Oct 23rd 2018 ~ by Nina Clark ~

It Begins…

Ahhh, the blank page.

The clean slate.

The new beginning. The ever-spinning wheel.

Alpha. Evolution. Revolution. Rebirth. ALPHA.

Welcome! You’ve stumbled across, or happened upon if you’re less clumsy, my new blog. I’ve dabbled in the web-log before, and have always found the process an enjoyable challenge. Often it was about giving myself permission to ramble in a cathartic fashion. It was frequently written from a place of gratitude.

This blog has very particular parameters, a concept I nowadays enjoy to reign myself toward a point. In July 2018, Arts Council England (or ACE from here on in) granted me the funding I had applied for three months earlier; the stream is called ‘Developing Your Creative Practice’ (or DYCP).

The time, space and funds to make a step change in my artistic career has been required for some time, and now I am finally in a position to do so, part of that process is to share it with you.

My 12 month activity plan I pitched to ACE was about taking the various steps needed to become an ‘industry-ready artist’. More than just about writing new material for a new album (on which more later) these stages encompass learning new creative skills, developing my online presence, honing the vision I have for characterful performance, establishing a cohesive marketing approach…and more…and more.

Suffice to say, I’m nearly two months in and it’s already ENORMOUS fun! There is a state of being that is both creatively satisfying and a little terrifying, and I’m setting up camp there. Curiosity is my friend. Accepting and nurturing radical change in my life and my artistic practice has not been as difficult as I might have thought, which really reinforces how ready for these opportunities I am.

Since the end of August, I’ve written three new songs, all of which appear on my forthcoming album, ALPHA. More importantly, they keep evolving. I’m curious to hear what these songs become in the studio and how aligned with or divergent from my vision for them they end up. I’m beginning to practice non-attachment with regards to my songs. Sound wanky? Sure. Let me explain anyway.

I’ve been so attached to early drafts of my songs in the past that I stalled their progress or evolution by years. Pretty much done with that mode of practice. It does not service the music, merely my ego. So I must develop my creative practice. I create a song, and then balance my vision for what it will become with an openness to possibilities I’d not considered.

This is challenging to me, but also I think of it as a good leadership model; all important when going into the studio, which I do next week, on Halloween. Good leadership involves collaboration with my bandmates — Sam Dunn, Jules Jackson and Steve Hanley, genius mofos all — being open to their ideas, having an experimental methodology, and finding compromise where its needed. This is not only possible, but practical, if you have relayed the message of each song and the overall vibe or purpose of the album with your fellow players beforehand. This approach is very Alpha.

Alpha is tackling things head on, with fierce dignity and compassion. Alpha is finding strength in vulnerability and learning to raise your voice, energetically or physically. Lift others up with you, share your power. Stop, collaborate and listen! For me, ALPHA means tapping into my inner warrior witch and releasing that beautiful banshee out into the world.

I hope you join me on this journey.



IN THE NEXT BLOG… The studio experience, making an EPK, learning to use a loop station and more…