Moving to another country is somewhat of a daunting task. Even more so when I have two EPs (one with my band, one solo) which will be coming out while I am away from my home.
My motivations for leaving are not completely joyous: my partner did not get permanent residency in Canada and rather than break up our fledgling relationship I agreed to move country. Within the past month or two I have sold most of my belongings and have left the country with the intention of being gone for at least a year. The journey to our end destination includes stops in Ontario, Switzerland, and Thailand and lasts about two months in length. The idea behind this extended vacation is that it will take the edge off of the disappointment that my partner and I both feel about the residency application’s rejection.
My brother and I have already mapped out our follow-up album for Critical Unity: we have the major themes and images that we want to use. Months ago, we created an image board in our shared apartment. More recently we created the outlines of two new songs, although they do need work. We have decided to continue writing by skype as much as possible and to try to work on ideas from a distance.
Although most people find travel enjoyable, I often find it troublesome. Why choose to be away from a piano or a guitar for so long? Why choose to leave behind my support network of people to cowrite and create with? Why leave behind the venues that I have come to know and love as places of inspiration and transformative experiences? That being said, travel is a great way to challenge yourself and observe the world. It is a great way to build your own confidence and learn to be self-reliant, which is highly transferable to songwriting craft.
For me, music is key to my own personal happiness. There are many things that I can do without while travelling: playing music is not one of them. I will have to find ways to incorporate creative time into my travelling schedule so that I can enjoy my life as fully as possible and not see my creativity slowly dull. Songwriting is like any skill in that it needs regular practice.
Admittedly, I did not do much writing while visiting family in Ontario. My challenge for the next week in Switzerland, followed by a month in Thailand, is to keep writing lyrics and letting my ideas grow.