Here I am in my cozy studio space at 1313 Hollis in Halifax, after the first day of my first stint as an Artist-in-Residence. I’m here thanks to a new residency program hosted by suddenlyLISTEN, the creative music organisation run by improvising cellist and human extraordinaire, Norm Adams.
I’ve had this thing about residencies, wondering why my arts-inclined friends need to fly all over the world to get their work done. My practical, homespun approach to my own creative work has been, “Life as Residency.” In other words, my goal has been to build a daily life that fosters my most personal work, instead of waiting to do it at a special time in a special place. Carving space daily to work on the music that is the most meaningful to me has been a worthwhile challenge, and I don’t think I would be here without having developed this mentality, but I have to say that after just one day, I LOVE being in-residence. I was born to reside.
My project while here is to work on my solo improvising approach and vocabulary using viola and voice. Most of my current creative music situations are collaborative, and all of my singing is done in the context of my songwriting project Daily Alice. Using my voice more in improv contexts has been on my mind, but I’ve been avoiding it for a few reasons. So I’m here to move through some of those blocks and to spend some quality time with my viola. I’ll also be meeting with a whole bunch of Halifax musicians to play improv sessions, chat about our work and just hang out with old and new friends.
Day 1 involved moving into the studio, having an official organisational coffee with Norm, puttering with gear and set-ups, playing viola, doing some writing, eating haddock chowder at the farmer’s market, doing some admin and writing this summary of the day. Oh and this came out, inspired by the multicoloured chalk that was here when I arrived. Whether this makes what I’m doing here more or less clear to you, it’s going to remind me what I’m doing when things get fuzzy. It’ll probably change, develop, expand and perhaps contract, but there it is. The start of a process.
I’ll be posting daily for the duration of my time here as a way to wrap up each day and process my process. Check back in if you’re curious to follow the ups, downs and arounds of 10 days of residency!