3Ws – Carolyn Downie

 

 

What do you create?

I create music in assorted flavors, textures, shapes and sizes. Pieces sold separately. May cause side effects such as relaxation or enjoyment. Involuntary mental or physical movements may occur such as thinking, feeling, humming, foot tapping and dancing. Consult with your healthcare provider before consuming in large doses… :-)

Ok joking aside for a bit, I write digital music books, make recordings and also music videos. Right now I have three solo piano albums and a music book & video series for kids, “Piano Traveler”. I’m also working on a project called “Time Signatures” where I create music to reflect on our current times. (Musicians will get the double entendre here). For example, I have done a music video for the 9/11 Memorial in NYC and also about the year 2012 which was fun.

 

Why do you create?

Great question. When I got out of college, I remember thinking, “Wow. I just spent the first two decades of my life figuring out how to make music; now I have to figure out why.” I think about this a lot – It’s the existential crux of everything!

For me, I consider music a language, so my core ‘why’ or intent is similar to a that of a writer or even computer programmer versus that of other performing artists (such as musicians, singers or likewise, actors or actresses). It’s a different impetus.

I like using music to convey a message, to tell a story, to learn, to teach, to ‘paint a picture’ or just express this in stream-of-consciousness as part of the process (which is essentially what music improvisation is). Helping people via music with therapeutic applications of sound is a motivator of mine for the future.

Also, not to get too conceptual here, but I love that music & pictures work with the subconscious, intuitive level of perception while words & lyrics work more with the conscious, intellectual level. Connecting the two is part of my work.

I also like working with the math, form and symmetry in music and writing. I see these as tools for the architecture of a piece so it’s more of a ‘how’ but since math is also a language, it’s also part of my ‘why’. Math. Because it’s fun!

Ultimately I do think creating music and art professionally is a privilege in society that not everyone has (including myself a lot of times). Appreciating this helps me keep going with things. So that’s probably my biggest “why” now too.

 

What do you consume?

If it’s true that “you are what you eat”, I’d be a mess if not mindful of what I consume! As an introvert and especially with some health challenges in the mix, I’m very careful about what I consume whether it’s food/drink, TV/media, computers/electronics, etc. I definitely need large doses of silence to ‘clean the palate’. I do think life gets too overwhelming and distracting for me with too much input. I like to keep it simple and low tech for that reason. I don’t have a cell phone. (I know – shocking!) This really helps me though.

Also, this is random but I tend to crave and consume a lot of salt. Yes – salt! Whether it’s going to the ocean or through food, maybe because salt is an excellent conductor of energy, for some reason extra consumption helps me a lot-although the American Dietetic Association would tell me otherwise! I guess I’m kind of a food rebel like that. Anyway, pass the salt!

In terms of music consumption, I’m discerning with it also and really like finding new stuff – not necessarily as in popular, commercially viable or even with the latest technology or in the “now” new, but new as in innovative. It’s rare. I remember a mentor of mine saying that there’s a lot of creativity but few innovators. I like to be on the lookout for new things from this vantage point. At the same time, I know there’s a time and place for everything so I keep an open mind and ear to it all.

 

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3Ws – Kaira Rouda

 

 

What do you create?

I create piles.

Creative piles, mostly. My husband and I have been married for 27 years. My warning to him when we married: Love me love my piles. For me the creative process is messy, but fun.
That sort of describes me, too.

 

Why do you create?

Because I must create. Here’s the thing. If you know you want to write, have dreamed of doing so, and you’re not: it’s time. I waited a long time to actually pursue my writing career. It’s ok, because it happened. I would be inconsolable if it never happened. Please, if you’re reading this and it’s your dream, find a way to make it happen. Your dreams are worth it.

 

What do you consume?

Until I watched the documentary, What the Health, I consumed cheese. If you love cheese, don’t watch that movie. If you love the planet, you probably should. As for other things I consume. Novels, of almost any kind. Time spent with friends and family. And life. We’re so blessed to be here.

 

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3Ws – Linda Stasi

 

What do you create?

Every day as a newspaper columnist, I get to create an alternate spin on a news story that’s real and often unbelievable—the who, the what, the-what-the-hell of it. Some true stories though, are so inexplicable that if I wrote them as fiction, I’d be drummed out of the business.

Ah, but then in my other life, the novelist one, I get to create stories about a newspaper columnist based on the mystical research I’ve done. Hopefully, I create compelling and believable stories—not ones that will make readers ask, “What the hell?”

When I’m not typing, I’m taking pictures. My photos are reflective of what I do in life…except my photos ask a question without answering it.

 

Why do you create?

Because I have no choice. If I couldn’t write, I couldn’t breathe. I began tooling around with writing fiction when I was going through a very bad period and was out of work. I’ve always worked as a writer, and when I didn’t have a job I literally felt that I couldn’t catch my breath. So I started writing fiction to try to find myself again. I was shocked to discover that writing fiction is the opposite of reporting. Tabloid journalism means you have to compact the most information into the fewest words. Writing novels meant I had to learn to luxuriate in taking two whole sentences instead of two measly words to describe something. Without noticing it, I started to breathe again. Then I got a job.

 

What do you consume?

At the risk of sounding like a fool, I consume adventures like other people consume coffee. For my first novel, I drove through five countries by myself, (consuming too much gas), took a road trip with an exorcist priest of the Vatican, (again more gas), hiked a mountain twice (no gas) and consumed too much of food and wine along the way. For my new novel, I traveled to the Middle East, went into a 3,000 year old burial tomb discovered under a distant relative’s home in the desert of Israel, consumed everything in sight, and consumed way too much wine. My husband and I just got back from climbing Machu Pichu and seeing all the stuff in Bolivia that couldn’t have been created by humans. There isn’t much air to breathe at 14,500 feet above sea level so I consumed coca leaves like a native, and consumed oxygen from a can like a sissy tourist.

 

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