Expand Your Horizons - Part 2

Do any of you find musical inspiration outside of drumming? Outside of music in general? It’s a big Universe out there, with so many things to get our synapses firing. For me, I draw a lot of inspiration from reading, both science fiction, and science fact.

I love reading Sci-Fi for it’s speculative nature. I find a lot of stimulation for the old brain box and imagination. I find reading Sci-Fi helps stretch my imagination & concepts. Transferring that to music, I am able to see beyond the box and look for new territory to explore.

Reading science fact keeps me grounded. I read a lot on physics and the Universe. I find connections between things, patterns that exist in the natural world. These types of things have a direct relationship to drumming, as all things in the Universe are made up of vibrations. The current explorations in physics takes me deeper into the reality of our Universe and how we both, relate to it, and react to it.

A good example of this is my just released recording, TRANSPARENT UNIVERSE (http://gongtopia.bandcamp.com/). 6 of the 11 tracks are based upon things I had recently read about the Sun and particle physics. The other 5 tracks are based on Spiritual ideas.

Grand Unification

The theme of all this is connections. Besides drumming, I also write (fiction & non-fiction), compose, am a photographer, designer, and cook. I used to look at all these activities as being separate. Thus when I drummed, I was a drummer. When I wrote, I was a writer, etc. The big aha moment for me was when I realized everything I do is really the same thing expressed in a different manner—thus all things are connected. Once I realized this grand connection, everything I did flowed better. There was no more need to switch gears/hats before I moved onto something else. So writing music and words is the same thing. Sound/vision/texture are the same thing. It’s just a matter of perspective—which side of the whole I am looking at at any given time.

If you want to improve your music (or any aspect of what you do), bring your whole life into it. Make the all, one.

~ MB


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