Friday, July 07, 2006

My new best friend:

From Magnet's current cover story on Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch, p.68 (print only):

"'I love reading biographies about creative processes, whether they're artistic or scientific,' says Murdoch. 'You see people's lives documented and what they have gone through. But the whole time, things are sometimes working out for them, something is brewing, something is simmering to the top.'

This is subject extremely close to Murdoch's heart. Prior to forming Belle and Sebastian, he suffered through a long bout of chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), a debilitating illness that basically shut down his waking life. During the process of emerging from this fog, he found new strength through making music.

'I wouldn't be a songwriter if I hadn't gotten sick,' says Murdoch. 'I had an extended period of seven years when I was out of the game, when I gave up all aspects of normal life, and the songwriting was a crutch. I was absolutely hanging onto these songs with a drowning person's grip, they being the only productive thing that I did at all. I realized as soon as I sat down at the piano three years into this thing that I could put words together with melody and create something. It's almost like the first minute doing this, I saw it all stretching ahead and realized that it was something I could feel worthwhile doing; I could document how I was feeling in this vacuum.

'What doesn't kill you makes you,' Murdoch chuckles. 'It was the biggest thing that happened in my life. No question, no doubt. I don't mean to be macabre, but it's often those transient periods that are sometimes the most interesting things to write about when it comes to characters in songs.'"

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