I’m not sure if this will be a ramble or a resource, perhaps a bit of both. Music to me is pure magic. It has the ability to transform any moment, to invoke memories, to draw such feeling. I rise with it as it soars, I hold a breath with every expectant pause. It calms me, excites me, and some..even arouses me.
Music speaks differently to everyone, and how I interpret it, feel it, understand it to the core of my soul may be very different for others. There’s a quote: “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are”. Every thought, every emotion is filtered through our own life experiences, our beliefs, our current mindset, and our core being. A song that moves us to tears on one day may get barely an emotional response the next (and no…I’m not talking PMS/Hallmark commercial insanity). A song that speaks volumes to me may not even register, or even evoke a shudder, in others.
I was blessed that shortly after entering the dance world in SL, I was able to attend a training session on choosing music for dance in SL. Both teachers, extremely experienced in dance and music in RL, have similar yet very different approaches in how they choose music. The focus on phrases, and beats, music timing, notations, the feeling, the chorus, the lyrics and instruments. I find I do a bit of both, work by feel, sometimes count the beats, often print out the lyrics with music notations. Like this: https://genius.com/Ragnbone-man-human-lyrics. I scribble on the printed lyrics. I listen to the music over and over and over again. I close my eyes. I don’t watch the video. I make rules, I follow rules, I break rules.
You can choreograph anything, even silence…but some things lend themselves to choreography in SL. For me, music is a journey, a magical ride, and choreography enhances that. The sum being greater than the individual parts.
Me? I love music, all kinds. I cried experiencing Les Misérables on Broadway, sang at the top of my lungs front row of more than one mosh pit, and rode the high of the Warped Tour experience for days. Playing an instrument? Well, in elementary school I beat my flute against a chair in frustration…and slowly overcome my misplaced fear/anxiety in learning the piano – a lifelong desire. Choreographing dance in SL has changed me forever. I hear the nuances in music, I completely lose myself within it, I close my eyes and the dancers in my head flow with it. I loved music before, now I live within it.
One of those teachers became my mentor, and so many valuable things I know about dance came from him. Onto this I built my own knowledge, experiences, preferences and ways. This is the way it should always be. We teach and share with others, and like a spreading field of flowers, it grows. Each flower unique in its own way. Always be unique, always question, feel, try, be.
It may not surprise some, but Meatloaf is my favorite all time musician. I swiped my dad’s Bat out of Hell record, then bought it on cassette, then bought it on CD, then bought the MP3, plus the video documentaries…you get the picture. His voice, the power, the emotion he puts into his music is incredible. I was blessed to see him in concert and he truly pours everything into his performances. More than Meatloaf though, is the music writer behind him. Jim Steinman. He creates these amazing rock ballads that take you soaring and crashing. It was years later that I realized he was the man behind some of Bonnie Tyler’s songs, which I also love. He’s also the writer behind another song I’m currently working on, sung by neither of those. Yes… the music of Jim Steinman is my weakness, my Godiva chocolate of music, the decadent, mouth watering swirl of flavor that is heaven to my ears.
After this pleasant rambling along a quiet country road, why did I take you here?
My days begin with music, and often end with it. My choreography choices vary, and I often work based on feeling, inspiration. In another post I will share the little tidbits I know, I follow when it comes to choosing music for dance in SL.
For today, just close your eyes. Listen. Dream. x
A thank you to the person who posted this in their profile, introducing me to such a beautiful voice and moving song.