Music As Inspiration: Punk

I really enjoy music, all types of music. I’m quite proud of the variety of different types of music I have on my iPod. I am not, however, a musician. I can’t play any instruments or sing particularly well, but I can appreciate the skill in doing both, and I find great interest in tracing the influential history of different types of music to discover where they came from. I find music inspirational because of the ideas reflected in the music. Music is perhaps the most public form of art today, with massive record sales, internet downloading and the popularity of MP3 players. It is used to sell products and create interest on television programmes. I believe that any art form can inspire another, and so music can inspire an illustration or a sculpture could inspire a video.

Recently I have been listening to early punk and post-punk music and getting an appreciation for what they were trying to achieve. Bands such as the Sex Pistols and The Clash are examples of what can happen when people strike out against an established order. The whole punk movement was meant to shock, but not necessarily for shock’s sake. It gave a platform for people to express radical views such as anarchism and nihilism and to gain a following.

What punk represents is a music genre’s ability to kick start or drive a subculture. The music is someones voice and through their popularity the musician can become a voice for the masses. Other subcultures such as the Hippy movement and Black Metal movements have given different groups the same opportunities with varying degrees of success, but what get’s me about punk is the rawness of it. It was meant to be easy and accessible and that is definitely something I want to explore in my work. My work doesn’t have to be difficult for someone else to reproduce, it’s not about that. it’s not about showcasing a talent, but expressing an idea and getting it out there to the wider world. In the same way that John Lydon of The Sex Pistols couldn’t really sing by conventional standards, it was more about getting the ideas in the lyrics across.