December is always the month where we spend a little time looking backwards to look forwards isn’t it?
This year is made doubly so as I look back at Drawing Songs for my own sake and for the sake of the Arts Council Evaluation form. That is a more formal approach that compares what I proposed to do against what I actually did. Fairly straightforward really.
But in terms of doing it for my own sake, I am looking towards the reactions of my audiences. The drawings are more predictable… I get regular feedback for them, as they appear on social media and are easy to respond to immediately.
The music however, takes a bit more effort for people to access, a few more clicks, in the right environment, possibly with extra equipment such as headphones. It makes me feel more exposed and vulnerable as most of that making goes along behind closed doors until it’s done – although there have been a few times when I have released a few tastes, that have had positive responses – the release of a whole body of work, 12 songs all in one go, one album’s worth – is a different matter. But people are definitely listening!
I have collected responses, and have been lucky that those who thought negative thoughts didn’t feel the need to express them (to me)!
Here are a few edited highlights:
“Drawing Songs is an intimate collection, embraced by soundscapes”
“interesting, emotive lyrics and atmospheric soundscapes. Plenty of earworms here!”
“evocative and delicate and warm.”
“standout vocal performance”
“really interesting songwriting and lovely production”
“the lyrics engaged me immediately and I enjoyed the chord sequences and the way it goes on a bit of a journey”
“a nice eerie feel to it”
“music that’s patient and takes its time”
“lovely chords when they hit, and such a direct lyric and emotion”
“Beautifully disturbing soundscape that emerges and re-emerges”
“This is stunning … Beautiful strong lyrics and production”
“inspired lyrics …Love the soundscape too”
“This is remarkable work”
These comments have come from people I admire and respect, not all of them people who love me and feel obliged, although a couple are! Lovely words thank you xx
So I feel satisfied that these songs have hit their mark, as songs, not just as an accompaniment to the drawings. It is important to me that this is the case, that I have a Venn diagram of work and audience.
Some people I know have only looked at the drawings, some have only listened to the songs, but I do have a slowly growing audience of curious people who like to experience both at the same time. As the work was made, so it is starting to be viewed/heard. That feels great, it is what I wanted to happen, and I’m hugely grateful that it is happening.
I have only a few of the limited edition CDs and lyric book packs left. I intend to publish a second edition later, in 2022, to coincide with the digital release of the songs… probably with another installation of the exhibition too.