that music with lyrics distracts me too much.

When I'm working I'd say about half the time I listen to classical and half the time I enjoy silence more. Most of the time I need silence when I am first starting a painting or when I'm drawing. After I get futher into a work I start listening to music for some reason.

08-24-2003, 08:50 AM
Music is a big part of me, always has been, although I'm not sure it's responsible for my creativity...more likely it's responsible for the way my creativity flows out. I almost always have a CD playing, but if it runs out while I'm really focused, I often don't notice until I've wound down.

If I look at the type of work I create while I'm listening to some old school funk and disco vs. Jewel, I can generally see a difference. One often turns out a bit funkier with an edge, while the other might be a bit softer and romantic. If I'm listening to fun music, I'm often dancing while I paint, which of course becomes part of my brushstrokes. I probably look utterly ridiculous, but hopefully it adds an air of individuality to my work...plus, it's just plain fun! I have a large collection of music, which includes blues, pop, rock, alternative (if there is such a category anymore), country, etc. I enjoy most types of music, but 80's glam rock usually irritates me (with a few exceptions), despite my hubby's fondness for it. If I hear it, I usually have a desire to break the CD into a million tiny little pieces. Perhaps I can go with that and use the bits in a collage! LOL


08-24-2003, 03:34 PM
music lists are fun to read
here's mine

The Moody Blues - Run-DMC - Chili Peppers - Faith No More -Pantera - Metallica - Beck - Jethro Tull - The Beatles - Peter Tosh - Autechre - Bob Marley - Squarepusher - Boards of Canada - Aphex Twin - King Crimson - Emerson Lake and Palmer
Cypress Hill - Del the Funky Homosapien - Ice Cube - Hieroglyphics
Newcleus - Satanstornade - Screaming Trees - Hilt -
MC 900 Foot Jesus - House of Pain - Funkdoobiest - The Shamen - Disturbed - Slipknot - Towa Tei - Renaissance and Medieval music
Digable Planets - Getto Boys - Beastie Boys - Butthole Surfers
Deee-Lite - Bjork - Offspring - De La Soul - White Zombie -
Hickory Wind - Beach Boys - Big Youth - Kraftwerk - Fishbone -
Russell Haswell - Drew Neumann - Mike Pinder - Merzbow -
Ryoji Ikeda -

Mary Riggs
08-24-2003, 05:26 PM
I have really enjoyed reading all of your posts about music and it's role (or non-role) in your creative endeavors.

Some special notes to "gar" and "mmk": You both must be quite a bit younger than I because I have not heard about 3/4 of the music artists you listed!

To "Jolie": You said " .......... more likely it's responsible for the way my creativity flows out." You put into words my attraction to certain types of music I like to play when creating.

To "sec": You said "I love all types of music but find that music with lyrics distracts me too much." I am exactly the same way at times. I like to have music playing but only if it is mainly instrumental in nature when I first start a project. The only exception to that is Enya, who's music is ALWAYS soothing to me and gives me pure joy.

Here is my partial music list: Enya (any CD), Paul Sutin (Serendipity), Ceol Mor (Celtic Passage), William Ackerman (Conferring with the Moon), Georgia Kelly (Harp and Soul), Ed Van Fleet (Oceans), Beethoven's Greatest Hitts, Andreas Vollenweider (any CD), Johann Straus, Jon shore (Incan Dream Music), Shawndeya (Shining Angel of the Diamond Mind).

The list of music above gets my creative flow happening, THEN when I know where I am going with a certain piece, I like to get revved up with Bonnie Raitt, Aretha Franklin, Hank Williams Jr., The Tractors, Huey Lewis and the News, The Rolling Stones (of course!), B.B. King, Steve Ray Vaughan, Fleetwood Mac, ZZ Top, Buddy Guy, Beach Boys, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

To me, I can affect my mood by listening to different types of music, depending on how it inspires me. I don't get ideas from the music as some others do, but as "jolie" said it helps my creativity flow out effortlessly. When doing housework, only low-down dirty rock and roll can get me inspired to get through that chore. :evil: (usually the Stones).

Happy Trails to all and thanks so much for sharing your insights.

Keith Russell
08-24-2003, 08:42 PM
- kate bush - bjork - king crimson - wagner - david sylvian - peter murphy - peter gabriel - bill bruford - early genesis - elp - kmfdm - cocteau twins - siouxsie and the banshees - the guess who - pil - ron carter - xtc - jane's addiction - rush - queen - led zeppelin - ac/dc - dead can dance - satriani - brian eno - tool - skinny puppy - blondie - depeche mode - eberhard weber - nin - marillion - weather report - talking heads - duran duran - miles davis - talk talk - suzanne vega - pink floyd - allan holdsworth - pretenders - enya - saint seans - spoonfed tribe - eurythmics - alan parsons project - laurie anderson - tom waits - the clash - yes - joe henderson - thomas dolby - early ultravox - bauhaus - bob mould - jethro tull - manfred mann's eath band - wynton marsalis - alice in chains - disturbed - primus - toyah - danielle dax - simple minds - gentle giant - jan hammer - primus - pretenders - johnny cash - the who - cream - chick corea -

08-25-2003, 01:14 AM
Music and visual art are virtually inseparable for me; they're like the food chain. One eats the other and sustains the order of things?

Keith - Danielle Dax. Very nice.

-Victoria Slooser

04-25-2004, 04:07 PM
- YES -
I find that if I paint in quite, I paint but walk away feeling empty, and not happy with what’s on the canvas,

But once I'm pluged in headphones on I become totally divorced of my surroundings and only see that which evolves before me, and the boldness or size/type of brush strokes does have some relation to the loudness and tempo of what is racing through my ears

04-25-2004, 04:40 PM
:music: Sometimes I listen to house or acid jazz, then sometimes it's classical, sometimes new age, maybe jazz/blues. Other times it is talk radio or silence. Depends on my mood . . . :music:

Keith Russell
04-25-2004, 05:48 PM
As the first phase up my digital recording studio nears completion, I have been buying a more and more eclectic mix of music, to get inspired to write more of my own music.

I pretty much enjoy all music, except Top 40. (Yes, that means I don't like Top 40 rap, country, pop, rock, R & B, etc.--but I enjoy the 'serious' music from each of those genres, and more! And, I like opera, too!)

Got tickets to the Crystal Method tonight!


Keith Russell
04-25-2004, 05:49 PM
Music and visual art are virtually inseparable for me; they're like the food chain. One eats the other and sustains the order of things?

Keith - Danielle Dax. Very nice.

-Victoria Slooser

I have spoken to her manager on the phone a couple times, and I have her autograph.


04-25-2004, 08:06 PM
I have spoken to her manager on the phone a couple times, and I have her autograph.


Very nice, Keith. Has she released anything new in the last 10 years?

04-25-2004, 09:17 PM
One song:

Pachelbel's Canon in D.

Classical Vince
04-26-2004, 02:21 AM
HELLS YEAH music has always INSPIRED my creativity.

If any of you are interested here is part (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2250279&postcount=2) of the story that lead me to begin my first abstracts:

I was at a BBQ with a friend. I met someone my age who disliked all modern music. He was my age, 34...WTF!? He only listened to Classical Music. It was irony - I disliked Modern Art in the same way. We had THE MOST CREATIVELY inspiring conversation! We found ourselves having to say why we LIKED both. It was like parallel universes.

I love modern music: dancing has always been a way for me to relieve stress. I love it! My brother has been a club DJ for the last 20yrs so Ive always enjoyed getting out on the dance floor and letting myself go!

I realized after our conversation why someone would like to paint abstract art. It was like ME out on the dancefloor letting myself go. This was 4 months ago.

What does that have to do with this question? Well, in the last month, music was the inspiration for my first abstracts. I feel like I was a classical ballet dancer who never set his foot on the dancefloor... Can you feel the beat? :)

04-26-2004, 07:52 PM
thats a wonderful story vince
eyes and ears
and what we accept
and what we reject
of perceiving