It’s kind of a funny subject to discuss, since I believe inspiration can come from anywhere, but I have been thinking of this topic for quite awhile now. Of course, we all like to have great moments of being inspired, whether it be long-term, as we need for songwriting, or very short-term, as we may need for a burst of notes within a solo, but it may come from any number of sources, for sure.
I know for example that these days, many folks love to have a recording studio or at least a small recording setup, in their home. I think that’s great, but I have always felt that if I literally had to “fall out of bed” to do my musical work, I just might never get around to it! Therefore, I personally enjoy definitely going somewhere to work on my music when I am recording. It gives me a sense of “going to work”, and for me, actually heightens my level of being “inspired” musically. This is why I spent many years recording in Woodstock, even if I was no longer living there. I felt as if something different would “kick in” to my style whenever I was going there to record with Levon Helm, for example, and even when I did my first solo acoustic album, Drive it Home, I felt that I benefitted from going to Woodstock and essentially “transplanting” myself to do the work. Even the place I stayed and slept at seemed to have an interesting effect on my music. I don’t know, maybe it’s the old “touring musician” inside me that’s so used to having to be creative in new places that fuels this personal phenomenon!
I have discussed this with many other musicians too, and it surely is a lively conversation. We all look for that inspiration wherever and whenever it can be found, but we must also be able to “turn it on” sometimes when we really need to. This is also something I have been fascinated with as far as songwriters are concerned, as there always were the great “Tin Pan Alley” writers who could practically write songs at the drop of a hat on a daily basis. This is great, because it shows how you can really maintain a kind of “floating” and sustained inspiration that can be tapped when you need it; certainly a great human characteristic! You also, and most importantly, need to be able to recognize a great, and inspired moment when it comes to you, because it is truly a gift that you must take heed of!
So, it’s a subject that can go on and on, but I know it’s something that I always try to stay tuned into, and you should too! Here’s to many inspired moments for us all!