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Characters In a Story as Musical Inspiration


Real CharactersWhat inspires you? What makes you feel creative and want to “make stuff up”?

Among my fans, one of the favorite albums of piano improvisations was inspired by the paintings of a single artist. “Painting Piano” is one of my best-selling albums and I chalk that up to the inspiration from Katrina Morse.

No matter what form it takes, I am often inspired by the artwork of other people. My friends know that I often idolize Peter Gabriel when it comes to songwriting. He also inspires me in the ways he connects with a vast array of artists and other musicians around the world.


Characters LoveI’ve also found creative compulsion out of witnessing performance artists, Broadway musicals, sculptures, and many more. So, there are millions of art forms that are inspirational.

Characters MaybeStill, I was surprised at the ease with which a story could inspire. Not only is there the arch of the story, the pictures painted with words, and so on, there are also the characters.


Characters Notation

When I had the joy of reading one of the works of Ami Hendrickson, I found myself surprised at how inspiring the characters were to me. This was even more surprising since the intended audience was young adults. Ami was posting an upcoming YA novel on her blog. (No need to go looking for it. Those posts have since been removed.)

Characters MidnightWith each weekly installment, I became more taken with the characters and the story. And I was not quiet about it. Once the author noticed, she reached out to me and we became online friends (though I certainly hope to meet her in person one day).

Characters Puppet

Once that happened she posted a blog noting “anyone who loves what I write is my intended audience”. Well, I definitely love what Ami writes.

Characters Image

Eventually, through this inspiration and our correspondence I began to improvise on each of the characters — and occasionally a theme that spurred the characters on — in her story. I hope to read “Dear Alderone” in hardcover one day. Until then, you can listen to the piano improvisations that the story inspired in me.

I didn’t need to be surprised. Beauty is always inspiring. Whether it’s the swath of paint or the texture of a sentence, beautiful creativity inspires me. What inspires you?

Sound Off

One more note: I cannot say enough good about SonicCouture’s Hammersmith Pro piano library! This is by far the finest piano virtual instrument (‘sounds’) I’ve played. If you are a musician who wants and needs good sounds, you need to check this out.

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