Following on from the code of conduct thread, I wanted to ask something I have struggled with for a long time.
As a poor, disabled trans person, I often get feelings that I should be making work about those experiences. In art school, I (and my tutors) always felt like i should stop doing nature paintings and work my transness into my art.
In my music, I am always wondering how I can work themes of disability and activism into the sounds I make, or how trans themes could be translated into sound.
But identities are so abstract, and instrumental music too is also so abstract, I never feel I know how I can work these identities that I so strongly feel need to be represented, and that feel so integral to my experience of the world, into my art. When I try, it always feels so superficial, or forced.
I think part of the problem might be that I feel like most people won’t get it if I try to put more nuanced experiences in, but if I try to broaden the concept so that most people would get it, the work ends up feeling kinda cliche or cumbersome.
At the same time, whenever I try this, I feel like I come to the conclusion that my identity is so much a part of me that it will come out in my work whether I try or not, but I’m always left with a feeling like I could put more of my community or my culture or my activism into my work.
Does anyone else who makes music from positions of marginalisation or minority have any good strategies for putting a little of your identity, or a little social justice into your music? Do you feel it’s even necessary? Does it drastically change your process vs just making music you like?
Would love to hear folks thoughts on this