Art-making and Music My personal experience and journey through electronic music

For this assignment, I decided to choose electronic dance music as the backdrop and inspiration towards most of my art work. I created not just one but several sketches that were the byproduct from being immersed into the flow of music. Therefore for me, as an audio/visual learner, this exercise actually helped my cognitive performance when designing and sketching my art work.

For the first charcoal sketch, I played Essay's "Rihannon" which had no lyrics and was slow enough for me to be 100% immersed into my artwork. Below is my completed sketch:

"Forest," Reema B.

The above sketch is an abstract representation of light going through the forest. I decided to use sharp eraser marks to indicate the rays passing through the leaves of the trees.

In my second sketch, I used real dubstep music which was called "Beautiful Lies," by Mt. Eden. The music was not only soothing but had strong bass beats that created layers of vibrational tones. These vibrational tones almost mimicked the theta and delta waves which have been proven to be beneficial in concentration and sleep. Here is my second sketch:

"Through the Eyes of the Ocean," by Reema B.

The sketch above is a sunset on the beach, with a woman's piercing eyes above the horizon line. This sketch for me was parallel to the beats of the music.

In the last sketch, I used a portrait of a woman in a hijab. During this sketch, I played "New York," by Alicia keys as it reminded me of Brandon's photographs that we have studied over the last 2 weeks. I associated this sketch with compassion because the song lyrics really exemplify how people need to be aware of the struggles and triumphs of others within the inner cities.

" Someone sleeps tonight with a hunger more than an empty fridge"- Alicia Keys

Therefore, the song truly evokes empathy through the lyrics as well as through the composition of the music. Below is a sketch that represents the diversity of people who reside in New York.

"Woman in Hijab," by Reema B.

Although music has helped me to fully concentrate on my work, studies have shown that music has mixed results in cognitive performance. For example, students who tend to choose music of their own liking are less likely to focus on the tasks at hand by being distracted to the lyrics, beats and emotions of the music (Dolegui, 2013). Therefore, I think it's important to always use music that will best be suitable to the work at hand.

So how does music and art relate to compassion? For one, music evokes certain kinds of emotions which allows people to truly feel their feelings. Secondly, by integrating music with other forms of art, people will probably have enhanced feelings and motivation to act on these feelings. For example, if people are singing in a church choir about helping others, they are more likely to act on these feelings. However, much research needs to be made on this theory.


Dolegui, A.S. (2013). The impact of listening to music on cognitive performance. Inquiries: Social sciences, Arts, & Humanities 5(9), n.p. Retrieved from


Created with images by kpr2 - "dj music disco"

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