Saturday, July 25, 2015

Why the Muse?

By now it's obvious to most of my blog followers that my blog is pretty much a music blog.  It seems sort of counter-intuitive as I am an author and reader and thus, my blog should center around that, right? 

Well, perhaps not. 

Not if you know me. 

To be fair, from nearly day one, this blog has had a musical element to it.  It also had a review, giveaway, feature, and personal post aspect, but let's focus on why it's all-the-way music for the time being.

My music posts come to you every Monday and they've been called "Monday Muse" from day one.  I chose Monday because Monday is pretty much the 9-5er's bane.  We severely dislike getting up early and having to go to work for another boring week.  We're zombies working on auto-pilot.  I chose Muse because a muse is something that inspires you.  While my music posts aren't always happy-fun-times, I chose them so that they invoke something within you -- wake you up and make you feel something.  At least, that's what they did for me when I first heard them and I want to share that experience with you. 

In many ways, me sharing music that I love with you is a much more coherent and tangible way of sharing a piece of myself with you.  Fancy that, an author who can't put things into words!  But, it's true.  There are some things that we feel so deep inside that it's not only hard to explain but also hard to invoke in another.  I try it in my books, but why re-create the wheel when it comes to music?  Someone already did it in these lyrics or that strand of melody, so why not give it the right to shine?

Above all, I believe in letting creative pieces shine as they should.  I'm a creative person when it comes to writing novels, yes.  But, what many of you don't know is that I'm also very creative in other areas.  I make jewelry, I paint and draw, I design clothing, and I write songs as well.  My love and appreciation for the creative arts is vast and thus, I feel it would be a travesty not to share these things with you. 

If you follow my Facebook or Twitter, you'll see that I tend to be a broad-range sharer of someone else's content.  Why is that?  Well, why not?  So many people are so consumed with creating their own original content -- of being in the spot-light -- that they don't let anyone else talk through them...And then we lose something very important to us -- the tiny things that unite us on a cultural level.  By sharing a "Brown Coat" shirt or a Buzzfeed video about being a survivor you define who you are and rally your community around one common bonfire where you can bond.  That's what makes book fandoms so fantastic.  Hundreds of thousands of people read Harry Potter and when you find out that someone else you know is a Hufflepuff, you're automatically a little more comfortable and trusting with them.  That's an incredibly intense thing!

Our genre preferences define us.  It's often what draws us together as friends and lovers.  These are our hobbies and shared loves.  Genres of music are like genres of books.  We, as humans, classify ourselves by what we read and what we listen to.  Some of us prefer many styles, some only one or two.  Some can tolerate everything, while anything but "the best" is bane to another.  The cool part?  Our preferences in music and our preferences in reading can be very misaligned and that gives us even more depth as human beings.  How many people look at me and guess I'm a total metal head?  Not many.

In the beginning, I chose to blog music because music is the basis of my books.  Wait, what?  Yeah, does that surprise you?  Almost every word I've thought of and written (and read, for that matter) has been done with music in the background.  Action scenes are played out music-video style in my head.  I fantasize about which composers will create the soundtrack to each of my books when it becomes a movie.  I create Youtube playlists for each of the books I've written so that you can all listen to them.  After a while, it just became easier to talk to you in music notes than it did in words.  I save the words for the books.

Besides...

Music is everywhere.  Pay attention to how often it's around you in one day.  It's background to movies, TV shows, and commercials.  You'll listen to it at any point when you're traveling or working out.  They play it in every store you walk in.  You'll mentally start singing or humming to yourself.  Someone will start tapping out a tune while they're sitting next to you.  It's often mentioned in books you read.  Even human language tends to have an almost melodic characteristic to it.  You can't escape music -- it's just as prevalent as the written word.  Perhaps more. 

Personally, I'm willing to bet that music was the very first art form created by man.  And shouldn't we give that respect?  So no, I haven't been posting much about books lately, but that shouldn't bother any of you.  Because I bet you love music almost as much as you love books, you just don't realize it.

But why videos every Monday?  Why not just clips?  I don't always have a good video for a song, especially if it's not well known.  But, I like having videos for some of these songs.  I love both the audio and visual aesthetic and I love to see what the artist's interpretation of their own piece is.  Sometimes the video is better than the song, to be quite honest.  As humans we want to be fed, both visually and aurally.  Even if you just listen to music with your eyes closed, chances are you'll start doing a little Fantasia-style visual work in your head.  We can't help it.  It's our own creative minds feeding off of each other.

Some of you might wonder: Why don't I critique music like so many other blogs?  Well, why should I?  There are already plenty of blogs who do that.  You can make your own choices.  The most I do is share my personal likes and dislikes about a song or video, but I'm not going to go into mechanics and say something is good or bad.  That's your job.  A song can be good to someone and bad to another for entirely different reasons.  That's what makes art art.  Sometimes I don't say anything at all, sometimes I don't know WHAT to say.  It's like taking a bite of something awesome or awful and then immediately handing the spoon to someone else and saying, "Taste this."  You want them to experience it on their own, make their own decision about it.

Every Monday morning, I hand that spoon to you guys and I want to know what you think. So, tune in on Mondays for my muses.  Maybe you'll find something you like or bond over a particular song.  Please feel free to leave comments about what these songs and videos invoke in you, I'd love to see how various people react. :D