Solange Knowles released a new album on October 3rd full of beautiful, minimalist compositions & expositions. This video shows some of the recording process for this album. I’m listening to the album as I type, but this isn’t a review. Immediately after the album’s release, I began to see derogatory articles that actually had nothing to do with the quality of the presented material. People seem to be fixated on an idea that both Solange and her sister have a tendency to be listed as both a writer and a producer on pretty much every song they’ve released. I saw people attempt to call bull on that concept. As if to say, there’s no way they’re truly that good or… I digress.
The day after the articles emerged, this video collage surfaced. The moments that comprise the video are said to have also comprised the bulk of the album’s flow, feel & concept. It’s always remarkable to watch an artist at work (and of course I have a bias here), but it’s something else to watch a musician (or musicians) turn silence into golden emotion. Sound becomes more than a by-product of life. Hearing becomes listening.
Alright, here’s my point. Environment is very important in the creative process. You owe it to yourself to carve out a little space on God’s Earth to express your inner creative (yes, I used creative as a noun). Rather than back that up with stuff & junk like I’m supposed to do, I challenge you to deny that the music on this album was not influenced by the vibes of the environments you see in these Beginning Stages.
I do not intend to oversimplify, nor am I saying you have to travel to New Iberia for inspiration. Your space can be a simple endeavor. Not everyone thrives in traditional office settings; maybe all you need is your favorite chair. Maybe you should stroll through the park/woods/city on a nice morning/evening/afternoon. Maybe you can get it poppin’ with a sharp pencil & your favorite notebook or that pen you just found and a napkin from the combo you just finished. Maybe you don’t know how it works for you, but you owe it to yourself to find out. What you see here was not happenstance. This is years of curation and self-exploration culminating into about 50 minutes of audio. Now it’s your turn.
For your next song/sonnet/session/script/photoshoot/illustration/letter to santa, take a moment in the beginning stages to breathe in a newer air even if no one else… blah blah blah– just watch out for clowns and don’t get mistaken for the crazy guy trying to make phone calls on a squirrel.