SCP #42: Some Kind Of Crazy Novelist
One of the reasons I started this project was to give myself permission to create whatever kind of music that day inspired. After releasing my debut album Twelve Moons last year I spent a lot of time struggling to categorise the music I liked to make, and trying to fit it into predefined genre boxes (folk? jazz? experimental?) that it was never quite the right shape for.
Genre categories are something of a double edged sword. They are a useful tool for explaining to others what you do, yet they can be rigid and unforgiving, limiting your creativity to whatever is acceptably within their bounds. This project allows me to align my work to the project, rather than a genre, with the project providing the cohesive glue that allows me to talk about what I do within a context.
This way of thinking about my work is incredibly liberating, although the thoughts about what is and isn't acceptable in one genre or another still creep in. For this piece I turned yesterday's melodic hook into an ostinato, and the odd time signature put it into the jazz box. My inner jazz critic was telling me that it was too simple and had to have more chords and more improvisation, and my inner folk critic was telling me that the odd time signature was too complicated and I should scrap it and start again. I know that this thinking is stupid, as the only critic that should matter is my own aestheic one, totally free from genre or style-based judgements. So instead of scrapping everything and starting again, I continued on in the spirit of the project and just let the piece be what it wanted to be.
Thematically I went with the word tangled from yesterday, and after mind-mapping and playing some word games I had the phrase "tangled moment" which provided the inspiration for these lyrics about trying and failing to communicate. This one was quite difficult to play with minimal practice, and this is absolutely reflected in the intense concentration on my face in the video, plus a few moments where I look genuinely terrified.