Wild Beast + A Witness To Beauty... Completing the Triptych (coming August 2016)
HUSK is a week old! My album is now officially out on Cdbaby and Spotify! Soon to hit Amazon!
So, naturally, I am in deep with my 134 voice memos from songs written in between songwriting and production for HUSK. A lot of upheaval means a lot of songs. And thats what I got.
Production was actually pretty uncomfortable for me because the part I'm best at is over...So I continued to write songs to quench the creation thirst that runs rampant....thus the 134 voice memos to now wade through.
These last two days, post the last of my shows/release of the album/final breakup/birthday celebrations etc has been something like this....Wake up: try not to think thoughts, drink decaf coffee (so as not to agitate inner beast) while walking on the lake. Come home-try not to let my thoughts go to anger or heartache. Ease my body into something comfortable-nap/bath/clean some mundane, random object in my house. Make a call to cancel whatever plan I had that hour that now seems too overwhelming/pointless. Repeat X3 or until about 5pm at which point I sit with my music and start to navigate.
While walking, I am often listening to various playlists that encompass sounds, materials, textures that I'm considering/fawning over. I consider my typical emotions at different times of the day, how sounds and different daylights effect me and how my mood transfers to said sounds and how I hear and receive them.
I build up some anxiety in anticipation of creating, then go through some mantras, listen to some guided mediations, take a bath, relax, cook, lose thought.... Consider why, in this body, in this life, anxiety rushes into the open spaces...when I leave open spaces....(never empty-but open) why it bursts in with some purpose-veiled distraction...
I have a new goal for myself.... to only create in moments of ease-or when I'm not agitated (this is a huge goal because I am nearly never comfortable). Just to see if the results are more pleasing. So I will now meditate until I reach that state-then begin and only go for as long as I can stay, honestly, in that state. Its bizarre but often I must reset my mind every 5 minutes or so as not to let my thoughts runaway down some horrifying path. (often to feelings of betrayal or just plain sadness-my personal beast)
So! To the point!
"Wild Beast!" and "A Witness To Beauty" Is something of a double album completing the triptych that HUSK began.
(the urgent timing of these is a combination of the intense feeling that they must be done by summer otherwise they (their essence-muses-wherever songs come from) will disappear into the ether, never to return....... and that I begin grad school in the Fall, so these songs need to get done and out before I start a very intense study of Music Composition for the screen at Columbia College)
I will be exploring the violent nature/emotions that desire awakens. The aggressive needs-the completely terrifying beast that takes hold of you and drags you by the collar through humiliating altercations whilst you are constantly reminded by the beast itself that you have no control over your emotions until further notice.... Until he/she, hopefully, drops you in pursuit of a new victim...
Emotions like a Chinese finger trap that feed themselves into greater and greater hysteria.
On a scholastic note...I was deeply inspired by the setting and themes of nordic mytholgy- specifically Odin and his Ravens: Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory). (ravens had been following me around all winter-these are very intense creature to have watching/swooping/circling you)
In Norse myths, the Gods play both sides. Odin and Loki grant favors/victory to the honorable and dishonorable...just to...i dunno...mimic the brutality of nature? For a culture in which a man's survival is based completely on his honor and the validity of his word, this is extremely traumatizing/amazing.
Anyway I love the wild feeling of those times, the stark setting, the necessity for a strong survival instinct and the culture's connection with nature and the BEASTS OF MYTHOLOGY.
My friends and I have been recently discussing the feeling of having a beast inside that is mostly guarded and sometimes dormant but very much at the edge of his/her seat-with fantasies of wrath and destruction in the name of self protection (all lies)... This album is lighting that up. Think lamps not fires.
Orchestration and texture wise, I plan to play with electronics and explore more of my blues influence.
"A Witness To Beauty"
will explore more of my jazz roots, I'm still split in some dichotomy of my musical influences...I'm sure they seep into one another from an outsiders perspective, but from the inside of my brain/guts they still need separate canvases.
It occurred to me, suddenly, while taking time to walk through the Columbia Contemporary Photography Museum before my grad school meet and greet, that maybe
We stay busy because we are horrified at the grandness of our life.
realized in that moment, that when
I don't have my hands in something beautiful, I'm terrified for my life.
Thus, this exploration begins!
*these are my musings during the creation process-everything maybe completely change.
All photos by the one, the only... Matthew Gregory Hollis
I am feeling this one as the