Wednesday, September 16, 2009
A few months ago I watched a program on tv called The Musical Brain profiling the work of Daniel Levitin and his research into music and brain development at McGill University (in Montreal, Canada). Last week I noticed his latest book The World in Six Songs on the library shelf and took it out.
Started reading it this morning and am finding it fascinating. He makes a case that human beings have a deep need to be creative - whether that be through music or other artistic pursuits - and that that need has been pivotal in human development, both biologically and culturally.
I know that needing to be creative is what drives me. In fact that creative imperative is what got me started on the road to being a weaver.
It is also interesting how much music plays a role in my life. I always thought it was because the home I grew up in always had music playing - whatever was on the radio - country and western (not my favourite genre), classical, pop - whatever. I thought I had just grown up surrounded by sound and that was why I always have music playing in the studio. I do know that for many years - as my energy flagged - I used music to bouy me along and keep me functioning. Even now I will often times choose music depending on how I feel. If I'm tired and need energy, it will be rock, (Bryan Adams, 54:40) if I'm in a more contemplative mood, it might be something softer, Corinne Bayley Rae, for example, or Molly Johnson, Holly Cole or even Liza Minelli. Lately it's been a lot of Leonard Cohen, too.
But now I'm thinking that my need for music is as great as my need to be creatively expressive. And that that is just plain good.