SCP #172: Refraction I
I am struggling to return to the routine of this project, and have ended up a few days behind again. My life is messy at the moment: my mental energy is being swallowed by recent rental uncertainties, and the potential disruption and financial pressure of having to move to a new apartment is really stressing me out. This is fuelling the voice that asks "what is the point of doing this?", and not just this project, but music altogether.
One of my friends called this project a great example of "gamified self improvement", which is a nice way of putting it, although I think the thing missing from my game at the moment is the reward. I'm almost six months in, and the feeling of personal achievement as I tick each song off is no longer enough. That reward feels too small for the energy and lifestyle sacrifice this project requires, and that extends out to music in general. Of course I should make art primarily for myself, but art is also there to be shared, with the hope of communicating something to others who will be moved in some way by it. In my darkest thoughts it seems absurd that I am pouring my time and energy into making art that might not actually interest anyone.
My thinking has been blacker than usual recently, which I know is due to a string of recent rejections for various grants and awards I have applied for, plus the seemingly impossible task of drawing an audience to gigs. The former is something I must learn to cope with, as rejection is a likely outcome when you put yourself forward for competitive awards. The latter is trickier, as the performance itself is a reward for the hard work, but I have been thinking that my energies would be better spent making live performance videos that can be shared beyond the very small audience willing to trek out in the cold of Melbourne winter to watch my obscure set of music.
The one part of this project that is still creatively rewarding is finding new and interesting ways to film myself. Here's the first in a series of three pieces working to the theme refraction (which is linked to break rather than the piece that came after it, but hey, they are my rules to bend.)