Are you honestly expressing yourself in your work?
The problem in expressing ourselves honestly is we can often get in the way of expressing things that live far below consciousness. Something more real and often much more honest. Myths used stories to express the inexpressible, and maybe this could be a good way to go with our creative works.
I was surprised to hear Thom Yorke, who i felt must be the most honest portrayer of emotion in modern music, admit that he spends most of his time trying not to be himself in his songs.
“The voices on Karma Police, Paranoid Android and Climbing up the Walls are all different personas. I think Lucky, the lyric and the way it’s sung, is really positive, really exciting. No Surprises is someone who’s trying hard to keep it together but can’t. Electioneering is a preacher ranting in front of a bank of microphones.”
Instead of expressing yourself when creating, it can be powerful to take on the 3 following roles…..
Firstly be God, or The Creator. Your role is to invent a scenario and a hero. This can be anything. This is easy. Go bat shit crazy… anything goes!
Secondly be the Hero, or the main character in your creation. Doesn’t have to be a Hero, could be someone in deep despair, maybe The Protagonist wold be a more accurate word. This can be difficult to become. The only way is to fully let go. Become them and express yourself as though you are them. You need to empty yourself and make sure there is no one to disturb you as you fully express them through you. As an alternative, you could ask somebody else to become The Hero in your creation and save the embarrassment.
The third person you will have to become is The Cameraman to capture everything in your chosen format, ie. words, music, painting, film etc. . You have to record this marvellous scene as faithfully as you possibly can, being careful not to worry what other people might think – just capturing it in your way! As The Cameraman, you can have personality and a way of recording this world in your own way while staying true to everything you witness.
So can you be three people at once? Could this be the key to creation on a deeper level. .
“It was like there’s a secret camera in a room and it’s watching the character who walks in – a different character for each song. The camera’s not quite me. It’s neutral, emotionless, but not emotionless at all. In fact, the very opposite.” – Thom Yorke
And so, i thought it was time to try this out. Every song i have ever written or produced has been written from my perspective as a DJ, and written with a dance floor in mind – with everybody dancing and letting go and having a right old jolly time. So i thought id try to change this for the first time and so i added a few tweaks to my boring dance floor…
A working mans club, like Phoenix Nights. On the stage was a dead rotting Elvis in all-in-one white suite with tassels, he was pouting, with a finger pointed in the air. His band was made up of other famous dead musicians and they did not give a shit! They were here to have fun, and why the hell not – theyre fucking dead! I then pictured the crowd… they were all the people i have known in my life who have died. My Grandad sipping a John Smiths, Good friends and family drinking, smoking, chatting, smiling. They looked relaxed as they enjoyed the ambience and the band are ready to go. God presents The Deadbeats live at The Afterlife Club tonight!
In trying to become The Hero – a Dead Fat Zombie Elvis, i banged out a song – really rough and quick. Its pretty terrible listening back, but its all in the spirit of experimentation. I recorded and mixed the track as The Cameraman, trying to captured the vibe of the place, with all the rotting dead people dancing and getting down. This resulted in a strange tune called The Dance of Death by The Deadbeats. It’s totally ridiculous but was a heap of fun to make and has thrown me into a new way of creating.
I am now experimenting with this idea of creating from new worlds – experiments in musical myth, watch this space.
Tonight Matthew……. I am……… GOD!
“Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming ‘sub-creator’ and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic ‘progress’ leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien