SCP #53: Library Ladder
I hadn't realised it, but somewhere along this project I stopped judging my work and just got down to the business of doing it. For some reason my judgement was turned back on for this piece, which is why I realised it hadn't been there for the past few weeks. Despite recent complaints about the heat and lack of emotional and physical energy, all those songs felt like a breeze to work on compared to this one.
I really disliked all the ideas that were coming out, and eventually put a full stop on the piece and recorded it as basically a verse and chorus, which feels very unfinished and unfocussed. I had produced all these interesting ideas and images in my timed writing exercises, but I just couldn't get them to work.
I think the crux of the issue with this piece was comparison. Firstly, I was comparing my song output to the writing exercise output, and found the song lacking. I wasn't able to capture the spirit and ideas of the exercises in the music, and it was really frustrating me.
Secondly, this piece is closer to a pop song than most of the music I've written recently, and there is a much larger body of pop music to compare my own work to. There are also lots of established rules and structures in place that make a pop song work effectively, and not only do I find it difficult to mould my ideas to fit these structures in a short space of time, but these rules provide quite direct points of comparison. For example, do the verse and chorus successfully fulfil their required roles in the song?
Finally, there was also the comparison of this piece to my internal understanding of my artistry or style. Was this piece a true expression of my artistic voice, or was I trying to emulate some other artistic voice that came from someone or something else?
I have no answers yet for overcoming the challenges presented by each strain of comparison, but I hope that next time I'm feeling frustrated with a composition I'll be able to figure out if any or all of them are conspiring to make the process more difficult than it needs to be. I know from my web development career that once you identify the problem you're almost all the way to solving it, and I suspect the same goes for creative work.