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Listening In: Music to Inspire

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Listening In
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Creative people of all types use music while they work to get themselves in a creative mood. In this installment of Listening In, Gideon D'Arcangelo speaks with painter Natalie Frank. Natalie Frank, 27, just completed her second one-woman show at the Mitchell-Innes and Nash Gallery in Manhattan. She makes massive paintings, measuring 10 feet by 10 feet, and she's very methodical about it. Gideon finds out how she uses music as part of her creative process.

Weekend America's Get Creative Playlist

Song Title ArtistAlbum
1. Walking in my SleepThe Stanley Brothers Live in Japan
"I make custom skateboards here in Omaha, Neb. I make custom-shaped and hand-painted skateboards and love to push the limits of typical skateboard art."
From Jason Thielke, Omaha, Neb.
2.Interstellar SpaceSteven HalpernTrance Zendance
"I am a retired postal worker. Throughout my career I was able to listen to my own personal music and often kept a small sketch pad near me in order to jot down ideas for art projects that began to pop up when I listened to certain kinds of music."
From Jim Clark, Louisville, La.
3. Overture/Going through the MotionsVarious ArtistsBuffy the Vampire Slayer - Once More, with Feeling
"After a perky overture, the first song mirrors the opening stages of a new research project. I write academic papers for conference presentations and publication. It's brilliant!"
From Elizabeth Rambo, Buies Creek, N.C.
4. Circlesong SixBobby McFerrinCirclesongs
"I perform in community theater doing both scripted work and improvisation. I listen to music before shows in order to focus my energy for the show. McFerrin's work, with its perfectly blended vocals, is very calming. It resonates through the earphones and throughout my body. Then when I get on stage, all that energy and resonance is channeled through my character."
From Mike West, Zebulon, N.C.
5. Anvil of CromBasil PoledourisConan the Barbarian Soundtrack
"I'm a comic book creator. I think it harkens back to my childhood where my love of comics and film fused in my imagination. It represents an all-powerful beginning to something grand and speaks of to my love of creating characters and worlds yet imagined."
From Shane White, Seattle, Wash.
6. Happy Just to Be Like I AmTaj MahalHappy Just to Be Like I Am
"I am a user experience designer for Web sites. 'Happy to be Just Like I Am' works for me because it's got one of the most infectious beats I've ever heard, American roots with Caribbean flave, first with an acoustic guitar and then building to this great bass and drums and percussion--and it builds and builds and then Taj and horns burst in ebulliently and with conviction, So any procrastination due to inarticulated lack of confidence I might be fostering gets blown away, and I can get down to whatever tasks at hand."
From Susan Doran, Portland, Maine


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