I am so inspired by friends who work up the courage to share their work! So when longtime reader Graham emailed me to let me know he was releasing a new single, I couldn't help but seize the opportunity to ask him to share a little of his process here.
By way of introduction, Graham lives in the UK and goes by the moniker Raving Wild. His new single, Winterheart, is intense and soulful and -- if I may offer an amateur opinion -- feels like a song that a young Mumford & Sons might have written, inspired by a sojourn at a wintry beach.
It's the heart of Winter here in Melbourne so the music feels like the perfect soundtrack for a stroll down a cobblestone laneway, wrapped in woolly layers and lost in thought. On my first listen, I was transported by these lyrics:
If there's thunder rolling, darkness in your face,
I would not give in nor run away with rage.
There were times I know I used to keep you warm,
But you couldn't keep your calm within the storm.
While we waited for our summer days to start,
You couldn't give with winter in your heart,
No you couldn't give with winter in your heart.
I was also delighted to see that Graham was donating 30 per cent of sales from Winterheart to the UK-based not-for-profit Depression Alliance.
I asked and Graham answered...
Tell us about the inspiration for Winterheart.
I was inspired to write the song when I moved away to Cornwall in the UK. I desired to take something of a more simplistic approach to songwriting and build gently throughout the composition as I had reached something of a cornerstone in my life and simply wanted some stability.
The title of your album is In Solitude and Silence and, despite the busyness of your sound, you manage to convey this perfectly. As I listen to Winterheart, I have a visual image of Thoreau's Walden. What do solitude and silence mean to you?
That's a very generous comparison indeed and you're too kind to say! The title came to me whilst I was on a beach a few miles away from the nearest town and the only light to reach me was from the stars above in the heart of the dark. As for what both solitude and silence mean to me is a form of stasis. We generally rarely have a moment of absolute stillness and whilst at some times this is a curse it's conversely a blessing also. It's when we're on our own with no other distractions that we truly learn our own minds I feel.
Tell us what or who else inspires you as a musician. What are the littlest things that you witness in your daily life that find their way into your music?
Inspiration is a huge question with many small answers. By this I mean I've found that minuscule details often create a landslide of ponderous thoughts. Whether it's the vibrance of the horizon in an August sky at dusk, the tiny swells of sea water lapping over your shoes as the tide comes in or the sound of sand as it's blown from a dune by a soft zephyr, these tiny brushstrokes often paint a larger picture.
What would you say to anyone who has a deep passion for singing, songwriting or playing an instrument but has yet to share their work or talents with anyone?
My advice to those trying to get their work heard or their talents appreciated would be this - your song won't hear itself. You can be the most talented musician the world has ever seen but if you have no method of delivery or drive to get it heard it'll only end up fading into obscurity. Don't be afraid to take chances, to reach out, ask for help if necessary. That's exactly how this interview came to be after all. The music is only one aspect of being a musician, it's thinking outside of the box that'll honestly take you places.
Thank you, Graham, for sharing your courage with us. May your heart bloom this Summer and may your gifts continue to shine a light for those who are afraid to reach out.