Do you ever stop and listen to the silence?
There is so much beauty to be found in silence, a blank canvas upon which an artist can create characters, images, music. I dream of a farmhouse in the countryside where I can compose without interruption, swallows and gulls gathering on the rooftop to listen as my chords are given life, squirrels in the forest that will stop gathering acorns, ears keening, to enjoy the rare new sound.
January 2022, my diary entry read: "Very interesting process to transform this piece from something mechanical to a living organism". It was all about creating good balance first, and then bringing it to life using strings, wood, and brass, adding dynamics as a finish. Nothing pretentious.
So, I began with the dream of my farmhouse. I peered through the imaginary window at the endless rolling fields fringed with trees, mountaintops conversing comfortably with the clouds, the sun peeping through to say hello. Venturing outside in woolly hat and padded coat, I imagined footsteps crunching across snowy ground, the snapping of frozen twigs, while everything around me sparkled.
The trees rousing from their slumber in the early morning, nodding silently as I passed by, sharing their solitude with me. Strolling along a tree-lined path by the river, I glimpsed my silent shadow in the sun, a Lost Boy, never leaving but never interrupting my thoughts, for ever my companion like a faithful dog. I swam, alone, with the ripples as company, their gentle shushing like the strings flowing through this piece.
And, to this early hazy soundscape, I added nature’s wonders: the first snowdrop, dew like a tiny teardrop on a leaf, perfect pinecones and snowflakes, earthy potatoes, and ripe oranges heavy with juice.
February 2022, listening to the piece one evening, I wrote: "Very nice atmosphere. Happy and nice! Keep this mood". I considered switching from Albion to Tundra, to create a softer sound image, but instantly realised it wouldn’t work as the piece lost its freshness, its essence.
With everything in place, I began working on the final mix, keeping it simple, straight to the point. Like nature. Each note perfectly formed and exactly where it should be. The interlude, a heartbeat to appreciate the silence from which came life.
The dreaming legacy of a farmhouse in the countryside where I can compose in silence lives on in this piece. I hope you see it too.