SCP #39: Nothing To Be Wished Upon
I composed and recorded this one after having a wonderful chat with an old friend of mine for next week's episode of Mind Over Myth (which is now available for you to subscribe to on iTunes). He stayed for dinner, so once again I was chipping away at my daily song late at night. Since transitioning to a career as a musician and music teacher I have struggled with the change in schedule. Unlike my old 9 - 5 jobs, I do the bulk of my work in the late afternoons and evenings. The habit of many years' relaxing in the evenings is a hard one to break, and I feel strange and guilty if I sit down in the morning or early afternoon to watch a film, knit or sew, or just do something mind numbing for a few hours. All the late-night songwriting is taking its toll, however, and I realise I really do need some downtime. I spent a few hours before lunch today watching Vice documentaries, and there was one about Romanian witches that stuck in my mind. In particular, it was the idea of the witches tearing open the sky to read the future that really struck me.
For today's piece I chose navy from yesterday's text as a thematic starting point, which led me to the colours navy, indigo and midnight blue. This linked back to that image in my mind of witches tearing open the midnight sky to read the future, and so I worked on that idea for this piece. The lines "And I see it is nothing but a cloth dipped in indigo, stretched tight / Old and moth-holed letting through pinpricks of light" were interestingly rhythmic, and I felt they worked much better spoken than sung. It took a bit of experimenting to find a tempo and feel that would complement these lines, and once I had it I built the rest of the piece around it.
Melodically I took the opening hum of yesterday's improvisation, which was reminiscent of strings. I added a second hummed interval to create a major 7 cluster chord, and looped them to create something lightly inspired by the sound of strings tuning up. The end of this performance was not entirely what I had planned, as I think I got harmonically confused. I probably shouldn't have pointed it out, as it is probably not even noticeable, but I think it illustrates an important point that mistakes are nothing to be afraid of. They are usually just momentary wrinkles in a performance, and there's always the next note, the next bar, or in this case the next day's song to make up for them.