Sonspiration is a section of AuxCordFM for one-off pieces, special editorials, and everything in between that results from people feeling inspired by a song or album. Today, Michael Pementel shares a piece on finding inspiration in the most unlikely (and likely) places.
As I’ve gotten older, my relationship with nature has grown into a profound love. I live in Chicago and enjoy many of the luxuries it offers me; that said, my heart yearns for the woods, and to walk down dirt paths and nestle under trees with a book. In my travels to see family in New England and Pennsylvania, I often become fascinated by the beauty of the sprawling landscapes before me. I find myself gazing into the woods and at ponds, thinking of plant and animal life, contemplating the stillness and serenity of the wilderness.
Nature has become extremely important to me; it’s a representation of peace and love that I hold very dear to my heart. Along with this care for nature also comes my passion for art. Over time my taste in artistic expression has evolved; in particular, I think of my connection to music. I love a variety of genres, but my most intimate of emotions come from metal. As someone who suffers from a variety of mental disorders, both nature and music play a role in helping me cope; and where nature and music come together is with the band Panopticon.
For those who don’t know, Panopticon is a metal act by Austin Lunn. While the music incorporates traditional elements of black metal, Panopticon also blends Americana folk/bluegrass instrumentation as well. These instrumentals, combined with Lunn’s lyricism, which focuses at times on themes surrounding nature.
I am a relatively new fan of Panopticon, but Lunn’s most recent records, The Scars Of Man On The Once Nameless Wilderness parts I & II, are easily some of the most impactful records I’ve heard in years. Upon the release of both parts, Lunn put out a statement about listening to the music in the wilderness; to take a stroll through the woods, or even how sitting by fire could amplify the beauty of the music.
I have come to know beauty from both these albums. The music and I say this with specific emphasis, is remarkable for the wonder, ferocity, and peace it exudes. Never have I experienced music that releases such emotion into one’s physical surroundings and within one’s self.
While many know me as a writer, I enjoy drawing as well. I’ve come to find relaxation working with pastels; whether I’m in a cheerful or somber mood, I see sketching as a release. Creating abstract pieces, I use colors to express emotion or even larger societal/philosophical concepts. Music is a powerful tool for me while drawing; if I have the right song or record on, it can amplify my current feelings and thoughts. And it was while listening to these two records that I created the piece below.
While listening to both those albums places my mind in a state of serenity; even in the sections that exhibit aggressive black metal compositions, I’ve myself in meditative bliss.
Taking you to the process of this drawing: I stared at the blank page before me as the album started; as the instrumentation kicked up, I found myself compulsively drawing across the page. Flowing to the riffs, drum beats, and atmospheric droning, I found my fingers meshing into the page, spreading the variety of colors inward and outward. I wanted to translate the warmth I was feeling within me and from the music. There’s beauty in nature, especially at night (hence the use of black). To convey the imagery of trees and bark, I combined a mix of greens with brown; and in the middle, I used red, orange, and yellow to illustrate a fire. At the core of nature, I’ve always found a profound, primal element; this concept of animalistic balance that exists within the wilderness and within human beings.
While all these themes and ideas come from my mind, I know this piece was also successful thanks to the music. Panopticon and The Scars Of Man On The Once Nameless Wilderness I & II are astounding masterpieces that I believe bring life to one’s self. They make for remarkable meditative experiences. Furthermore, they are works of art that inspire me to create my art, as well as to reflect on my life. What more could you ask for?