Monday, March 15, 2004

The Singing Crab

I was listening to a song today that I hadn't heard for a while: Kiss the Girl, from The Little Mermaid. As much as I like the whole song, I'd have to say that my favorite part about it is the introduction. For those of you who don't remember, the Prince and Ariel are in a boat floating around a romantic little lagoon, and Sebastian the crab realizes that he has to get the Prince to kiss her before time runs out. So obviously this is an occasion for an encouraging song. But rather than having the song just happen, as songs in movies often do, we get to see Sebastian drawing it into existence. One by one, he summons the orchestral parts out of the sea to accompany him. "Percussion..." he whispers, and we hear the drums. "Strings..." and we have violins. "Winds..." and finally, "Words." And then he just sings.

That gives me a shiver every time I hear it; I love the sheer magic of it all. It's fascinating to see someone -- even a cartoon crab -- who can so effortlessly reach into some mysterious part of their soul and create something wonderful that didn't exist a moment before. It's as if he exists completely within an enormous flow of music, and all he has to do is tap into it. This is what I think of when I see people who sketch fascinating doodles when they're on the phone, or compose waltzes while they're riding the bus, just because their art is such a natural part of them.

I also like it because it's something I want to create more of in myself. Writing music and drawing and creativity and such are hugely important things to me, but a lot of the time I find that I have trouble even just doodling little nothings if I don't have some clear, definite inspiration or concept to work on. And that's why I haven't written any music for almost two years, which is sort of sad. I need to learn to spend more time letting myself just write. Even if it means creating a lot of stuff to be immediately thrown away, it would keep me more in tune with the general flow of music through my life. And that would be a good thing.

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