I tend to have a lot of rosy thoughts about music; through the last years of my undergrad I held this belief that making music has to be redemptive somehow, that being the only way I could explain how so many deeply flawed personalities could be so good at it. This was never confirmed and perhaps never could be, and I vacillate on whether I find it to be true.
Another (perhaps related) road I kept trying to go down was the thought of composing as therapy, as if I could heal myself by writing the music I wanted to hear through all the shittiness that I was always losing sleep over. Some part of me wanted to explore the depths of suffering, even put it on display, but of course it was never my intention to share raw anguish than to conjure an antidote – I wanted something that felt like it understood pain but was a means of moving forward. As I type this I realize how ridiculous it sounds to ascribe any of this to abstract music, but there it is.
I laid awake last night with another iteration of this thought, that I might write a piece that would be a talisman, that in the writing of it and the experience of it I could feel safe, protected from harm. It's not far from the feeling I have when I practice, or am otherwise immersed in a piece of music that I feel very strongly about, that music is some kind of refuge.
Thinking about all the projects I want to start composing, I always treat music as some kind of analogue or object. Music as reliquary, music as memorial, music as act of protest, music as documentation. At this point I couldn't imagine writing a piece that is "just a piece".