Art and music are fuel for life. “Romantic art is the fuel and the spark plug of a man’s soul. Its task is to set a soul on fire and never let it go out.”
Painist Michelle Dunk first became interested in classical music around the age of six. She calls it finding refuge in the extraordinary!
Even at the age of six, long before I could cognitively understand why I was drawn to this music, I was acutely aware that I was enthralled by this particular style…
The power of music is a fascinating thing, and the experience of playing the piano is a profoundly personal and intimately emotional one. Sometimes it’s an incredibly uplifting, purely positive experience such that I become awash with a reverence for life. Other times it’s a gut-wrenching, heartrending, soul-baring experience in which the breath is knocked out of me. Both are satisfying in their own unique way. While the latter involves some degree of pain, it’s the best kind of pain possible – an all-consuming torment that reminds me that I’m alive and that my life is worth fighting for, despite the suffering I may encounter along the way. It’s a fiercely intense experience, and rightly so, because life is intense…
It would be wrong to say she just plays piano. That barely describes it.
When the emotion driving the particular piece matches my emotional state perfectly, the result is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, hitting me so deeply it’s as if my heart is bleeding out over the piano keys. The emotional tension is faced with its musical equivalent and is cast into oblivion. When I finish, I feel rejuvenated and relaxed. The tension has vanished, and I’m at peace with myself and the world once again.
That’s what great art can do. (Tell me a Colin bloody McCahon painting that can be anything like that transformative!)
Rand described art as fuel for the spirit. Some view art as an unnecessary indulgence, but I consider it to be a profoundly vital human need. In a world where so much seems to degrade the human spirit, where the potential of individuals is too often forgotten, and where greatness is too frequently traded in for mediocrity, art like this reminds me that I must never let go of my vision.
Do yourself a favour and read her piece, and check out the selections that are her kind of music: “the kind that touches the soul and provides fuel for the spirit, rekindles our passion and curiosity for life and allows us to remain focused and determined.”
READ: Finding Refuge in the Extraordinary: Romantic Music as Fuel to Set the Soul on Fire – Michelle Dunk, A SPARK OF PASSION
[Hat tip Lauren Meyer]