The sound of Music – a creative process

Photo by Nick Jebaily

I recently found myself in a conversation with somebody and the question of music as part of my creative process came up. It got me thinking, not about what the answer was, but about how to explain it. My immediate reflex was “music IS my creative process” but obviously you say something like that and you sound a little bit crazy and vague… So here I go trying to justify my crazy!

Firstly, I think the notion of a creative process is incredibly interesting. Often times when we see art, music, films, architecture, fashion, or any kind of creative output, we see a finished product. As consumers of these things we very rarely get a glimpse into the creative process behind the work we consume. Even the digital content that we consume in 10 seconds on our phones has a creative process. I think I can comfortably say that it’s different for every artist/designer/musician etc. It’s what makes their art their art, and that’s where the beauty of the creative process as a form of identity starts to take shape.

Music IS my creative process. In all my work, whether it’s Architecture, film, photography or any of the content I create, there is ALWAYS music involved. Not as background noise, but as a driving force for the conception of my projects. Sometimes you guys hear it, but more often times you don’t. And that’s because these sounds run through my brain constantly, as I’m brainstorming ideas, testing out concepts, and trying to visualize what it is I’m actually trying to accomplish. You could say, there’s a soundtrack to my daily life, and it’s constantly changing. When I design Architectural space for example, there’s a song playing in my mind not because I’m listening to music on Spotify, but because I’m imagining how that song would force me to experience the space I’m designing. When I film, I’m imagining how the frame of the camera responds to the music. Does the music come first, or does the video come first? What inspires what?

I think many of us listen to music when we work. It helps us focus. But for me it does more than that. What I’m about to say may seem a little odd, so bear with me. Music allows me to visualize my ideas. Certain melodies and sounds evoke an emotion in me, which I then associate with a particular experience of space. That space can either be something I’m experiencing in the moment (film, for example), or it can be an experience I want to achieve, (architectural design, for example). In both scenarios, I depend heavily on the feelings and emotions that are evoked by specific sounds, and without that, I think all my work would feel a little bit incomplete. There is one more factor to consider, however. Movement. Music is movement, and movement is experience in relation to space. In film, camera movement takes you through the perspective the cinematographer is trying to achieve. In Architecture, we design the perspective that will allow the experience to match the interpretation of the music. The combination of these two results in the things I create. Maybe you could say that my creative process is even a dance of sorts – an interpretation of sound, manifested by movement through space. Am I making sense…?

To demonstrate what I mean, I put together a little video (obviously…), and composed a short track (duh…). Now, for those of you who know me well, you’ll know that I’ve been playing piano since I was a child. Maybe that’s where this all started… Never the less, I wanted you to hear something that I was hearing in my mind, when I I took the photo you saw at the beginning of this article. Maybe your version would be totally different and that’s kind of the point, but I’d love to hear what you think anyway. Check out the video below… and please excuse any mistakes. I’m a bit rusty…

Photo by Nick Jebaily

Well, what did you think? Do you think they matched? Maybe the music was too fast? In that case, perhaps if the photo was moving, then it would make more sense.. AH maybe a film??? Now you see my creative process in action…

Creative process is something we all need to embrace because we all have one. One thing I have not yet mentioned is how challenging the creative process can be. That why it’s a process. It’s a problem solving scenario, one in which your solution is somewhat unique to you, your experience, and your understanding of what it is you stand for as an artist, designer, filmmaker, content creator, etc.

Acknowledge your creative process, and own it… #zuluechoinitiative

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Anthony Obas says:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maissa Hamed says:

    This is a beautiful article with the subtle links of elements that combine to make the creative process …. for me movement, music tie to rhythm rhyme and as a poet I hear you loud and clear when I am composing a new poem music and rythme and movement and form all combine and work together as in an orchestra … but I also see music and rhythm in the movement of the trees, the ocean waves or the human breath that gives human life with all its rythmes. How rich is our universe as an inspiration for creatives and their creative process by The Creator of all.

    Liked by 1 person

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