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The crystallization of love and memory through song.
Out of solitude comes inspiration, and when it comes to making use of it while it’s there, it’s like trying to drink water from a firehose. For the artist, the creative, or whatever reductive SEO-optimized keyword is out there used to label the person who creates because they must, the desperation is there to drink as much as possible before the muse cuts off the flow and the artist is back to dying of thirst.
The last time I drank from the firehose like this was when I was going through a period when all of my significant relationships were falling apart. The heat of living in New York had become too much to bear, to the point where, like one would escape a burning building, I escaped to a safety only found in the deserts of New Mexico.
I would go for weeks without any significant contact with people. Whenever I would make my return to civilization and make an effort to plant roots, it wouldn’t be long before I would miss the solitude and disappear again. Without the distraction of modern living, going to a place in the desert where there would be no cell signal—cutting myself off from all human contact—in this solitude, I experienced what the French writer Stendhal called “crystallization1”—not for people but for the idea of those people, and memories themselves.
In solitude, I reexamined the life I had lived. Everything that had made New York too much to bear were gone. I began to remember with immense fondness the city and the positive qualities of the people with whom I had been in these significant relationships. I began to remember again the reasons for falling in love with them or having the affection that I did.
The fire that had once raged in my mind, the one that had pushed me to escape in the first place, was now out. What rose from the ashes was the return of the muse, who promptly opened up that firehose for me to drink from, and out it gushed. So much so that I had to race back from where I’d been, White Sands National Park, to my place near Albuquerque and take what had been pouring out on that drive and use it to create again.
With the crystallization still in full effect, the following track was one of the first things I created, and I named it after the feeling I had been left with: Love Siren.
That same feeling—the calling of love through memory that, if I were not careful, could destroy me—would, later on, compel me to take the notes that became the foundation for my novel series, The Desert Road of Night.
In the coming months, I plan on publishing more music from that era through Apple Music and Spotify. In the meantime, you can read the fictionalization of those crystallized moments in The Beautiful World of Alive, the first book in my novel series, available now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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Stendhal defines “crystallization” as a psychological phenomenon where one’s perception of people or objects undergoes a sudden transformation, leading to an idealized and idealistic view of those individuals or things. It involves the process of magnifying and attributing extraordinary qualities to them, often driven by romantic or emotional attachment. Stendhal's concept of crystallization is a way to describe the idealization and intense emotions that can accompany the early stages of romantic infatuation or admiration.