On Sound and Writing with Rae Diamond

by CM

We’re only two days away from Rae Diamond’s reading of Three Songs at Hollow Earth Radio and I got the chance to ask Rae a question about her essay, which is an apocalyptic essay about a musician’s experience of sound.

Furnace: In the essay you discuss this moment where you and the chimera become one being– a kind of complete instrument. Was there a moment like that for you in writing this particular piece– where you and the essay became one or is that phenomenon reserved for sound?

Rae Diamond: Absolutely yes!  The essay & I became one at many points – most especially after long periods of stuck-ness, followed by profound inspiration & flow.  This happened with each of the three sections, all in different ways, & from different sources of breakthrough. Writing is completely different from playing music, although not so terribly different from composing music.  The kind of fusion I experience when playing music is much more intense for me because there is a different kind of immediacy.  Music is an art-form that occurs in time, whereas writing – although it takes time to write & to read – does not occur in that same timespace.  In fact, through writing, you can very easily stretch or shorten time, as well as travel into the future & into the past.  Playing music is not like this.  The musician makes notes, & those notes cannot be erased.  Although they all disappear, they are in the moment indelible.  For me, this applies a kind of pressure I do not feel when I write, compose, draw, or paint.  While I may get swept up in a similar way in any of these creative processes, losing track of time, & entering some kind of altered state, the state I enter when I play music – especially in a recording or performance setting – instills a sense of imperative that the other arts do not for me.  This makes music-playing for me more exciting, terrifying, challenging & exhilarating than other arts.