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There’s an immediate sense of being in some other reality and it’s hard to explain but I feel it evokes both a feeling of being in deep space and at the same time there is a kind of water world vibe to it. – @MusicAsMetaphor

Listen to the Live interview  Episode #383 http://tobtr.com/9558215

Jacqueline Jax logo photoGETTING TO KNOW MICHELLE QURESHI
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

Music as Metaphor

As a teenager, I was magically drawn to this instrument
and so I began my journey as a self-taught guitarist when I bought my fist guitar at age 13. Being the middle of five children meant there was a variety of musical taste in our home; from the Beatles to Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchel, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and onward and I learned something from everything I heard. It was a great time to be a kid with a guitar! Although I taught myself to play other fretted instruments in several musical styles, I didn’t have formal training until after I started college. It was during this time-when I switched my major from psychology to music- that I decided to pursue a B.M. and M.M. in Classical Guitar Performance. After taking a break from music and starting my family, I am revisiting my passion for music, delving even deeper in to who I am, to create and perform my music.

New World

I recorded and performed the acoustic
and electronic tracks to the piece New World in my home studio, where I’ve made 7 albums thus far, and have created a library of around 500 music tracks. This particular track is one of fourteen on the album Scattering Stars, which is an ethereal, ambient, new age album. Each piece unfolds into a new and different world, but this one is the one I actually titled New World and I think that’s because it feels so otherworldly. There’s an immediate sense of being in some other reality and it’s hard to explain but I feel it evokes both a feeling of being in deep space and at the same time there is a kind of water world vibe to it. Hearing the guitar enter after nearly a minute and a half of the lush and dreamy music pads does ground it a bit, but then the music quickly takes another direction. So maybe it’s more a sense of time travel than a travel in between different worlds. As for a story behind it, I work very intuitively as a composer. I rarely title a piece until it’s complete, and sometimes the title can take a long time to come to me. But the music, when I’m in that paradoxical state of both deep focus and total openness, just flows. Some would consider it to be like channeling. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it’s something I experience whether I am performing solo improvisational guitar, or layering many tracks of different synth textures on a project in Logic X. But like any creative person, you’ve got to study hard, gather your knowledge, work on honing your craft, and then prepare the way for it all to come together. That’s the gift you give yourself- work toward the 99% of perspiration so that 1% of inspiration shines through!

Purchase Music: http://www.michellequreshi.com/music

Music helps us raise the vibration; it energizes and calms us,
it expands us and brings us into a state of introspection, meditation and relaxation. It’s a way to communicate emotions and ideas that transcend words. I created Scattering Stars with these ideas in mind. Each piece unfolds in its own way, presenting dreamy, ambient soundscapes drawn with delicate strokes and an underlying spirituality. Scattering Stars takes you on a journey. My hope is for people to immerse themselves in this listening experience and let the music freely take them into this timeless and ethereal world.

In writing music, I always feel that by quieting my mind I am able to hear and follow the direction the music wants to go. It really does mean getting yourself, your ego, your own small voice, out of the way so something special comes through you.

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I live in Carmel, Indiana, just outside of Indianapolis.
I’m not very connected to or familiar with the music scene around here. Initially, my music scene was a virtual one, posting my music online, first on bandcamp, then CD Baby. My audience and fanbase was establishing itself online, with fans across the globe. But a few years ago I was part of an exciting festival, Serendipity that launched in a rural area just southwest of Indianapolis. It was a Music, Yoga and Art Festival that brought people together from all over to celebrate these things. The co-founders are both people who have encouraged me and supported my music ventures, and it was great to be a part of Serendipity the two years that it ran. These days I do perform locally, but not in conventional venues like clubs or bars. I bring my music to art galleries, yoga studios, spiritual centers and special events. I play house concerts as well, which is my favorite way to present my music. Occasionally I travel to music conventions or conferences and connect with people at venues in different cities to play gigs, but for the most part I stick close to home to be with my family and raise my daughter. After she grows up, I would love to travel and bring my music to all kinds of people and places around the world!

The business of music definitely requires a different skill-set.
I just returned from a music conference and we were a mix of people; there were musicians and then there were people in the music business. What I observed is that some people see music purely as “product” to be marketed and monetized. While others-such as myself, see music as something intangible and unique and not quantifiable. Of course there are many people involved in music and the music business who fall somewhere in that spectrum between seeing music as “art” and as “product”. Striking a balance in how to make a living as a musician requires looking at aspects of music as a business and trying to make it work, without sacrificing artistic integrity.

The pros I have experienced so far with music
have been when people hear my music and understand it, feel it, and want to become fans. That motivates me to keep working to discover sounds and create music full of the feelings I wish to share. The cons for me have been few, except maybe disappointment when a business person hears my music in that same way, being moved by it, and pitches a great plan to me, for something like promotion, exposure, licensing, etc. but then there is no follow through on it, or no success with it. This has happened a handful of times. I feel lucky though, because most of my experiences like this have been from people with good intentions.

Most often I try to stay grounded and accept that what is meant to be will be.
Music is so subjective and once you start sharing your music, it’s important to not take rejection personally. But it’s not easy to find the balance. You need to be strong enough to just let non-constructive criticism go; to ask yourself what you can learn from constructive criticism; and to still remain sensitive and open creatively in your work. I think a lot of artists are already highly critical of their own work. I know that struggling to discover just the right sound, just the right note and just the right moment of silence, all these artistic struggles contribute to triumphs when you create something beautiful.

A lot of my music is inspired by the beauty
I find in Sufi poetry and therefore I would like to have that five-minute conversation with the 13th-century Persian poet and Sufi mystic, Rumi.

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.michellequreshi.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MusicAsMetaphor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Michelle.Qureshi.MusicAsMetaphor
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/michellequreshi
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MusicAsMetaphor
Instagram: http://instagram.com/musicasmetaphor

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