The Inherent Music of Storytelling by Janine Donoho

Dancing with my veil

Dancing with my veil

Our brains on music

Our brains on music

“Music creates order out of chaos: for rhythm imposes unanimity upon the divergent, melody imposes continuity upon the disjointed, and harmony imposes compatibility upon the incongruous.” –Yehudi Menuhin

Melodic impulse suffuses our lives. We’re creatures of rhythm, beginning with biological cadence—the rush and wash of our mother’s blood sustains us. Our emotional responses to music go deeper yet.

First as inquisitive child, then dancer and choreographer, and finally as storyteller, aural patterns enrich my existence. When I discovered Bach, especially as interpreted by Yo-Yo Ma, his suites blended with breath and heartbeat, freeing me to move into relaxed openness where creativity thrives. Count this as therapy on many levels.

Different musical patterns stimulate our brain’s emotional, motor, and creative areas. Yet generalizations that the right brain equates with creativity and the left, logic, have proven to be an oversimplification. Better to visualize different parts of our brain lighting up dependent upon pitch, volume, tonality, and rhythm.

Colors of music

Colors of music

Now ponder the secondary effects of music on involuntary responses. Our vision, language, and memory align to tuneful variations. This torrent generates the subjectivity of our song choices. I won’t even get into how our unique chemistry transforms those reactions.

The one hardwired response? Emotion. The basic distinction between overtly sad and happy tunes affects us. As we age, those effects increase.

So while Mary McLaughlin’s “Sealwoman/Yundah” provided a cadence to strive for in Soundings: Water Elemental, the piece may—or may not—elicit the same response in you. How successful my writing proves to be in reaching that pinnacle? I leave that to you, dear readers.

How does music elevate your life? What are your current favorites?

Music and our brains

Music and our brains

Skirt dance.

Skirt dance.

Zils and the dancer.

Zils and the dancer.

Travel as Gateway to New Worlds by Janine Donoho

We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment. – Hilaire Belloc

Egyptian passageway

Egyptian passageway

Doorways, windows, and gates always feel like a call to adventure. This proves especially true while taking in the view in Peloponnesian Greece while pivoting

Bronze age bath

Bronze age bath

around in Agamemnon’s ruined bath chamber. Experience delicious shivers when you remember that this is the scene of ancient crime. Upon Agamemnon’s return from the Trojan Wars, his wife Clytemnestra killed him to be with her lover Aegisthus. Then Orestes, her and Agamemnon’s son, murdered his mother in revenge before going mad with guilt.

History’s rampant with rape, murder, incest, and treachery—the substance of legend, myth, and story. Discoveries arise when you take a much needed break on

Anatolian burial site

Anatolian burial site

an Anatolian burial platform outside Pemukkale, Turkey. Or as you stand outside one of Malaysia’s ornate gates, where invented stories feed into your creativity about who lives behind them.

In Northern Africa I learned the phrase, “Your mother would be ashamed,” after inescapable brushes with roving gangs of

Valley of the Kings

Valley of the Kings

menacing boys. For those interested, it’s سيسبب عملك هذا الخزي لأمك! Sadly the pronunciation has moved beyond recall. My rendition usually garnered laughter while temporarily redirecting hooligans from tormenting innocent animals. Useful, huh?

Travel feeds spirit, imagination, and stretches your world view. You bump up against cultures and languages that expand your horizon exponentially. You gain language skills, especially polite ones, although I confess to a joy in adding foreign invectives to my vocabulary, too.

Portal to ancient Egypt

Portal to ancient Egypt

Welcome to another view of travels with moi. Enjoy and allow me to wish you joy in your journeys, too.

How have language skills expanded your travel? What do you wish you knew then that you know now?

Beautiful door & man

Beautiful door & man

Doorways

Doorways

Cattail gate

Cattail gate

More beautiful doors - Morocco

More beautiful doors – Morocco

Red gate Kuala Lumpur

Red gate Kuala Lumpur

Egyptian passageways

Egyptian passageways

Soundings, Water Elemental

LaunchFebruary 27th, 2015
The big day is here.

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