Contribution to Composers’ Symposium: Composers on what the word ‘inspiration’ means to them compiled by Gregor Forbes (limited edition of 20 copies). Also featuring contributions from Jay Capperauld, Gregor Forbes, Sam Beagles, Lucy Hollingworth, Martin Keary and Henry McPherson.

I think the reason I do what I do in my creative pursuits can be reduced down to what I would say is the coming together of circumstances I experience in my life, and properties of the medium I am working with (usually music/sound) that excite me on a more abstract level, and feel like an appropriate vehicle for me to respond to these circumstances in a way that is both fulfilling and engaging for myself and, hopefully, an audience.

These ‘circumstances’ I refer to are any situation or environment that I find myself in that stimulates some sort of feeling for me that I can’t necessarily resolve by logical thinking; something that I feel the need to attempt to make sense of through responding to it through the process of composition – a process that for me involves an interplay of logical and non-logical thinking and action. The reason I believe the excitement for the medium comes into the equation for me also explains why what I make takes the form it does. There are many things going on in my life and the world I am in that I feel engaged in, yet some of these I feel the need to respond to through my work and some of these I don’t. Similarly, there are so many things about the medium I work in – that I either come across through the work of other artists or through my own experimentation – that I find incredibly exciting, yet I don’t feel the need to use all of these things (whether they are specific techniques or general aesthetics) in my work.

This is why I don’t believe I find ‘inspiration’ in any one place or thing. Neither is it something that is ‘internal’ or ‘external’ to me. I am able to recognise it arises from these combinations of encounters in my life and work, but how it works beyond that – that is, why certain combinations of factors come together to drive me to do what I do and others do not – I am not yet quite so sure of.

Sunday, 29th November 2015