One of the biggest difficulties we can face in any creative pursuit is time. It’s always easy to plan. To decide on different concepts we’d like to pursue but without the time it doesn’t matter. Even the best-laid plans will go awry. This was one of the concerns that brought Kate Smith to Hawkwood.
“I came to Hawkwood to reconnect with my practice, to refocus on my work as a composer, and to take stock of where I stand as an artist at this moment in time.”
Between the sudden business of life and the pandemic, as a musician, Kate found herself lost. Her performances were stopped, and her process was interrupted. Everything sped up in the wrong ways and slowed down in the right. Unlike before there was never time to let go and focus on music and movement. Kate had no clear direction in the fog of uncertainty and not a second to find one.
“I showed up at Hawkwood with the intention of looking through my old pieces, checking in with my more recent recording-based work, and getting back into a creative head space to welcome the muse for whatever needed to arise.”
Luckily, at Hawkwood Kate found a chance to disentangle herself from the world. She was able to avoid the pushing from all sides. She could dodge the stress of post lockdown and relocate from England to Portugal. Time was no longer a luxury. At Hawkwood, she found a moment’s peace, and an opportunity to focus her entire attention on her work.
Of course, with every bad thing, there’s always a silver lining and it’s important to remember that. One thing we learned from Kate was that during lockdown she was able to experiment. She could see her work in ways she couldn’t without it. From teaching to working with her own voice it was a new angle, a new experience.
“To bring my ideas to life within the wider world, I decided to embrace recording for the first time!”
We may not always be able to take a moment to ourselves to pursue something creative. At times like that it’s always important to enjoy ourselves, play and create. Sing, dance, make music, make art. Even, or perhaps especially, when times are rough we can’t go wrong with creativity. That’s one of the many things Kate taught us through her stay with us.