Music: The Creative Superpower

  • Categories:

    Creative, Inspiration

  • Date:

    January 4, 2017

Music: The Creative Superpower


Despite coming from a family of musicians and a mother in the music business, I am not a musical person. I played the clarinet in the fifth grade, which was a bad choice because, inevitably, puffing away on a woodwind when shaped like a perfect prepubescent circle will haunt your adulthood.

What I lack in actual musicianship, I make up for in fandom. I will nerd the F-sharp out on everything from Coltrane to Car Seat Headrest, Debussy to D’Angelo. Like a lot of Wray Wardians, I listen to music while I work, using it to create a mood, plugging into its elusive power to channel the words. In fact, I learned early in my career that I cannot write without first listening to music. Not a single word.

That’s because words are limited. And they’re limiting. There are roughly 6,500 languages in the world today. That’s just 6,500 ways to say, “Hello;” 6,500 ways to say, “I’m sorry;” 6,500 ways to say, “I love you.”

But music is infinite.

Music possesses an expressive power that makes mere words weak. The things in life most worth writing about – love, family, heartache, joy – are indescribable. But music can echo the depth, complexities, and sometimes chaos of human emotion, stealing us away from the mess in our own minds while also centering us to eye-opening levels of understanding. 

My brother is a professional bassist in Nashville, Tennessee. When I watch him play, he is clearly lost in his art. He drifts effortlessly above the rhythm reeling from his own fingertips, never stopping to worry about which note should come next. He’s so tuned in with the magic being created in the moment, he’s completely tuned out. Like a blissful, transcendent blackout. 

This is exactly how creativity feels – whether it’s writing, designing, solving a problem for a client or knitting a sweater for your dog. Hours pass in an instant. The world and its expectations fall away, until there’s nothing left but the satisfaction of having created.

Our process at Wray Ward is nothing short of musical. In addition to the in-house composers and career musicians who call Wray Ward home, each completed project is a harmonization of inter-departmental passions. Strategists and account leads discover and share in a rhythmic call-and-response. Developers follow code and never miss a beat. Writers and art directors enter an improvisational groove, getting lost in thought with the hope of finding one that’s truly original.

The creative process and music are inherently intertwined. 

That’s why, when I found out Wray Ward is sponsoring the Creative Mornings Music Stage, it made perfect sense to me. Creative Mornings is a place for the Charlotte creative community to fine-tune our instruments and make our voices heard. The buzzing hub that allows us to connect with our creativity, the music within ourselves, so that we might find the music in everything. 

At each monthly Creative Mornings meeting, the Wray Ward Music Stage will be home to a house band. It will also be a place for guest performers, local musicians and aspiring amateurs to share their gifts and inspire us all to turn up the volume on our own.

Like music, the power of the creative process is indescribable. And like the Charlotte creative community, it’s humming with possibility.    

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