Electric Guitarist in The Nightjar
I think that my surroundings and my life experience play a big part in inspiring me and when I’m in the right frame of mind I can get real excited about creating something.
The first beginnings of an idea come in different ways. Sometimes I find that when I am working on a piece of music I come up with something that may not fit the composition I am working on at the time. I try to shape this new idea quickly and record it really roughly before I forget it. I have many fragments like this that I have built up over the years. Other times I like to set quite limited parameters before I start composing by choosing a scale, tuning or a picking pattern and then working within that to see if I can come up with something.
I tend not to ‘hear’ ideas in my head, they come more through playing the instrument and trying things out and sort of digging around until I find something good. Once I’ve got the initial idea the process becomes more methodical in that I will be adding parts, taking parts away, playing with the structure and re-working lyrics. There are more moments of inspiration during this stage but it’s also just a lot of grafting. So far I haven’t found a way to do this that doesn’t take a really long time.
I can spend hours working on a secondary part to an idea only to conclude that I don’t like the new part and then bin it. That can feel like you’re not moving forward at all, but then you just have to come back to it and take a different angle, keep chipping away.
Listen to Objects, The Nightjar’s debut album, here.