Writing to Music

Michelle Qureshi’s album Illumination; cover art is based on a painting from Rebecca Ruegger. Beautiful, isn’t it? www.ruegger.net/index.html

Michelle Qureshi’s album Illumination; cover art is based on a painting by Rebecca Ruegger. Beautiful, isn’t it?

If you like to write to music, or if there’s noise in your neighborhood you want to mitigate while you write (“Quiet!”), here are some tunes I found online from an artist I just discovered, Michelle Qureshi. She’s a composer and classically trained musician who likens music to metaphor.

Listen to her neo-classical album Illumination. Maybe it’s music you can write to today! In fact, there’s a method called proprioceptive writing in which you light a candle, play relaxing music, and listen to your inner voice as you write in a notebook, by hand, for about 25 minutes, asking yourself questions and reflecting on them in a gentle, self-accepting way. I’ve found this to be a powerful method for generating insights and images. Developed by Linda Trichter Metcalf and Tobin Simon, the method is described fully in Writing the Mind Alive: The Proprioceptive Method for Finding Your Authentic Voice.

Here’s a video from Qureshi called “Night Dwellers at Dawn” (3 minutes, 10 seconds), a piece that’s on Illumination. Try using the sounds and images in this video as writing prompts. Write about what you see and hear; write about anything the music and images evoke in you. If this piece is taking you on a journey, where is it leading you?

If your taste goes to New Age music, try writing to Qureshi’s album Meditations.

Visit Michelle Qureshi’s website to learn more about her work. Check out her Facebook page, too! It’s so generous of her to share her compositions online. If you like writing to her music, I hope you’ll consider buying her albums for your personal collection so you can take them with you wherever you go to relax and write.

How do you like writing to music? How did the suggestions in this post work for you?