Sunday, May 23, 2010

Creative Communities

Last night in Nashville I witnessed the highest form of inspirational motivation!

My heroes, Carole King and James Taylor, two humble, average looking people (though we know they are giants!) climbed the steps and took the stage about ten feet in front of me and spent the next three hours reminding me why I write, perform and produce music.

They didn’t do what they do to inspire me. They didn’t do it to impress the star-studded audience that turned out for them. They did it because they love singing, playing, writing and performing together! And in the simple pleasure of sharing their songs and energy with each other, they transformed us.

We see a lot of talent here in Nashville. We are blessed with many options, on any given day of any given week, to hear great singing and songwriting. But this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to have two creative beings of this caliber in our midst, sharing stories and intimate moments.

We all grow together when we share our collective creative spirit. These two legends did not become legends by clawing their way to the top. They arrived at that status accidentally, as a by-product of living their lives in the most creative way they could. They established lives for themselves that allowed room for creativity. They were brave enough to follow the muse where it led them. They honored their gift; and continue to. That is why we show up to bask in their light; because it is a rare sight to see two people so in tune with their creative spirit and so honest in their love of the journey.

So many of us list Carole King and James Taylor among our musical influences. I encourage you to allow them to influence you now; not only musically, but spiritually. Whether you are familiar with their musical work or not, research it today. Read about the scene they grew up in, musically. Study the structure of their songs, lyrics, melody and music. Understand the musical freedom they nurture in themselves and those around them. I promise you will grow from the experience
When the business side of songwriting threatens the creative side; when you can’t rise to one more co-writing appointment; when your guitar refuses to speak to you - go back to your roots! Remember the first time you felt inspired to play your piano or guitar or write a poem or hum an original melody? That feeling is the one you need to nurture. Find your creative community and make a habit of sharing and appreciating all of the talent and spiritual energy in that community.

Our Nashville music community now includes many songwriters and artists from every genre. (One look around the inner circle at last night’s show is proof of that!) And we are richer for it. How pleasant it was to take a break from analyzing performances and songs or looking to see who’s looking, and be reminded of the beautiful, healing force of song.

In the wake of recent floods and devastation in Nashville, this show (the first in the arena since the floods) was such a lift for our spirits. Carole King even wrote a special verse on ‘you’ve Got a Friend’ just for us!

I think I am safe in saying that all of us left this show with our souls rejuvenated. Thank you Carole and James! Please come back soon.

I wish you all inspiration and a sense of creative community. If you can’t find it where you are, build it. Or come to Nashville. We always have room for one more.