Sunday, November 22, 2009
Having a long 'break' between pieces (of music) can be a daunting thing. Can I still write music? Have my technical skills and creative spark deserted me? How did I used to do it? I remember one of my composition teachers in Edinburgh saying that having a baby would not make me a worse composer but quite the opposite (I’m sure he expressed it more eloquently). I have held on to this idea over the last couple of years when I’ve felt like that part of me was slipping away out of reach. In the past I think the longest I have gone without writing music has been about 12 months - either due to exhaustion or business in other areas (like teaching) or perhaps disillusionment. My most recent 'break' has been in many ways quite liberating. Having decided to focus on child-rearing, and found my own way around the guilt/frustration minefield of motherhood, I have given myself permission not to write for a while. But now I am starting to re-engage with that side of my self, trying to get the cogs moving and the connections firing. I have been carrying pieces around in my head for some time now and mulling over ideas and concepts and the challenge is to find an ordered way to articulate all these things. Sitting down to work again has been an enlightening experience - I feel like I am embarking on 'My Creative Life version 2'. I find that I am approaching things in a different way, partly because of the imperative of time and partly because of a shift in the way I think about what I am doing and why I am doing it.