A PROSE PERFORMANCE

The combination of music and spoken word can be a powerful thing, as I was reminded when listening to a poetry performance by Shane Koyczan. The ability of the music to add weight to words, to add texture and ambience and scope, allows the recital to become something bigger than just speech, and falls into the category of performance.

With musical accompaniment words seem to resonate with meaning, the melody acting almost as an instrumental highlighter, drawing our ear to the powerful key phrases and stamping the evocative images into our brains. Music stirs something in us on a visceral level that words alone can’t always accomplish. It pierces deeper than the surface intellectual appreciation of the words we’re hearing and makes us feel them.

For this post I’ve taken a previous post, Whatever Helps You Sleep, and recorded it as a performance with my guitar playing to support it. Some may say using a previous post is cheating, but I say it’s my creative brain adapting it. It’s a loophole.

Listen below:

The video that inspired my own performance can be seen underneath. It’s also well worth checking out Shane’s video titled “To This Day” which can be found here.

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MUSIC MONDAY

Well, it’s Monday, and the whole world is in need of motivation on a Monday. With that need in mind, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to music. Hence the overtly clever title: Music Monday.

How does music fit in with a blog on the topic of writing? Let me introduce you to one of my favourite musicians: Passenger.

Passenger, aka Mike Rosenberg, is a British singer/songwriter; writer being the important verb in that sentence. While his musical talents are superb, for me it’s his abilities to sculpt stories and piece together poems within his chosen medium that make him outstanding. Mike tells stories from his own life, but infuses them with a greater depth and meaning that make them accessible to any listener.

Example 1:

Not only can he weave accurate observations and experiences into his songwriting, Mike is also a genuinely great performer. I’ve been lucky enough to see his live show twice and was charmed both times. With humour, talent, and sincere appreciation for his fans, Passenger’s shows leave you uplifted, awed, and developing a little bit of a crush for the man.

Example 2:

I have to hold back from listing a multitude of Passenger’s songs that demonstrate his plethora of gifts, instead check out his website here. Buy his music, and make your Monday better.

The second part of today’s post is a video demonstrating the restorative power of music. It also links conveniently with the nursing half of my persona. The people at the Music and Memory project have been doing incredible work bringing music to people with dementia. The results are outstanding. My words can’t possibly detail it. Watch and be moved:

The Music and Memory project’s website can be found here.

Hopefully you’ve lived through your Monday, been motivated by music, and, at some point in your day, read a good book.