SCP #171: Chimera
I felt a lot of pressure to produce something decent after my break, as though the imaginary audience in my mind were waiting to judge me on whether the pause was worthwhile, and if I still had it in me to create a decent piece of music. In order to keep those voices at bay I kept myself to some very strict compositional exercises.
I used the theme break as my starting point and made a mind map, first listing general associations that came to mind, and then using an etymological dictionary for more abstract ideas. The word ossifrage, connected to the word break, caught my attention. Literally meaning "bone breaker", it is an old term for a vulture, and supposedly references the bird's habit of dropping bones from a height to break them open so that it could access the marrow inside. Bone marrow led me to chimera, or a person whose biology contains two sets of DNA. This can happen when a patient receives a bone marrow transplant, and their blood DNA changes to match that of their donor. I used this strange pairing of ideas, the ossifrage and the chimera, as inspiration for this piece.
I serialised the word break and ended up with a small set of notes, and instead of playing around with these too much and potentially frustrating myself, I kept them intact and forced myself to work with what I had been given. It was an enjoyable challenge.