This February

Cumulonimbus in February, 2 February 2019. Copyright 2019 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.
I took this photograph of cumulonimbus clouds, bearers of hope and change.

I joined SubscribeStar

I am delighted to share that I have joined SubscribeStar1, a platform enabling one to support a creator through a subscription. My reasons for doing so are to create an opportunity to support what I do, and to establish a space where I may experiment with ideas. Whether on matters philosophical, sacred or secular—in the form of essays, musical and poetic sketches or photography—it shall be my studio; a creative laboratory, if you will.

The artistic process is complex; the thinking of the artist obscure. On SubscribeStar, I shall clarify my process and thinking in the company of sympathetic minds with whom I hope to deliberate. I shall treat it also as a journal wherein I may share the updates, observations and discoveries hitherto contained in the monthly digests. My goal is to create a subscription section on this website, but until then, SubscribeStar will perform that function.

I reflected upon this blog

Ever since I joined social media in 2016, I have devotedly shared there distilled ideas and updates. These I then assembled and elaborated upon on the blog, particularly over the past year, in the “This Month” posts. So consistent have I been, it has become an observance. Now that I have joined SubscribeStar, I can better investigate subjects without burdening followers with the bombardment of posts that will inevitably result from my doing so.

This then is the last “This Month” post. It does not mean, however, that I shall no longer be active here. On this blog, I intend to share at the appropriate times what emerges from SubscribeStar. I shall make official announcements and present work and ideas in their developed form—that is, not the works in progress or the extemporary rumination that will be characteristic of my SubscribeStar activity. SubscribeStar will be messy; the blog will be neat.

I wrote this, my 100th post

Glancing over the development of the blog reminds me of my enthusiasm when I started this project in 2016. Armed with an iPad and no idea how to compose experimental music, my love for airships was all the encouragement I needed to learn. I was amazed that the blog attracted any interest at all and I did my best to present to readers what I considered engaging and interesting; 100 posts later, I hope I have succeeded.

Whenever there is change, one is reminded of what one values in life. This February, I appreciated anew your faith in my work. I may give form to a theme in music and poetry, but what joy is there in beholding the outcome alone? For proof of my work’s merit, I rely on you. Your judgements—your comprehension, appreciation and criticism—help me evaluate my own; and I assure you, I would be all the poorer without them.

Footnotes

  1. Forgotten Fields on SubscribeStar

Why experimental music?

SubscribeStar AQ03

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What it means to me

“Experimental music” is a somewhat nebulous term, but I think of it as a descriptor for musical exploration in whatever genre, or combination of genres, one happens to do so. To me, it is the liberty to invent new ways of expressing a theme in a composition. Whether I use elements from classical music, drone or vocals, my primary goal is to put them at the service of a concept. Of course, every composition in any genre is an experiment of some sort, but there are times when the outcome is not readily classifiable.

My journey into the genre

Some of my earliest musical ideas were rudimentary experiments, before I knew what “experimental music” was. I would write minimal pieces for the piano and combine them with poetry and field recording—in essence, the raw beginnings of what I am doing now. Before the advent of the Internet, it never occurred to me that others may be doing the same. It was decades before I would return to this approach—having long explored acoustic music—this time, aided by the digital democratisation of music production.

Forgotten Fields

My interest in experimental music was revived with the discovery of post-rock and the genres with which it was often confused—like shoegaze, dream pop, ambient and electronic music. By the time I heard “Container Ships” by Loscil from Sketches from New Brighton four years after its release, I was ready to compose experimental music again. That album was the catalyst for my first release, Airship, a work that laid the foundation for what Forgotten Fields ultimately became: the consolidation of my artistic ideas.

Why do you do what you do?

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Living in the Overberg, surrounded by gentle farmland, serene mountain ranges and restoring silences, my work is a response to it all. In my music and poetry, I seek to express what in sacred moments among the hills wells up within me: awe, wonder and joy! My work is an inevitability—an act of adoration.

A still from the “Verse One” music video.