October 27, 2019

Music is Magic: The Creative Journey

Phoenix, AZ – Todd Thommes, a composer and musician, is an Arizona transplant from Los Angeles and has begun doing commissioned independent compositions for various people, especially those with podcasts. He began playing the piano at four years old – when he used to be awakened by his mother playing Chopin on the downstairs piano. Todd performed at compositions and received a Certificate of Merit from the State of California when he was still a child. Mr. Thommes says, “Music is a passion. It’s in my life. It is my life. Everything leads to music.”


Mr. Thommes took film scoring in college and interned for Hans Zimmer. Mr. Thommes is varied in his musical tastes and admits to “becoming bored with classical”. He began branching out into jazz during a long-standing gig at the Sofitel Hotel in Los Angeles. He then began earnestly studying movie music, folk, folk rock, and pop. But it wasn’t until recently that Mr. Thommes began learning new instruments like the guitar, ukulele, and cello. He said, “the piano is standard and knowing it makes it easier to learn other instruments.” Additionally, these new instruments have broadened his reach for commissioned pieces.


The piano is the focus of Todd’s creativity and it is also a standard instrument that many musicians learn and use to create with.

Mr. Thommes stated that creativity is essential, and it branches out into other areas of life. For him, this is math and physics. Studies have shown that music encourages and influences “divergent thinking”. A great deal of research has been conducted on whether music is a uniquely human trait. There are differing opinions, but nonhuman animals do seem to communicate in some melodic ways like song birds. However, tempo, which is thought of as the backbone of music, is evident in time keeping, sleep patterns, and our heartbeat. It seems that everywhere around us there is music. Beethoven famously heard music wherever he went.

Music, whether or not it is uniquely human, is important for creativity and creativity is something very human, deeply personal, and liberating. Mr. Thommes is adamant “that music should be taught more extensively in schools and it lends to improving in other subjects. To think musically is merely to think. Hey, Einstein played the violin and Feynman played the Bongo drums. Music is the door to magic.”

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