Lucy Rash ~ 3 Tenets of Creative Practice

Lucy Rash by James Butler

Lucy Rash by James Butler

The world is a bit nuts right now. As a musician – a member of Forest Falls and freelance session violinist – it can be hard to make sense of everything all of the time. For some people, sensory overload is the perfect catalyst for creativity. Not for me.

With all that’s going on, I’ve found it very useful to nut out these three tenets of creativity. Exposing myself to these conditions is what fuels my best work, so it’s useful to know what to fall back on when chaos gets the better of me.

Tenet 1 – Diversity

Like so many musicians, I’ve worked with a great many bands over the years. I’m classically trained as a violinist, but I’m just as home improvising as I am with sheet music. That skill set, thankfully, has lead me into a variety of music-making situations: into the studio with The Smith Street Band, at Sing Sing for an entire weekend with the wonderful Ali E, two weeks of recording with TANTRUMS in Pablo Clements and James Griffith’s (UNKLE) studio in Brighton (UK), and most recently to fiddle up a country noir storm touring high priestess Jemma Nicole’s debut album, My Darkest Hour.

It’s a blessing, really, because I’ve had the chance to play in contexts as diverse as they are exhilarating. Being exposed to a variety of creative contexts does wonders for my inspiration. It also makes a lot of sense: I’m a Gemini!

When I’m feeling a bit creatively starved, I savor the chance to try something completely different. I might put on an old favorite Against Me! record that I haven’t listed to for years, note down any ideas that spring to mind, then record a new work into the computer. My sound card, condenser mic and laptop are never far away (in fact, they live in the lounge room).

It has been wonderful to discover that ‘newness’ is not only a relief to writer’s block for me, but an actual catalyst for new ideas. Jon and Jeremy (my Forest Falls bandmates) and I are always running random ideas past each other. That passion and spontaneity has made it on to our latest single, Archipelago Heart, part of the Modern Love collection to be released online over the course of 2016. It’s like the song itself has taken on this real zest for life.

Tenet 2 – Unity

As much as I love variety, there is no doubt that I’ve found a solid home base in Forest Falls. Never have I worked with bandmates so at peace with the music they make and the place from which it comes. It was a joy to slot into this well-oiled machine, just over two years ago.

It’s the most productive, inspirational place for me to be: in a room with Jon and Jeremy, writing whatever material we’re working on at the time. I think what makes us work so well is the strength and compatibility of our personalities. We each have a role, and we do it well.

For me, my strength lies in instrumentation. Once the original idea has been brought to the table, that’s when I like to get my hands on it. Working in a band where everyone is a good communicator and has a solid skill set is a real joy. It’s quick, productive, and the result – the music itself – speaks volumes for the honesty and love with which it is produced. When I feel like I have a little too much going on in my week, I pare it right back to the basics: I listen back to the latest version of a tune we’re working on, I gather my thoughts, and I do a little work on whatever Forest Falls admin is in need of attention.

It’s good to remember why you’re with the band you’re with. It’s most likely because those people mean a real lot to you.

Tenet 3 – Alchemy

When the world is swirling around you, how do you remain grounded? For us, the answer has been to look within, to look at how we might add our voices to the conversation. To say what we find hard to say with words, we say with music.

Our latest collection of work, Modern Love, is about joining the very public conversations that have been occurring for years with regards to love – of various entities – in all its nuance and beauty. Archipelago Heart, for example, is about love for displaced people, for refugees. For all the back and forth and non-decision that happens in politics, we’re pretty sure that underneath it all, the world knows love is love, and that’s all that matters. That work has been a musical response to these conversations. It’s about us joining in as a band and being 100% honest in our output.

For all the uncertainty, we hope that people might have a listen to the singles, watch the clips, engage in the conversation using our hashtag (#doyoubelieveinmodernlove) and add their voice to the conversation if they haven’t already done so. We’ve taken a punt with our latest works. It’s meant to provoke an opinion.

We want you to have an opinion. So get out there and say it!

Lucy Rash by Nick Manuell

Lucy Rash by Nick Manuell


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View our latest video for  Archipelago Heart: