There's a duality to music. The art form carries with it an ebb and flow that can be felt as surely as the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe. It's a soothing, tranquil rhythm that Conrad Bascom appreciates.
“One of my most deep seeded desires for music and the art I create, is to maybe provide people with a sense of comfort,” he said in a phone interview. “Something (people) can relate to, that reflects their experiences. But, at the very least, I want them to be entertained.”
It can be easy to get lost in deeper meanings and higher concepts. And to be sure, there is nothing wrong with using music—or any art form—to speak about our inner condition. But it is equally important to not lose sight of music's simplicity. To be able to appreciate something just because we like the way it bounces around in our heads.
“I wouldn’t trust myself to be able to instill any truth,” Bascom said, entirely too self-aware to not be humble. “But maybe to provide a momentary distraction? That would be great.”
To that end, Bascom is not trying to pen the Next Great Indie Hit. Rather, he is writing the music that fits for him now. There are some personal themes to his music—you would be hard pressed to find a songwriter for whom that's not true. But, for the most part, Bascom's music is written in broad strokes.
“It's me trying to empathize for with other people,” he said of his songs. “I think that anybody that writes—be it poetry or lyrics—we're all kind of tapping into the same, universal experiences. (But) I create it for the sake of creating it. It's a process between me and the moment. How people consume it is up to them.”
“I definitely don't write for other people in the sense that I'm actively trying to write something that's going to please their ears,” he continued. “I'm always trying to conjure something that moves me.”
But in the end, that's the duality of music. It can be made for the simplest of reasons, and just by existing, it can reflect all the complexity that the act of creation requires.
“That's all the satisfaction that I need,” he concluded. “I believe in the beauty of the creation itself being the utmost importance.”
Originally appeared in Cityview on December 31, 2014