I’ve been hiding out here like a hermit. It’s about time I came out of my shell- or forest, I should say. I live in a forest now:
Yesterday, it dumped a good amount of snow outside (yep, for real it snows in May here) so I ran out with my camera and shot scenes of my barn and around the forest just outside the house. Is it obvious that the song “Rest” was recorded here while taking in the winter scenes?
I’m surprised at how much my environment has affected my creative process. All of my recording studios prior to this have been in closed up, dark rooms or industrial buildings. This is the first time I’ve had a sun-lit studio. I’ve realised how deeply affected I am by my environment.
I suspect that I have pretended that it doesn’t matter, especially when I didn’t really have the choice. My recording spaces usually give me the following choices:
- Stare at the computer screen (which typically means staring at neat looking plugin graphics that make you think the track is sounding better)
- Stare at the speakers
- Stare at neat looking analog gear in front of me that isn’t being used because it takes too much work
- Stare at wall #1
- Stare at wall #2
- Stare at the inside of my eyelids
So I may have just pretended that the world of music only exists within me, and that I was immune to the external factors. Living here has brought me a new sense of peace. The Future of Forestry album that was written and released here is “Awakened to the Sound.” There is a certain landscape in the tones that I don’t think I captured in my previous albums. Between takes or writing string parts, I’d often look out the window to take in the beauty of my surroundings. Sometimes, my nominally sound-proofed studio would surrender to the bitter howling wind outside my window (did that make it on the album somewhere?).
I’m a sucker for change. I can’t stand it when things are always the same. When I lived in San Diego, I loved surfing or just watching the waves because there were never two waves that were alike. The view of the mountains here is like that; it is always changing, always new.
I would rather do anything than write the same song over and over again. I suppose it is the thrill of discovery that beckons me to keep creating.
How have you been influenced by your environment? Have you found ways of using your surroundings as the fuel for creativity? I would love to hear about it!
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