Subscribe
Notify of
guest

2 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
3 months ago

FS: But do these songs not have a life of their own? You’ve written about how they almost seem to predict what happens.
NC: Yeah, I think there is an element of that. It’s hard to talk about without sounding ridiculous, but I think, from my experience, the songs seem to know a little bit more about what’s going on than I do myself. Even though I’m working in a very conscious way to get songs written, I don’t have any control over the outcome. In the end, I find I’ve just written stuff. That often surprises me; the songs I’m writing now surprise me hugely, as to where they’re actually going. (Not that I really want to talk about those – it’s just too early.) I have, I don’t know, 12-13 songs that feel good, and I realised I’ve actually had no control over them, the whole time.
I don’t know how to describe it. Creation’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, only you’re inventing the jigsaw as you go along, and you don’t know what the picture is going to be, and maybe not all the pieces you make end up in this jigsaw puzzle but instead in the next one, or the one after that, or the one after that, but somehow it all fits together. Like you’re discovering a long-forgotten invention that nobody ever invented before.
Speaking as a writer, I’ve said that a manuscript is a series of interlocking puzzles which the author needs to solve, and when he’s solved them, he has a novel. But you’re setting the puzzles for yourself. They don’t exist until you set them, except that they sort of do, because when everything comes together, there’s this glorious moment when all the pieces fade away and you suddenly cease to have a quilt and instead have a single unmarred tapestry that seems to have been there all along. It’s a bizarre, mysterious, mystical process which is not really possible to put into words, ironically enough.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
3 months ago

Agreed. That is how writing feels to me. The fact that you set the puzzles yourself doesn’t matter so much . . . once they are there, they demand a kind of appropriate resolution . . . both you and anyone reading knows if you have tried to twist the puzzles so they fit together in a way that’s not appropriate.