2010 in Music and Art @ Cowrie Bay.

 www.cowriebay.com         www.peter-morgan.org.uk

My project: a new  piece of music and a visual artwork to accompany it every week for the year of 2010.

6 month bulletin, 27th June.

My project has become a way of life now, I wake up with it on my mind, I work on it all day and go to bed thinking about it!  It is amazing how it has taken over my life, I am not so much a musician or artist, more a "projecteer". It is however, totally absorbing in the best sense of the word, even if no one out there is reading this, or nobody views or hears the work, I would still think that it has been worthwhile! It is completely fascinating to commit oneself in this way, I also committed (without realising or thinking about it at the time) my wife Trudi to the project, she has encouraged and supported me from the start. It is true to say that I could not have kept going without her. My close family, good friends and colleagues, musicians and artists, have also helped me get this far. A musician friend said to me this week that I must sometimes feel like a "round the world solo yachtsman" I found that very funny but also perceptive. I say all this not just as a thank you, but also because it is so interesting and often humbling where a project like this can lead.

One of my reasons for starting this project was to force myself myself to produce work on a regular basis. I am one of the worlds worst procrastinators, and I suppose my project is a self help cure! I also liked the idea that each week I would have to start again and think afresh, in that way I felt maybe some of the artists obsession could be made, less obsessive. Six months into the project, I still don't feel as if I have got control of the process, and I certainly haven't cured any obsessions. I am sure that it has taught me a thing or two about procrastination, but then again I am yearning to get off the treadmill and take more time over some of my work.

The thing is, I am not a composer and I'm not a painter. I am a performing bass player, and an imagining artist. So my project I think is also about seeing if I can do anything else. Looking back on the last six months work, I am surprised how much of it I like, I'm not even going to consider if any of it is any good, but I can listen to, and look at a lot of it without embarrassment.  

Securing the exhibition at St Martin in the Fields has given me a huge boost, and in a way validated the project for me. In other ways it has changed the work because now I have the exhibition in my mind I can't help but imagine each piece in that space.

I am still not not sure how I feel about the validity of linking visual art and music, when I was at art school I always wanted to produce mixed media work combining sound and visual textures, I never did of course, and thirty odd years later this is my first serious attempt. I don't think I have got anywhere near what I imagined in those college days with this project! It is a different thing though, almost abstract internal documentation, if that doesn't sound too pompous, actually I think it does. It is just me composing and playing a weekly piece of music, and painting a weekly painting.

The day to day mechanics of producing the music in particular, have continued to be a complete nightmare, composing and playing it, is by comparison, easy. Recording and getting the music  on to the website, is often a disaster area. I don't really understand why and that I suppose is the reason it happens.

The main practical problem with the visual art is logistical, just lack of time to develop each work. Because of the music production and computer problems, I waste so much time which could be more productively used. I keep telling myself I am learning useful things, but I don't think I will ever be a recording engineer or computer boffin, (or understand colour come to that, but that is a different story).

Artistically the biggest problem is having confidence in simplicity or brevity. Matisse called it "the audacity of simplicity" (thank you Clare for telling me that). It is very difficult to say "this week I want to use one line and one note", it is very easy to over elaborate and lose the point, or even the whole plot! I hope that I have the confidence to produce one note and one line before the year is out.

Still, I am getting the work out each week and still hugely enjoying it. As always, thanks to you all for your love, best wishes and encouragement.

You are listening to the music from week 12

 © Peter W. Morgan 2010. all rights reserved