Global storyteller-musician Brenda Rudzinski is in Chennai to groom the students of Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music. A jazz singer-songwriter, she developed a special interest in music as a medium for storytelling and a cultural vehicle to express herself.
“Rather than me ‘choosing’ music as a creative medium, it chose me. Everyone needs an outlet, and music showed me space where I could express my emotions. As a very young girl, I was drawn to the world of sound playing on the radio. I would listen to it for hours and try to emulate the singers of the time; matching pitches and holding out notes as the singers were doing. I did this also with drum beats, bass lines, etc,” says Brenda.
She started off her musical journey by writing stories about imaginary characters and locations as well as creating groups for theatre productions. “It was a natural progression to merge music and stories. Ideas/themes for storytelling primarily came from the world around me. It’s very easy to find inspiration in everyday life — it could be a conversation between two strangers, a person’s reaction to a situation in his/her life, a road trip experience and so on. When I see something interesting that’s happening around me, I feel a strong connection with it and this makes me write songs with meaningful stories,” says the musician.
The Brooklyn-based songwriter reveals that writing songs is harder than what people think it is. “People love great songs, but unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of great songs. Writers should be encouraged to come up with better songs. I admire the work of Joni Mitchell. She writes amazing lyrics,” says Brenda.