Musicians are constantly in the creative process, and perhaps the best source of inspiration is traveling. In fact, as hipster as it seems, a lot of musicians are wayfarers too, going on road trips and immersing in the different cultures in the different places they go to.
Traveling gives an experience and a rich source of inspiration that you won’t find anywhere in the Internet. It can affect the way you perceive life; it can spark an idea for a new song you never thought you can create. Musician or not, you can definitely discover something new when you go places. Here are some unique ideas for musicians who know that making music is worth flying to a foreign land:
Bali, Indonesia: Gamelan
Gamelan is a set of instruments that are typically played together during ceremonies. These instruments are uniquely and originally Indonesian, and so you might find it amusing to hear familiar notes played in varying sounds generated by instruments that look as exquisite as they sound.
Get a new approach in music as the village orchestras in Bali inspire you. Take note of the chord progressions, the messages of the songs. If you get the opportunity, learn the basics of one gamelan instrument. That will definitely give you a fresh take on your music.
Podillya, Ukraine: Sheshory
Going to Eastern Europe in July? Then check out Shesbory Festival, where local musicians from the region come together to celebrate and perform. Try to get backstage passes to have chitchats with the musicians. Form connections and establish a strong network of musicians; start with the Sheshory Festival.
Prague, Czech Republic: Church Concerts
There’s a reason why Mozart is considered a master in music. He was a genius who placed the right notes in their right places and made them sound magical. Even rock stars look up to him and recognize his impact in the world of music.
In Prague, the locals celebrate Mozart’s excellence by paying homage to him in churches. Go and watch a concert to have a newfound appreciation to period music. After all, we owe most of the music that we enjoy now to the ingenuity of Mozart and his contemporaries.
Memphis, Tennessee: Blues
Blues artists know that aside from immense skill, pulling off a blues tune also requires a certain feel. In Memphis, Tennessee, you can have that authentic, sort of grassroots experience by listening to blues music as played by local artists. Just go to an old joint where around 30 people gather and a few artists play. A usual setup would start with somebody going up the stage and playing, and then being joined by another with his own instrument. This can go on for hours, just plain old jamming.
Anywhere in the world: Busking
Take the little limelight that the streets offer by trying out busking. Choose your place: New York subway, Singapore street, Manila underpass. By doing it, you get a captive audience (they don’t have a choice after all), you observe how people react to their music, plus you get some loose change! Who knows, you might make enough money for an Air Asia flight back home?! What’s not to love? Visit thebuskingproject.com and take part of a worldwide street performance to break culture barriers through music.
Where are you taking your guitar/harmonica next?