Arts and culture Creativity People

Sharing hope and joy one melody at a time

Anna Cannon at her premiere at The Civic, Invercargill 2016

Like most people in New Zealand, I’m confined to my home, apart from my daily walk to the beach which is only 300 metres from my house.  Living by the sea gives me joy and watching the tide come in and out reminds me that there is always hope in a new day. 

I feel grateful for all I have, and thought about how I could bring hope, joy and happiness into the lives of others whilst in lockdown

On March 24th 2020, I decided I could contribute to the wellbeing of others through music, specifically new compositions inspired by our current situation, focusing on hope, positivity and beauty.  The first piece was called Listen. 

I shared the video on Facebook and went straight back to the piano for more inspiration.  Music from the heart is uncomplicated.  It has no agenda, no fear, no anxiety about what others think, it simply is

The creation of a new piece often starts with a word or phrase in my mind, but sometimes I don’t know what to call the music until it is finished.  Often while I am composing, I have lyrics in my head and the melodies often form from these.

For example, on 7th April I posted a new piece Do Not Be Afraid.  If you listen carefully you can hear a vocal line on the piano, especially at the end, “do not be afraid.”

With so much beauty surrounding me, I find inspiration in the rhythm of the tide, the sound of the wind, the birds and gentle rolling hills outside my window.  Sometimes I move away from melody and try to create a sound picture of the sea or of someone walking on the sand.

I also find inspiration in friendship and have written pieces for people based on my love or respect for them.  The music conveys what words cannot.

It’s true I have musical knowledge and have studied and taught music for many years, but this gift of spontaneous improvisation has been with me since I was a young child.

Knowledge has simply opened more doors and allowed me to explore ideas I might not have considered.

I believe we have an opportunity to grow, to recover, to bring hope and to better our relationships through the adversity we are all faced with.  Throughout my adult life I have used my creativity to anchor myself through difficult times.

My best creative work has been created during the most difficult time of my life.  I have also used creativity as a tool to stay mentally well in times where life was not kind to me.

This season of our lives offers us an opportunity to grow and love unconditionally.  I have found new ways to connect with others through music and I have found myself happier than I have been for some time despite Covid-19.

I try to convey feelings through sound and emotion through beautiful melodies.  If my music touches only one person, it will be enough!

I’ve also shared poetry and daily photos of life in our hometown, Riverton, finding ways to turn the ordinary into extraordinary through mindful appreciation of what I have.

To watch a video of Anna and her ‘Sea‘ composition click here 

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To see Anna’s new music and videos  click on #CoVidCreativity


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