During an online workshop recently, the question came up about what music inspired people as they painted and made art. Being a high school art teacher for about ten years, the question (and controversy) came up to me during the first few years of teaching. Then the "what music to play to please everybody, or at least not annoy anybody" question was answered over the span of two days. In fact, it never came up again, and we always had music playing in the classroom during art making time.
I can't take credit for it. It came to me like this: One day a student came up to me and asked if I would like to listen to her "homework mix" to see if I thought it would be something that would be suitable for the class. (Smart young lady.) I took the CD home that evening and listened to it as I was working on my own art. It changed music listening during art making forever for me, and people in my classes. What was the music? Original soundtrack scores! They are instrumental, and have a creative, narrative journey sound and feel that help create a pleasant, soothing, but not boring atmosphere. I was hooked and have been buying soundtrack music, and adding it to my "Creative Mix" playlist ever since. The music I choose can be kept tastefully in the background as it accompanies and even inspires the artistic process.
It has been a catchy thing and conversation starter. I find people like to trade their ideas of good soundtracks. It actually has brought common ground to people in my workshops. The young woman, Annika, who now has her own blog: http://bridges-and-chasms.blogspot.com/ and her sister Kristina have blessed me with soundtrack music every year. They are friends and family, and we all share the love of beautiful music to accompany a life worth living.
I have made some carrousels on the right side bar of my favorite CD's to make art by, if you want to check them out. If you cannot view the CD's, here are the names of some of my favorite original soundtracks or instrumentals: Finding Neverland, Like Crazy, The Lake House, Little Women, Soul Surfer, Hachi, Under the Tuscan Sun, Chocolat, The Notebook, Amelie, Little Miss Sunshine, Summer (George Winston), Promise (David Templeton), songs from: The Holiday, The Nativity Story, Pursuit of Happyness, Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Peter Pan, and The Pianist.
Writing this post inspired me to look through some of my journals and take a few close-up photos of parts of pages where I used music. Techniques include gel transfer, cutting and gluing painted papers, tinting music with transparent paint, and layering with paint, pen and matte medium. Here are some examples: