Category: Creative process, Songwriting, Stories

It’s early morning in a small French town where, for the next week,  I’m spending long-awaited time with family. Sitting here reading and writing, I realise that I have a thing for ‘beginnings’.

Beginnings of a holiday
The best part of a holiday must be the moment you lock up the house, put away your keys, pull out your passport and get in a cab. It’s the ‘discovery’ that makes a holiday magical, the freedom to do whatever you want, when you want. I’ve been here less than 48 hours and it still feels wonderfully brand new. Spending time with family. Sharing some laughs over home made food and local French wine is a delight. The September wind is cool but the sun chases its bite. The land is awash with hues of yellow and green, and sunflowers cover the horizon like a blanket.

Beginnings of a day
I am still enjoying the daily ritual of coffee in hand, music whispering in the background, and that mild excitement of what the day may hold. My favourite blogs always go some way to starting the day on a positive. feeds the appetite amply. The variety of art, geography and stories makes for great reading. Only today a long-lost Van Gogh painting was unveiled for the first time, and an article about a new exhibition of J.D. Salinger letters as a young writer.

It amazes me just how creative the human mind can be. How I love the sense of discovery some blogs bring. I came upon the The 78project about a year ago as part of my wanting to learn more about the history of audio recording and its preservation. ‘A journey across America to record todays musicians with authentic 1930’s technology in a quest to connect with the haunting recordings of the past’. The site contains digitized 78’s. One of the latest is ‘Memphis In the Rain’ sung by Justin Townes Earle.
The Photo Palace Bus  is a travelling darkroom dedicated to traditional photography. ‘Its aim is propagation of knowledge related to historic photographic techniques through cross-country art exhibits, lectures and demonstrations’.

Beginnings of a song
There is a deep joy when a string of notes I’ve been playing evokes a sound and that sound becomes a melody. The melody dances in my head a little and I have to record it before I forget it. After all, it’s never before existed out loud.  Once it becomes familiar to me, I close my eyes and let my voice ‘walk’ freely, hoping it’ll gain momentum and take command of its own direction. When it does, new paths appear in my mind’s eye (i.e. verse, chorus, bridge) and eventually the song takes shape. The process is captivating, literally. However, it is always those beginning notes that are the most memorable. The beginnings of discovery.

I think that’s why I enjoy The 78Project and the Photo Palace Bus so much. They seek to create through exploration and, as they do so, each project they embark on is so very different to the previous one.

Now THAT is discovery.

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