In this project, I set out to investigate and increase my understanding of the ways in which art and music can be used to give us the strength to process difficult emotions arising from complex societal issues and injustices. In psychology, artistic processes can be seen as a way of bridging the external world with the artist's internal world, thereby creating individual logic and organised chaos. (Kogan, 2018; Stratou, 2014; Hagman, 2010). Creating art is a process of the artist processing the outer world within their inner world and channelling the combined emotions into a form of artistic expression, (Stratou, 2014; Kogan, 2018; Hagman, 2010) which, in my case, is music.
With my current work, the creation process itself takes place in the forest because to me, that is a space that balances the complex and at times overwhelming external world and my internal world. By going into the forest I become immersed in the natural external world, rather than composing conceptual ideas of music in a practice room, isolated from the multi-sensual external world. As a consequence, the natural environment of the forest provided rich inspiration for composing music, providing stability and calm between my inner world and current external complexities. Urban landscapes and nature provide a haven for people in urban environments, especially those living in apartments, such as myself (Tan, Liao, Hwang, & Chua, 2018).
Throughout the project I uncovered new reflections and discoveries about moral responsibility following my research question of: How can art and music enable us to process difficult societal issues, emotions and give us hope?