I’ve been working on my usual two primary fronts now for ages and I’m one of the few who the current situation didn’t effect as much.
My day job is as a cleaner and the contracts got reduced but more spread out so there’s no lack of leaving here. I’d say the main thing I miss is coffee shops.
Two of these posts were written in them at the very least and they have been great for escaping my environment here to consider options, challenge myself and more importantly, focus.
When I’m there I’m not as surrounded by the little details of things that beg and behoove my involvement. My first television pilot Bass Line was written entirely at the Starbucks near the intersection of Gorge and Tillicum here in Victoria. As it was a comedy and I was the most influenced by Ricky Gervais at the time I had this thing of leaving first thing in the morning (my then-girlfriend and her kids would be asleep in our bedroom and livingroom so turning a light on was not an option). Going with my influence I would then put on the Office Theme, the original Rod Stewart version of Handbags and Gladrags, as I walked past all the morning commuters to where I would be working for the next few hours. I had always used cafes as escapes but this cemented it as my office. I did have an office with my former cowriter as well and I genuinely miss that little spot we had in downtown Victoria.
Anyways today is the first day I’ve had off, due to the Victoria Day long weekend since this thing began. I am doing final edits to the Quiet City novel which I’ve been working on slowly for a little under a year (though parts of research and the idea has been around since before Bass Line in 2013. As I said on here how content creators should create content during this lockdown I have been trying to put out song a day on Instagram (tompogsonmusic). I sometimes do them on Sundays but this is usually the dead day for that, though maybe that has changed as the idea of days has. And without Cookeilidh I have been primarily focused on music study so I’ve been using some online sources to improve at keyboard and of course bass guitar. There’s been some songwriting as it just happens organically but I’ve not wanted to push it as it’s so easy to make music about the most obvious subject.
I still maintain my belief that this whole thing is the natural world’s shot across our bow. I think it’s more one part of a whole, which can be solved. If we didn’t feel pressure to achieve, be number one, conquer seemingly everyone around us, whether a single soul, a corporation or a country maybe we wouldn’t be creating the pressure which has us pushing our luck. We keep adding pressure until something breaks. This doesnt work.
Anyways, steering away from my politics I feel like creatively I’m finding my own threads musically and as a writer like finding what my groove is with more certainty and what sounds like me. I’ve been listening back to my work and putting it into playlists and finding what has actually worked. I mean I like everything from hard rock, industrial and electronic to Sibelius, Kurt Weill and Shubert but there is a sound that is my natural home. Havent done as much livestreaming lately as my devices aren’t up for that but that’s fine. I am curious to see how different things will be after all this is over.
I dont know if I’ll put out an album soon as I have done Goldblacks (over in the Music section click here for more on that ) and might put out just singles. I wanted to do that album to prove to myself that I could, but its interesting as Depeche found their groove during the creation of A Broken Frame, and I think in some ways I did the same. From it and beyond I know what works and what won’t.
I also have my really out there vanity project called Song of Devotion which is script based onto the most controversial and dramatic part of the Depeche Mode story from 1993 to 1998 but that’s just when I’m between edits. I like the creation process for screenwriting but I have had enough negativity in the production processes to stop a train so I’ll see how this goes. If fully fleshed out I might bring it so someone but theres the question of who with something like that. Due to its subject matter it could not be small budget so I would have to be connected to someone with serious firepower. Not sure about that, but it is fun to work on anyways.
Fun is hard, which reverts right back to the political side again. Artists shouldn’t feel like their activities are based on what has the most financial potential. I should be able to suddenly start using watercolors without thinking I’m on the wrong course. After the death of the legendary Florian Schneider of Kraftwerk I watch a documentary on that scene and the level of out of box thinking that led to them, Tangerine Dream and Krautrock and eventually synth-pop like DM was incredible. This included a non musician artist who formed a band stating how he didn’t like melody as it “grows in your head like a worm”. Some of these supposedly crazy things are how real change happens. Instead of trying to catch up to what’s happening now, like singers tried to sound like Eddie Vedder in the nineties, your better off starting it from scratch on your own and finding your trail.”Go the other direction, your chances are better”
Anthony Robbins Cheers,