Friday, January 10, 2020

On Being Miniature

Somehow, I managed to work until 9 p.m. yesterday evening.
Bloody Presbyterian work ethic! If you don't do something socially useful for a living, you're socially useless... how I wish I could shake it off.
A lot of it has been academic reading rather than writing, and then there was the admin stuff to do with my job.
I'm just about to dive into 'Writing 2'. I am writing two things simultaneously; editor's responses have turned up for both of the pieces that Dave Laing was due to edit; and the deadline for both is roughly the same- the end of January. I spend one day doing one, the next day doing the other, writing songs in between (actually, in my head through the night: sleep is a stranger at the moment).
In about a week's time I'm going to start manufacturing the covers for the Pea Soup album.
Why do an album so tiny, a 7" piece of vinyl, with 5 miniature songs on each side?
Well, women are taught to be miniature, aren't we? We have to fit into spaces below men in the pecking order, being as invisible and as amenable as possible, otherwise we are 'loud'.
I'm not particularly loud, because I'm a natural introvert in extrovert land (the music industry), but I'm louder than a lot of women, thanks to punk, and my 'noise' has been remarked upon constantly throughout my life. By men! Just because I say what I believe, and not what I am supposed to believe. For the Slits documentary, I talked a bit about how when you are born (or at least, when my generation of women was born), almost the first thing were are taught was to 'shut up'. Even now, an invisible hand covers my mouth before I say anything, and I talk for a living. I have to bust through it every time, still. This is why song writing has been so great- the words sail out of your mouth without that happening.
Back to Pea Soup...  it's a celebration of that tininess, a parody of the Small World, recorded and made as carefully as any artist would make a Big One. Finished by hand, making a craft of an object that should be mass-produced. It's also a comment on the music industry's scale that shrinks music into a commodity, into 'units' that are 'shifted'.
Every one of these units will be carefully made; 'blah' to bigness, 'blah' to shutting up. My life is big enough for me, and my voice is loud enough too, thanks to music.

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