• Mel

Blog post for El Paso Jazz Girls!

When Amanda Ekery asked me to write a blog post for her youth organization El Paso Jazz Girls, she told me I could write about anything! Naturally, I had no idea what to write about. But as I sat down to brainstorm, I realized I was already well on my way. Here's what I came up with...

Sitting With It: Thoughts on Inspiration & Creativity

Inspiration is a strange concept. People inspire, events inspire, art inspires, the way the sun peeks out from behind a soft cloud at dusk and it’s corny but now you’re writing a song because you feel something.

It’s easy to romanticize inspiration and the creative process. The media tends to portray artists as mediators of the divine, overcome by the desire and duty to transmit their message to the world. The behind-the-scenes labor of creation is rarely documented in all its premeditated glory; that is, setting up your space, scheduling time to write, researching, editing, revising, occasionally scratching out entire sections. Frankly, it starts to sound like work, and that can get boring! It’s also worth noting that representations of artists are overwhelmingly male, and it can be hard for women and non-binary musicians to truly see themselves in the role of composer/leader. Shout out to Dominique Eade, my incredible voice teacher, who suggested I fill my space with posters of working women. I wish I could say I heeded her advice, but it turns out those posters are hard to find! I did hang a huge Bjork poster above my keyboard. (Did I mention I’m obsessed with Bjork).

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El Paso Jazz Girls is a program for young female musicians to learn about jazz, meet each other, play together, and create a support system. Its mission is to empower girls in a supportive community that fosters self-expression, confidence, and collaboration through music education and performance.