Lord Toph ~ Articles in the Cellar
I have to begin with saying… creativity is my life. For better or worse, I’ve chosen this path, not because it is what I want to do or be. It simply is what I am: a creator. You see, I’m driven to do it at my highest peaks of inspiration, as well as my lowest slumps of depression. Perhaps I would go so far as saying creativity has saved my life, and it has even forged me into the person that I am today: driven.
Art, Music, and Literature are my muses, candidly I might add. They are my lovers and have been for many years. I can confide in them when there is no one else to trust or talk to. I can express in depth to them my deepest, innermost intimate thoughts. And because I listen and pay close attention to them, they have given me my greatest accomplishments in life. These loves have been inspirations for my newly developed art style called Empathicism, to my stories being brought to book form, to all of my songs and, lastly, to my latest album Articles in the Cellar.
This collection of music is a summary of influences, crises and turning points of my life. I grew up in the South listening to a smorgasbord of music that my parents or older brothers would play. That music inspired the sound for this particular album. I decided on a more vintage sound, because I truly feel much of the music from the 60’s and 70’s still resonates with so many people today, even the people who didn’t grow up in this era. The horns, the strings, the rhythm guitars and the raw, realness of the voice unadulterated by modern tricks of technology… These are the things I remember the most about the music from way back when. And these are the same elements I appreciate so much about music today. I wanted Articles in the Cellar to be a reflection of that, an extended facet, if you will. I hope in some way, someone out there can hear the emotional message expressed in this album.
I am very grateful and blessed to be an artist and author as well as a musician. So, my creativity always has an avenue or channel to reshape or reform itself in another fashion. For example, whenever I am at a pause with painting, I find myself hearing dialogue in my head. A conversation is going on, like in some play or scene from a movie. I can hear the variables at times. I can hear the variation of resonance, the tonality and inflections of the voices, the atmosphere and even the music being played in the room or environment. So I jot it down, in fragments, phrases or paragraphs… anyway I can to get it out. By the time I am putting it down on paper, the creative process has generally already begun internally, empathically.
Often times, the words being written down reignite the imagery for the painting surge to begin again. In turn, the movement of the brush strokes, whether they be choppy, heavy or fluid, rekindle the melodies for song. I suppose for some a creative process such as this might seem to be chaotic. But in all, actuality it is not. From Leonardo Da Vinci to Bach to Beethoven, creativity has been dispersed in a rhythmic balance for centuries. It is my effort to do things in this vein, so there will always be a creative current flowing in my subconscious as well as my conscious thought.
There are so many experiences that I have gone through that were painful and sad. But through music (as well as art and literature), I am able to redirect that infusion of emotional energies and place them on the shelf with my fondest of memories. This is what makes creativity beautiful, lyrical… sublime.
In modesty, my best advice that I have to offer anyone inspired to create is to pay close attention to your inner-self. It always rings true, and it will never lie to you about where you’ve been, where you are going and where you should be. All inspiration for creativity flows from this point.