This post is in the Surveys and Interviews category

This is an excerpt from an interview with Mary with whom I have worked for several years, not least on a co-written album. Here we discuss the idea of detail making up a whole, and getting sucked into a process.

CW: somebody asked me once to make some relaxation music

M: big laugh

CW: why are you laughing

M: because I’m thinking of all the complicated stuff and the rhythms going and thinking how the hell are you going to relax like that!!!

CW: well that’s exactly what happened – it was someone who was attached to allied health in Toowoomba way before I met you

M: I’m just saying, look, I’m sure you’d be able to do a great job but I’m just thinking about, if she listened to the, if you gave them the album and get them to relax to that [laughs]

CW: well unfortunately, um I don’t have the pieces anymore

M: what pieces

CW: the pieces I made for the relaxation

M: ok

CW: and I wish I did because they’d be an interesting example because they were very complex there was this going all the time, I played it to the people and they said, well there are some people who would probably not be able to listen to that at all not be able to stand it. They used it for some people and not for others, but I said “for me it’s like if I have a marimba pattern, dici di di, it get to the point that that just becomes like glass

M: yeah

CW: and everything else can just float over the top

M: yeah

CW: and there are moments in the album where that has worked and I know I do it a lot, those little patterns, but that’s what is going on inside my brain and its like, if that’s not there, then the floating doesn’t happen

M: it’s like a pad

CW: it’s like a pad but it’s an active pad

M: yeah

CW: in terms of the process though, I know that when I’m creating that pad, I get sucked into it and there were a couple of times when you surprised me by getting up and walking out of the room when I was doing that, I’m working on this , I’m just going to do this for a while and you getting up and going “ahh” and going off to the kitchen and

M: no, but sometimes I was just joking and just going to go off for a walk or something because I knew that at that point there was nothing I could do with you because you were just doing your thing

CW: because I’m doing my thing

M: what can I do

CW: laugh I probably should have chosen other times to do my thing

M: well you see this is the thing, that you now see that process. That’s probably right while your’s here we can work on things that we can do together and then I’ll work on this in my own time

CW: but you’re um process in the contribution to the project is instantaneous it’s “I sing” or I have a lyric or whatever, for me all those little things require time, it’s actually a different process as well

M: so that’s your process of going away and working on stuff, like I have to internalise the actual music

CW: I guess, yes

M: that’s your process of observing and making sure its right

CW: but I feel like I observe it from inside when its being made, I observe it from its construction, rather than looking at it from “above” once its made its no longer mine, I’m no longer involved in it.

This interview was one of those moments when I said something in all seriousness and got quite a surprise reaction from someone who knows me well.  Apart from revealing my own different take on music that I find relaxing, it nicely contrasts my own reserved body language with Mary’s.  I really was surprised and quite taken aback at her laughter.  Additionally, the interview our different processes of “getting it right”.

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