My name is Saffron, and I am a solo artist from Southern Ontario, Canada. I compose my music for Mandolin, Mandola, Octave Mandolin, and Mandocello. My compositions sit where emotion and intellect intersect. Music has been a constant in my life, and writing is a part of how I process my thoughts and feelings. Balancing the two elements (text and music) is complicated, while effectively connecting with an audience to convey the emotion/message I seek to get across is the true art.
Most of my music starts as poetry. I started writing poems in the grade 4 poetry unit, and connected with the art form immediately. Writing has always been the base of my self expression. Wordplay, stanzas, structure, freeform - it all comes down to communication. Art has to communicate and have an audience to be art. I released my first ever poetry zine titled Retrospective Collective - It’s All About Perspective this past September. I want to continue to emphasize that the text is the paramount element in my music. Giving people access to the written text allows the listening experience to be heightened. My words and my voice are my power. I as an individual (and an artist) seek to be understood through my art. You cannot separate me and my life from what I am creating, they are deeply entrenched in each other.
In my current songwriting "process," things change all the time. Sometimes a song will be inspired by a word, and sometimes an old poem I rediscovered is brought to life through a melody in my head - it is always different. Whenever I sit down and the music and the text come together simultaneously, I am humbled. These moments of magic remind me that I am merely a vessel. It is a spiritual experience that I cannot claim to be otherwise. I haven’t been able to plan the creation of a song yet, and I have written close to 30 that I am proud of.
Songwriting has strengthened my faith in God and helped me work through a myriad of trials in my life thus far. My conscious goal with songwriting is to not write the same thing twice, and to be completely authentic. I want my songs to stand alone, and be just as powerful when performed solo as they are with a full band. The ability to communicate and connect with my audience is at it’s strongest when it is just me on stage anyways. I am now currently promoting the release of my first single, Introspection. Recording in a studio is the most unnatural process, and was a real challenge for me this summer. I’m so thankful I was able to work with someone I trust this time, and I am so proud of the result! Having professionally recorded music now is a large victory for me, and the timing of it all was perfect.
Performing live is so different from being in a studio. At a concert, you can feed off of the energy of the crowd and perform your songs differently each time. In the studio, improvisation is not your friend, and it is difficult to emote sincerely for several takes in a row. . . Especially to a wall of stacked amplifiers that can’t give any response!
I have been touring around Southern Ontario this month to promote Introspection, and I am already planning the release of my second single. The process of writing Introspection was very unique, since I wrote the text before, during, and after a pseudo relationship had formed and subsequently dissolved. Trying to set it to music was challenging, and took many drafts. It marks a turning point in my songwriting, because it was the first ‘happy’ sounding song I made. It’s also experimental; the phrasing varies and the melody line is fluid. It has undergone many changes and developed over time. Introspection marinated for over a year before it was recorded, and I’m glad I had to wait. The song would sound quite different if I had recorded it 8 months ago when I was first considering recording more seriously. No song is ever truly complete, but I am very proud of the current stage it has come to.