I saw on Spence Smith’s blog where he mentioned that he goes out every so often for a run while listening to music that inspires him, and how creatively refreshing that is, and so on.
I do this, too, and have created playlists in iTunes and now in Pandora called “muse songs” and “muse artists”. In some cases it’s the songs that inspire me to write, and in some cases it’s the consistent genius of the songwriters.
James Taylor, John Williams, Sting, Bono/The Edge, Chris Martin, Sheryl Crow, Bruce Hornsby, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Jacob Dylan, John Hiatt, McCartney/Lennon, The Rolling Stones…
And in fact, Spence’s muses and my muses overlap a bit, which is not surprising, I guess, since we’re both songwriters (at very different levels of accomplishment, mind you) looking to the undeniable greats of recent pop music for inspiration. My muse writer list includes (but as they say in legalese, is not limited to) Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Aimee Mann, Shawn Colvin, and several others. My muse song list includes “A Case of You” by Joni Mitchell, “Everytime You Go Away” by Hall & Oates, “The Boy in The Bubble” by Paul Simon, “Ghost” by Indigo Girls, and again, several others.
Of course now having written this, I want to throw on some headphones and go out for a run and soak in the creativity of these geniuses. And I will, soon, but for now, I’ll start with just the part where I put the headphones on, right here at my desk.