Diegetic yarn.. it’s so weird to me. I have a tendency to come up with this stuff way before I ever really put it to good use (this goes double for Readivine, but I will delve deeper into that another time). I came up with this concept about two years ago, I think, and it was always meant to be some sort of blog about the creation and progress of the music. A bit self-indulgent sure, but I always liked reading about that stuff from my favourite bands (and movies) because the creative process can be so weird and nonsensical and yet purposefully guided. In my earliest designs for the website it was one of the main things I wanted to have. Yet I never did anything with it (again, same goes for Readivine), but it was always in the back of my mind (again and again this goes for Readivine as a whole). So now that the new website is up I’m going to do something with it.
So here we are. Diegetic Yarn is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek title loosely based on a couple of things.
Diegetic (Sound) and Diegesis;
Diegetic sound is sound whose source is visible on screen or whose source is implied to be present by the action of the film. And diegesis is a term used in filmmaking to name the story depicted on screen, as opposed to the story in real time that the screen narrative is about.
To chat, talk or tell a long or implausible story.
Since this space is meant for the longer blogs about my personal stories, experiences and the creative process (of music) it felt appropriate to give it a name that would speak to both of those sides. My music is all about stories. It’s about creating worlds. It’s escapism. Catharsis. None of my songs are truly autobiographical, but they are all infused with my personal experiences. I use(d) these songs to make sense of these experiences. To try to look at them in a different light. To learn from them and inspire myself and hopefully others as well. But they are only a piece of the story. So I thought it would be interesting for this first blog to show you some of those thoughts and experiences that fuels my music.
It was last year that I really started writing. I wanted to try something different. I had to. And since then I’ve realised something. I finally started to understand the usefulness and purpose of the diary. I always foolishly thought keeping a memoire of anything you either thought or experienced wasn’t really necessary. Simply because my own mind was capable of keeping track of all those things. But combined with my ever rampant creative imagination that never seems to take a backseat I now realise the risk of trying to keep everything solely locked in your mind. It’s overbearing. Especially when life decides to kick your ass. It happens to all of us. And it happened to me last year. I’ve always used music as a coping mechanism, but this time it wasn’t enough. So I started writing. After a few weeks of writing I told some of my friends I felt I should make some of this stuff accessible for others to see. I felt that way because we live in a society that perpetuates glamorous highlight reels of our lives that are intoxicating and allows for a distorted view of the world and others. I’m guilty of this behaviour myself. But it also creates a misguided sense of self. It’s a portrayal we cannot live up to. So I want to shed a light on the other side as well. So without further ado; These are the first few things I wrote when I took to the page last year:
My mind is racing. It’s crowded. It’s chaotic. Simply put: it’s full. And I am starting to notice the impact of not having the capacity in your mind to handle negative experiences. Especially when they seem to be coming at you in frequent succession. This year has felt off from the beginning. And it feels life has been over cropping. Even though if, in a moment of clarity, I can distil from the chaos that I am actually still making progress. I may have actually made some of my biggest steps forward this year. Some of my bigger goals I set out to achieve at the end of last year in an uncharacteristic clichéd fashion through a new year’s resolution have been attained already. Within the first 4/5 months. I should be proud. Than why don’t I feel proud? Or even slightly accomplished?
Sure, the biggest goal and most important dream to me is still but a fleeting glimpse. But I have seen it. I have felt it. I have touched it. Am I still not ready to truly achieve it? I’m starting to get impatient. It’s so close. Just a few more steps. Just a few more agonizing steps.
And that takes me back to my mind’s current incapability to handle the negative, and perhaps also, the positive. I seem to not be able to handle new experiences well right now because there is no room in my mind to give them the proper space to nurture them and grow from them. After 32 years it seems my mind has finally reached critical mass. Or should I say; critical mess. And that’s where the diary comes in. It’s not only important to remember and reflect upon past experiences. It is also important to simply put thoughts down on paper, digital or otherwise, because in the same way that you would use an extended hard drive or usb stick to free memory on your computer so too can the act of writing down your thoughts be used to free up space in your mind. Because like a computer running out of space and memory the brain too will slow down and eventually crash and burn. But if the brain knows your thoughts have been stored somewhere else it doesn’t need to focus on remembering these thoughts and ideas and instead can use this new capacity to take in and take care of new experiences and new thoughts and ideas.
At least that’s what I have read. I hope it works. But here too I may have to be patient. For there is a lot that needs to be downloaded from my mind unto the page if I want to feel even remotely peaceful. And my over-active imagination surely proves as much a burden in this situation as it is a blessing otherwise. Like trying to empty a pond during a downpour.
And there it was. That surge of unwavering positive energy. Like kicking into high gear. Within seconds I can feel it take over my body. Like flipping a switch to flip the magnetic field inside my body. My mind feels clearer instantly. Focussed. I feel powerful. Nothing can break me. The change is so impactful and immediate that it almost feels unnatural. Unwarranted. And dangerous. Based on nothing but suggestion. And like my moments of weakness. Based on over exaggeration. Falsehoods. My mind takes emotions and runs with it. I should not feel this great after a slight fortuned event. Nor should I feel as desperate as I do after some misfortune. Yet here I am. Like running on ecstasy. Love overflowing. A smile on my face so big it almost hurts. I wish I could feel like this all the time. It feels like the best version of me possible. I relish these moments. For they never last long. Within a few hours I will come down from this high and feel a weird sense of desolation. I need to find a way to trigger this on my own. Or simply find the peace in me to make this my natural state of mind.
This is why I create. Why I am addicted to the creative process. To see something that was stuck in your mind become reality and meet or exceed your expectation evokes an emotional reaction that is like little else. It is the fuel that keeps my fire burning. And that fire is the only thing that keeps these dark thoughts in my mind at bay.
That darkness grows from the absence of outside confirmation. So the next step is to show the world my creation. Because my opinion in the end doesn’t matter. My mind craves attention and adoration in an unhealthy way. I don’t create to be adored but as soon as anything is finished my mind will take hold of my emotional state to quench its unrelenting thirst for that admiration. This isn’t right.
This was almost a year ago. I’m already in a better place now. And I definitely feel the writing helped. But it’s weird and confronting to look at these words. I can definitely see how these types of thoughts inspired my music, art and lyrics, especially a song like SHINE, and I will write another piece about the creative process of that song in the future. So keep a look out for that if you’re interested.
If you made it this far I like to recommend the book that made me write all these random thoughts down. It’s called ‘The organized mind’ by Daniel Levitin. It’s a fascinating book about how our brain works and how to think straight in the age of information overload.