For years, finance experts have agreed that there are three things you can do with money – spend, save, and give.
Giving of our resources is important. But it’s not the only way to give. I know many people who give of their time and talent on a consistent basis. They inspire me.
So how do you give? Give of your time, gifts, and resources?
Composers are some of the most generous people on earth. And I’m happy to share this blog post with 18 inspiring composers who give on a consistent basis.
So without further adieu, let me introduce you to my friends – people who inspire me and others through their art. May their words inspire you today and challenge you to think about the ways in which you give.
“Artistic creation seeks to bring people together in a common experience and, hopefully, to inspire them in some way. For me, the best way to inspire others through my work is to be true to myself. I hope to inspire my audience by first recognizing they exist and not writing solely for myself. There can be, after all, a very fine line between self-examination and narcissism. I hope that I am brave enough to truly reveal myself and honestly communicate with others.”
“In terms of giving, I try to live generously and open-handed with whatever gifts I have, because I believe they’re given to me both for my own benefit and for the greater whole. So I have to be brave in the way I care for myself by doing creative things and also in the way I share myself. By sharing (presenting /performing), I also step deeper into my community – seeking to be known or understood by my family.”
“I believe that writing songs and creating music is a unique way to bring joy into people’s lives. Music that is full of hope and beauty reaches places that mere words cannot. It is a blessing to give to others by writing and singing songs that encourage and inspire them to connect with the God who loves them.”
“I would like my music to be the key to a beautiful world. The lost world of our childhood. I would like my music to touch people’s souls, away from extensive philosophical and intellectual descriptions. I would like my music to be an open window with beautiful shutters painted in rich blue, looking to the Aegean sea and a horizon whose colors reveal the whole beauty of Greece. I would like to live a whole adventure of my childhood while composing a piece. I would like to be inspired by my love of my childhood, whoever she is…”
“I create because each one sees life from a different perspective. A whole new view of an experience could be all that is needed for another’s experience to be enhanced. Look at life through another’s eyes and you may see what has been missing.”
“I seek to inspire others to look within themselves and go on through their own character-defining processes, so that they can better understand themselves and help others understand them.”
“When you watch a baseball game or an Olympic event, those individuals give us a little piece of their heart, striving for athletic excellence and inspiring us. When an artist writes a song, symphony, musical, etc., they give us a little piece of their soul. With each passing sonority, we are moved and given the opportunity to feel something, touching us in ways no other medium can. Like new seasons breathe new life into sports, offering more inspiring triumphs, it is equally as important to continually nurture the continued creation of music and art. Music is ubiquitous and is woven into every fabric of our existence, and you never know what simple song might affect a life in a profound way.”
“What drives some to compose can range from the purest of vanity to the purest of sacrifice and service. These two extremes can even be present in the life of one composer. Neither of these can be counted on to produce the best in art or music; they do however help us to know something about the artist. Being a great composer is different than being a great person. Mastering the first does not make the second any easier to achieve. Soli Deo Gloria.”
“How do composers ‘give’ back to other artists and the community at large? Composers give by means of the musical connections that are made with performers, theorists, and through collaboration with artistic academic departments. When a musician collaborates on a project with other artists, it creates sub-communities within those particular departments, which promote artistic creativity. Collaborations can be anything from theater to a solo performer, and all are equally important. But by ‘giving’ our artistic sensibilities and talents to each other, we create musical friendships that extend far beyond the academic realm.”
“When I compose, I strive to communicate an idea that is both accessible and meaningful. The pieces of music I’ve been most inspired by have introduced to me new virtual spaces that have in turn encouraged new experiences and viewpoints in my life, adding a tangible maturity to my frame of mind, and I hope to do the same to my audiences. By using rhetoric through music, my language of choice, I strive to both spread the ideas I champion and challenge the listener to identify their own new perspectives.”
“Writing music is no doubt my passion. Not only do I do it for myself to ease stress or to build my personal “musical catalog,” I use it as a way to connect with others. Nothing unifies a group of completely different souls like a quality tune: listening to new music is a learning experience AND a social experience that strips away trivial differences among people. I write music to share the thoughts, feelings, and ideas that bring me joy so others can have joy, too, but I also write to encourage others to express themselves, despite social obstacles or the exclusive human nature.”
“I write music because I love the process of discovery and surprise. Often it’s a way of sifting through my subconscious thoughts and I am often surprised by what comes up. After the piece goes out into the world, I continue to learn about it–the piece itself and what I was thinking–and also how it connects to and affects other people. It’s those unknowns and discoveries that excite me and motivate me to write. I believe that music is innate in all people. It’s an universal way to relate and communicate and inspire, and by sharing what I’m going through or thinking about, I hope my music can make a difference to someone–can be the thing that surprises them into some new discovery, small or large.”
“Well, I am an organist and pianist. As a pianist, I am primarily a teacher. As an organist, my job is to serve the liturgy. I am inspired by being invisible and providing the atmosphere for worship and prayer. I am inspired when my music so completely compliments actions that I am not noticed. The entire presentation including my music references the divine and allows people to escape from the rat race of the every day grind.”
I see my creative work not so much as a reflection of my ideas and personality, but as an attempt to uncover the beauty and form that already exists in the universe. I know that I’m on the right track when a certain inevitability starts to appear in my music, as if it had been there all the time. I find that rather than introspection, creation, at its best, helps me forget my limited self and tap into larger truths.
“I have to write music. I feel sad when I am not writing. Then once I have written I have to share it or I feel like I am going to explode! It took me a long time to come to this realization – I think mainly because I was afraid of failing or not being accepted. But once I admitted to myself and others that I was an artist, it helped me to understand that I HAD to do it. I want my listener to experience a connection with my words, melody, and music. To that, I believe the artist must be honest. This means – I am writing the music that is truest to who I am and my experience. I am not seeking to impress the listener. I know I am being honest and true when it is scary to share what I have written.”
“I compose because I can’t not compose! Many times I have felt too busy, too distracted, too unworthy to put something creative out into the world. Often I ask myself, “Why write a song? There are others out there who could do it better and probably have.” But that urge to write nonetheless never goes away. I believe that urge is the voice of the Holy Spirit encouraging me to do what God created me to do. I feel so grateful when I think of all God has taught me and brought me through on the journey so far. I feel compelled to share this through my songs and hopefully inspire others. My life seems so normal and even mundane at times, so the fact God could use me as a messenger of hope and light in someone else’s life is humbling. I consider it a sacred privilege.”
“I compose as a way to express the environment that I’ve internalized, whether that environment is one that I’ve experienced directly or researched in some manner. With my music, I hope to take the listener to a different world… or at least have the listener experience a glimpse of a different world.”
“The goal of an artist is to be a voice for the present day society. My goal has been to have my music reflect the ideas and events of the time and hopefully make someone better.”