Do you listen to music when you are making jewellery?
I’m answering a question asked by a customer today about my process for making jewellery: “I was wondering if you listen to music when you shape the silver, or just follow your drawing’s vibes? I got wondering, if there was a metaphysical and energetic influence of the music on the shape the silver takes, because of the physical sound wave of music, I am very curious to know if it might, or not. I like the idea of it, the jewel containing the essence of the music/sound because the sound shaped the jewel and the metal captured the vibrations.”
Well, I am not a physicist, acoustician or neuroscientist so I can’t tell you exactly how sound and my synaesthesia interact. What I can do is describe the effect the music has on me and my synaesthesia and how those vibrations come out in what I make.
Music Is Always At The Core Of My Jewellery
The short answer is yes. I do listen to the music while I am making jewellery, and I do translate the visual, metaphorical and emotional effect of that music directly into the silver I am working. Given that the pieces I am working on currently are all based on the playing of one musician I listen to his playing A LOT. You’d think that familiarity would diminish the energy, it hasn’t.
Part Of The Architecture Of My Mind
I expect you may have gathered that the musician in question is the guitarist from Muse. Those conjurers of baroque, psychedelic, space prog. Matt Bellamy, yes I spend an inordinate amount of time with his swirling, chaotic guitar sound in my ears while I am making jewellery. I search the live performances and the bootlegs as each song is played differently every time, (thank you YouTube…)
It is like living with an exquisite work of art. I hear a new facet of his playing in each listening so, no I don’t get bored. The three-dimensionality of the visuals I get are stunning. As I am making jewellery I translate them into the silver I am working. Each piece of silver is a snippet of pure sound. Based on the spectacular synaesthetic reaction I get while I listen to that delicious distorted guitar sound.
I could extrapolate a lifetime of work from the playing of so many of the musicians I hear. One short snippet of playing could be a month’s work if I let it. I have to have focus otherwise there are too many sweets in the sweet shop! Matt Bellamy’s playing has now taken on an almost physical form for me and has become part of the architecture of my mind.
Passage of Sound Into Jewellery
The sound waves enter my ears. They are pretty high-frequency ones given the pitch of an electric guitar. They also have an aura of distortion that surrounds them.
My brain perceives this stimulus as both sound, and for some reason as a thing to see. It creates a twisted, three dimensional, silvery, sweeping miracle. Like lightening made of mercury. I follow the elation of this reaction and translate into solid silver shapes. These are shapes to wear and shapes to convey some of the energy and strength that comes out of the music.
If you want to know more about the physical experience of Synaesthesia read this blog post: