SCP #47: The Space Between Our Hearts
I'm coming to the end of the third week into my full teaching schedule, and I'm starting to feel a little burnt out. When I don't have a lot of time for working on the day's piece I fall into tried and tested habits and processes, and while I'm in the composition process my inner voices are telling me that the music is becoming routine and uninteresting as a result. Many of the processes help me turn off those inner voices, but perhaps as I get better at using the processes the voices get better at finding their way through my defences. I think the answer is to keep introducing new processes and composition exercises, to keep my brain distracted from self criticism.
Those voices were hard to turn off during this one, as it was late and I was tired. Despite yesterday being my one day off teaching (not counting my one 9am student), I didn't manage to sit down and work on this until about 11pm. The bulk of the day was given over to admin, and also to attempting to troubleshoot uploading videos to Instagram. I spoke a few days ago about how I need to feel the day's task is complete before I can relax, and while I'm getting better at switching off once I've written and recorded the piece, I still crave the final sense of conclusion that uploading and sharing the day's song provides. I know that I have friends who are following this project via Instagram, so not being able to put a tick in that box irrationally frustrates me. I gave up yesterday and just uploaded a still from the video, which might have to become the norm, as I have about a 98% failure rate in uploading videos through every device, internet connection and method available to me. I've even taken to walking to the local library, as their internet connection seems to give the best rate of success, which is actually a ridiculous length to go to.
For this piece I took the line "all the eyes in the furniture" from yesterday, and combed the Folklore Encyclopaedia for interesting bits relating to furniture woods. One entry for pine caught my attention, a belief that pine trees trap the spirit of all the winds that pass through them, which is why they moan. This became the starting point for my lyrical explorations, and I only had a skeleton of the lyrics so they were fleshed out in the improvised performance. I kept it simple harmonically and chose a scale to improvise around, plus a short melodic motif that could be repeated to anchor the improvisation.