One of the things I intend to tackle this year is improve my familiarity with Western music theory and harmony—eventually.
Like many music lovers I experience a fair bit of auditory hallucination, and a big reason why I want to write songs is because there is music in my head all the time that I want to hear and shape in person, so to speak. More fluency in the language that most easily transcribes and translates these hallucinations would be helpful (and necessary).
But there’s something to going into this labour with the unavoidable clumsiness of ignorance. Because there is less guile, there is less control; there is no agenda to meet, no room to hide. How rarely we (or I, anyway) can stand to stand in that space—and to be made in the making of that space.
Maybe you know this. You know how it’s different when you’re writing, for instance; the idea may come out but it has to be read and processed by another brain in order for it to run. In contrast, singing from nothing, in the moment, compels you to think through the idea as “a body wholly body, fluttering its empty sleeves.” The duplicated self becomes a partner. In this becoming, precision will follow. In the meantime and always, there is play.