I was thinking about music and the part it plays in creativity. Music is one of the most abstract forms of art (well the sort I listen to is, anyway!). It’s really helpful at several stages of the process of creating an art quilt.
In my workshop on Inspiration we explore all the senses and different experiences as a starting point for a design: different pieces of music, poetry, visual stimuli, relationships, taste and smell, feelings – both internal, and generated from external situations, activities etc. I play Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, or by contrast Vaughn Williams Sinfonia Antarctica…(brr!! the howling winds!) and ask them to doodle in response to the music – from ear to hand. Satie is another good one, or the Beatles!
The Design Wall – The Zone
After I have my small value study, and have made my fabric choices, I begin to work on the design wall. I really need to tune out the old left brain criticizing, or being too literal at this point. I want to get into the “zone”, the alpha rhythm and dream my way down this design river…letting myself draw onto the fabric fairly freely within the dictates of the small sketch. Good Zoning music for me is a capella singing – either one voice or choral…Cleo Laine, June Tabor, David Daniels, or just about any bunch of monks omming their way through a piece! The old Ravi Shankar records (d’you remember those!) are great too at this point.
Putting it together – piecing and applique
Thse are fairly tedious steps so I always do it by colour!!!
I look for green or blue or red music! You know how that goes, I’m sure you can divide your CD collection up into colours!
Okay, the top is sewn, layered with batting and backing..onto the machine quilting!! This is where Bach and Mozart really come into their own with their driving complex harmonies and constant rhythms!!! The pace they set really help to keep you moving evenly (shoulders down now!) under the needle. Debussy or Dave Brubeck have no place here!! We need no changes in tempo!
This is where I like to listen to something new, something I want to understand and absorb, I don’t need my mind on the stitching and I don’t need to be “in the zone” either…so I’ll play my newest CDs: at present a fascinating album of gypsy music arranged for violin and 2 guitars: Nadja Solero-Sonnenberg and the Assad brothers.
Okay!! so let me hear from you – what part does music play in your creativity?
AND, if you have been, thanks for reading – or is it listening?!!