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How Time Outside Inspired My Music

Posted by Rachel Wendling at Jul 17, 2018 11:48 AM |
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As I got older, I realized that many of my favorite artists were drawing a great deal of inspiration from nature. I decided it was time to start experiencing these beautiful places for myself. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the connection between artistic expression and wilderness is a deeply ingrained part of the human experience.

by Steven Moore

Many people who know me would be shocked to learn I wasn’t so outdoorsy when I was younger. Although I grew up a stone’s throw away from Olympic National Park, I spent much of my younger years on activities like video games, painting miniatures and listening to music.

As I got older, I realized that many of my favorite artists were drawing a great deal of inspiration from nature. I decided it was time to start experiencing these beautiful places for myself. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the connection between artistic expression and wilderness is a deeply ingrained part of the human experience.

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Music has always been an endless source of joy and inspiration in my life. I’ve played musical instruments since I was 10. After graduating from the University of Washington, I served in AmeriCorps in my hometown on the Olympic Peninsula. I decided to start exploring the connection between music and wilderness on an even deeper level.

Being outdoors gave my mind the space to wander and express itself more freely. Sometimes, while in nature, I would think of a song I was writing and would suddenly feel the music taking shape in greater form. Whether it was the sound of a river or the wind that brought me to these creative places, there was no denying the impact. At other times, I would channel the feelings of wonder one might experience somewhere like a sunny alpine meadow into my guitar playing back home. I even wrote a song called “Pika’s Prance,” inspired by the adorable energy of these critters.

After moving back to Seattle to work with WTA, I continued my musical journey in the city. Working up the courage to play at some open mics in beautiful venues like the Fremont Abbey helped me to meet other artists and start performing around town. My writing continued to improve as well and still maintained a deep connection to the outdoors. I experimented with replicating nature sounds such as rain through my guitar fingerpicking in songs like “The Raven’s Home,” which became part of my “Mossy Raven” EP.

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Steven is currently touring through Alaska while living out of his retrofitted Honda Element.

“Drought’s End,” a song I am particularly proud of, was inspired by the wildfires Washington experienced last summer. I was hoping to do some backpacking in early September, but the thick smoke had me retreating indoors. Taking advantage of this free time, I harnessed my frustration and churned out some moody new material. I then tried to convey the feeling of elation I felt when the rain returned. I put that feeling into the second half of the song, to capture the full spectrum of emotion during this tumultuous time for the Northwest. Through all of my writing, I am always striving to bring people closer to nature and the most beautiful parts of their imagination.

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