Process Showing - Bombyx Mori

One thing I learned from working with dancers this last year is the beauty of "in process" showings. From my experience, this concept is completely lost on musicians. In conservatory, us composers were required to share parts of our -in process compositions- in class to receive feedback from other composition students, but never, would we ever share this material in front of a general public. The "in the works" messyness of a work in progress is often just opening yourself to pointless criticism from people who don't have the composing/making experience to hear what is good raw material-where it is going, what it's potential is and what to say that would be helpful feedback for a composer.

That being said, I think it is helpful to know/see and hear peoples works in progress. Even if it makes all involved uncomfortable and confused. It makes us less perfectionist centered, it helps us realize how long a good piece of work takes to shape-even after its initial structural/bare-bones map or skeleton is created. It helps us view our art as a craft that is not instantaneous, even though there may be moments of inspired improvisation.

So here are two first takes of tracks that I think will be on my album: (These will be rearranged, probably reharmonized in many places and rerecorded. I will be adding other instruments and back up vocals- lush harmonies- orchestration etc.)

Most of my writing comes out of the ether. There is a lot of sitting in silence, messing around with chord colors on guitar until words come, that seemingly make no sense...then slowly stringing the right ones in some sort of order that feels right - followed by lots of crying...then a feeling of complete depletion..collapse..waking up the next morning feeling like Ive been hit by a truck...

That being said, I was, retrospectively,  inspired by the life cycle of moths, specifically the larva "bombyx mori" stage. Coming out of a long two years of insane extroverted energy thrown out into the world to create four mainstage productions of my own as well as a few for others as a freelance performer, left me feeling pretty depleted from all the

moth-like bashing against the light until certain death (metaphorical-kind of).  

I have been feeling the intense need, not only as an individual human, but as a part of our society and larger consciousness to return to a more introverted, nourishing, complentative, reflective space as a more sustainable way of life and a way to experience more depth in thought and creation.


ok, more later



I have been researching moth symbolism recently. Here is some information pulled from (feel free to share your moth info in the comment-I will read!):

Moth Medicine

*The Secret Language Of Signs/Denise Lynn:

Moth will beat themselves against a light until they die. Do you have perseverance beyond reason? Do you keep working at something without ever achieving your desired results? Look at the situation fronm a different perspective and know that you can attain those results without striving so hard. Moths eat holes in clothes in dark closets. Is something being eaten away without your awareness?

*Ted Andrews in Anmial Speak recommends one study Butterfly Medicine to understand the stages of growth and development of Moth.

*Animal-Wise/Ted Andrews:

Keynote: Sexual activity, fertility, increased relationships.

When moths persist in flying around you, a letter will shortly be coming your way bringing important news. The size of the moth often determines the size of the letter and the importance of the news. This and many other superstitions exist around moths and their closest relatives, the butterflies.

The actual difference between moths and butterflies is not always clear and are relatively minor. Butterflies re diurnal, and most moths are nocturnal and because of this, they rely on different senses. The moth cannot rely on its sight, but has a highly developed sense of smell, which it uses at night. Most butterflies have clubbed antennae, and most moth antennae are feathery and threadlike.

Like their cousins the butterflies, moths also go through metamorphosis. Moths spin cocoons while butterflies create a naked chrysalis. The cocoon is a more sheltered, outer covering. This can often indicate a need to be more sheltered in our creative transforming activities and relationships when the moth is the messenger.

There are many thousands of moths throughout the owrld and they each have their own unique abilities and qualities. If you can identify the specific species of moth, it will be easier to become more clear in interpreting the meaning.

All moths have unique defenses. Some are able to emit sounds that confuse the echolocation of bats. Some are bad tasting. Several make clicking noises to warn their predators, while others flash bright colors to startle off predators.

Unlike butterflies, most moths are active at night. Durin gthe day, they find a place to hide and sleep. Around dusk they begin to awaken and look for food. As they feed, they come fully awake and they spend the night feeding and flying about. The male spends most of each night looking for a female to mate with. As dawn approaches, they seek out a safe place to sleep until night comes again, and the search for food and mating can be continued.

The female moth raises her abdomen to protrude a pair of glands and released from them a scent known as phermone. She flaps her wings to send the scent out into the air to attract males. For many years, scientists were unable to prove that such a scent existed. It is found in such tiny amounts that scientists had to collect the secretions of a half million moths in order to amass and amount as small as twelve milligrams.

Moths are able to find each other by following a scent trail over great distances. Because they are active at night, they need this scent to find a mate. Moth totems and messengers usually indicate an awakening sense of smell. It will be the fragrance of the opposite sex that will most attract and discourage. Trusting in one's own outer and inner sense of smell will be important in relationships--sexual or otherwise.

*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:

Moth constitutes a destructive belief; one that will appear to lead into the "light" yet will result in eventual harm.

*Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens, and Superstitions by Zolar:

In Yorkshire, white moths flying at night are believed to be the souls of the departed; hence, it is unlucky to kill them. contrariwise, should a black moth fly into your house, it is said someone in the house will die. Some traditions hold that death will occur within one month, while others extend it to a year. Among some country folk, a moth entering a house indicates an important letter will arrive the next day.

*Spirits of the Earth/Bobby Lake-Thom:

Moths are messengers from the spirit world, telling us that a ghost is around. I realize that moths are attracted by light and fire, but once again one must study the behavior of the moth to determine if it has gone out of its way and normal pattern to communicate a message. For example, if it lands on your shoulder, ear, or head and keeps following you, it is a messenger from a ghost. A good ghost will give you a warm feeling; a bad ghost will feel cold and eerie, and perhaps pester you. To get rid of it, use the smudge purification ritual and ask the good spirits to take it away.

Hope LittwinComment