I don't know about you, but I always write best when I'm in a desirable situation – perhaps you like to tuck yourself away in your bedroom, study or – garden shed, or spread out on the kitchen table, or take yourself off to the local library. With me it varies; sometimes I need peace and quiet with no interruptions – unless it's somebody bringing me a cup of tea; other times I like to be out amongst humanity, I'm an inveterate people-watcher, it provides an almost inexhaustible resource for creativity. But whatever the circumstance, if the sun is shining you'll invariably find me in a sunny spot, like a cat. Currently I'm sitting outside at a riverside cafe, an iced latte gently puddling the table with condensation, the life-giving sun warming my face and Elgar's Enigma Variations on my iPod, putting the final touches to the book review for this issue.
Taking a moment I close my eyes, shut out the Sunday afternoon social chatter from the next table, and give myself up to the music – ahh Nimrod, the soaring strings, the strident horns, the kettle drum – for a second I was there in the concert hall, the conductor giving it his all as the power of the music surged out across the space towards me. Elgar – what a genius!
How is it possible to capture a mood so expertly with music – not even a mood but something even less tangible. It's a mystery to me. And to those who say they don't like abstract art, or don't 'get' it, I say 'do you like music?' Take out any lyrics and you're left with the oldest abstract art in the book. But we don't think of it like that. Music is hard-wired into our psyche, part of our every day experience. It's the sound track to our lives. I know I'm always going on about music, but where would we be without it. Admittedly it can sometimes be intrusive. The other day I was trying to have a serious conversation, with some kind of gong workshop going on just yards away. We couldn't hear ourselves think! But a short while later someone put on a Bhangra track, with added live bongos, and the room was very soon alive with tapping feet.
Gill Kaye, Editor, Ingénu/e Magazine