I am excited to reveal the second artists I have been working with on my ‘4THELOVE’ project.
Nia Gould aka Niaski is a Design Manager working for the vibrant and lively arts venue Exeter Phoenix and she runs her own design studio. Niaski is a collection of observational prints inspired by her very own cats, Sampson, Frankenstein, Salvador and Socket. Salvador the cat has inspired my Artist Cat series, Pablo Picatso, Salvador Catli, Vincat van Gogh, Henri Catisse and Frida Catlo.
The images we used as our muse for songwriting came from one of Nia’s collection of Cat Artists; Frida Catlo.
I travelled to meet with Bernard James who was waiting for me with a guitar, laptop and midi keyboard, mic and off we went to a little creative windowless dungeon in the basement of a building! After a good catch up, chats about the project and how we wanted to approach this we ended sharing aspects from our own creative process.
I like finding stories, themes, metaphors and meanings and tend to weave between finding a few lyrics or a musical hook and then improvise. I usually try to visualise what sort of style/genre/structure I would like to write in and then go from there so I found it really refreshing to try new styles of writing that Bernard shared with me. We started by writing down any words, stories, themes, imagery we could visualise from the image and I liked to sketch ideas for a storyline to follow.
We picked up a lot on the themes from Fridha Kahlo and her life and found a lot of the imagery pretty interesting. A lot of her work was centred around identity and her self-portraits so we then tried to find a common theme to write a song around this. This led us veering through all sorts of vhttps://soundcloud.com/lauraloft/4thelove2-by-laura-loft-bernard-jamesinteresting themes; ….Identity, Authenticity, Belonging, Community, Reality, Self-Worth, Expectations, Success & Ambition - how do we measure or define?
Bernard suggested we have an A and B section, build up the music first, add a beat and then once we had our mindmap and sketches of a storyline we moved into focused lyric writing exercises. We had 10 mins free writing around a few key quotes or phrases we had highlighted and worked on 3 verses and a chorus.
“Feet, what do I need them for. If I have wings to fly”
“I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best” (authenticity)
We then wrote attributes of the cat to try and add these words into the lyrics; sliding, creeps, silent, smooth, cautious, cunning, considered, mysterious, slipping through to different worlds.