From mundane to motivating
I had two inspiring meetings today and they’ve got my creative fires burning.
The first meeting was with my friend and mentor Daniel Janke. He was interested in looking at a piece of choral music I’ve been working on. In fact, I wrote the music more than 10 years ago (using a poem written by Sir Walter Raleigh) but it’s been languishing on my music shelf ever since. I recently unearthed the handwritten chart and (just for fun!) transcribed it into Sibelius, the music-notation software I use. I started playing around with it, adding variations to the theme, flipping things around so sometimes the tenors get to sing the melody, for example, and other ideas that would make it more fun for a choir to sing.
I showed Daniel the latest draft of the song and he dissected it before my eyes, using terms like “mixolydian mode”, “diatonic”, and “plagal cadence” and other vocabulary I haven’t thought about since I did music theory around age 12.
The thing is, when I was 12, music theory was boooooring and had no significance in my life as a musician. I’ve never used these kinds of tools when composing and it was a revelation to see them applied. I’m so excited to use some of the ideas I was given… and what’s more, I’m actually excited to relearn some of that music theory I’ve ignored for over 20 years.
(An aside. I pulled out the music theory book that I used when I was 12 and studying for my music theory exam. Yes, I still have it. The inside cover is inscribed, “This book belongs to Fawn Fritzen”. Further down the page, in tiny letters, is written, “Not that I want to own it”. That sums up my feelings about music theory at the time.)
The other meeting was a public workshop about epilepsy. Next month will mark 3.5 years since my eldest daughter last had a seizure. It feels like it’s finally time to start something I wanted to do years ago: create a support organization for people and families living with epilepsy in the Yukon. This is a huge unmet need, but for years I was barely keeping my head above water as a parent.
Tonight I met a whole group of families who are dealing with epilepsy. Everyone wanted to continue to connect. I feel I finally have the energy to organize a support network and my brain is bursting with ideas on ways we can do that.
It’s so energizing to make connections with people who inspire me… and finding things that are energizing is a particularly great thing for this chronically sleep-deprived mom/musician!
What energizes you?