By Henry Garnett
Try something new
Today I tried doing something I’ve never done before.
A while ago an old friend lent me access to their unused cabin deep in the woods of Guildford. Since then I’ve repurposed it with all the music rubbish I’ve accumulated over the years and made a little studio for myself. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in there trying to write and explore my musical limitations in solitary confinement.
I love being alone. People always tell me I spend too much time alone. For me there is an ugly but beautiful dichotomy to it. Everything I have ever done from a creative point of view has always come from working in a silent room with nobody around to disturb me. I need it for clarity. I need it to distill anything useful from the muddy thoughts I live through. The ugly side of this has reared its head all to often but I have never been able to work any other way.
One thing I learnt from the SCA is that this just isn’t going to cut it. You’re thrust into collaborating with people from the very first day. Its a beautifully intense way of understanding yourself and other people but its a very different dynamic to anything I’ve experienced before. Its also the most rewarding but insecurity has no place in it. Communication is the anchor of all we do here so learning how to be comfortable with it is everything.
I’ve tried to channel some of this perspective in my approach to personal projects outside of the SCA. I’ve spent a large proportion of my time over the Christmas holidays working alone in this cabin, but today was the first time I’ve ever invited anyone in. I almost cancelled. The thought of it felt very strange and unnatural as I’ve never written a song with anyone else before. The same partnership insecurities swelled up but I knew it would be better for my development to let someone into the process and give it a different perspective.
We had never played any music together but it was amazing to learn his approach as it was so different to mine. Getting out of my head and understanding someone else’s perspective on my writing was a great way of getting some confidence back and breaking through barriers. Learning to be open and vulnerable from a creative point of view is something I’m trying to work on next year, but still much work to do.
On a lighter note I am proud to have gained well over half a stone this Christmas and I feel fabulous. Hope everyone’s had a good one.