I love being a songwriter and a performer. Years ago I crystallize my thinking by saying that writing music brings clarity and catharsis. While performing the music allows for absolute release. Look, I have way too many thoughts and feelings rumbling in my brain. In order to make sense of my world I need to let free those thoughts, create meaning and music allows me to order them, note by note.
I learnt a great deal about how to write a song by being a writer for a corporate magazine. I recall one of my mentors admonishing me by saying, ‘Auriol, if your house were on fire what would you say? Would you be reasonable to a stranger passing by in order to help you? No! You would scream Fire! Help me!’ I never forgot those words. When I sit down to pen a song the first lines have to resonate deeply and make an impact. Yet the best part comes when I am stuck in the middle. When I have to figure out how I will kill off a character on a song, how best to exact revenge or articulate a feeling that is so fragile. Then I can be seen and heard arguing with myself in various accents, pacing furiously and smoking under the black sky.
Looking back I now know that every song, every album represented a snippet of my psychological and emotional state of being. The demons I had to stare down or slay. The strength I had to summon towards myself to overcome a setback. Or conversely the lies I tried to convince myself of. Writing music is not for the faint at heart. Hell, it requires so much introspection and vulnerability. I had to decide whether to walk this earth with an open heart or an open wound.
Finding balance. Everything in my life and music speaks to that one central thing. How truthful am I? How brave? How principled? I do not subscribe to Christian morality, although there is a great deal to admire. In the end all I can do is move towards what feels good, honest and true. Regardless of what shows up in the world or my life. This is what is at the centre of the music I pen and it is a conscious choice. I compose music about what remains true now. Then I actively seek out different people and experiences…… as there are as many versions of the world, of the truth as there are people. Damn! That thought excites me wildly and sets my imagination free.
Knowing that dark days will come when I doubt my very existence on this planet, music is all that allows me the solitude to explore that darkness without being lost in it. The progression of dodge or bright chords can easily snap me out of the pit of despair I find myself in I realised. And so I remain….happy and watchful….for the miraculous. I know now, it’s out there. I know it’s in here, in me and sometimes all I have to do is remember… and bring that to anyone who will listen