What does it take to make an album? Is it simply the notes and chords that become a song through their repetition? Is it the mixing and mastering of every instrument and artist until one finds harmony? Or perhaps, just maybe, it’s time, perseverance, honesty, and the support of friends that truly make an album what it is.
For Scott Orr, Worried Mind has all of these things, having been made over two years with the help of Orr’s fellow HamOnt musicians. It’s an ode to the fears and struggles that are universal to the human experience, and a testament to how the rough times can help us rise above and become better for it.
We had the opportunity to discuss his latest album, as well as his process when it comes to writing music.
Your newest album, Worried Mind, is finally out, and you’ve stated it took a full two years to make. What were the biggest challenges you faced during its development? Conversely, were there any positive moments that shaped the album?
This was one of the smoother records I’ve ever made. Early on I gave myself two whole years to finish the record and that allowed me to always be ahead of schedule. That timeline removed any stress from the process and actually had a big impact on the creative process. Knowing that I had time to abort songs or write new ones or reinvent old ones allowed me to only release the 9 I was really most proud of.
You had a lot of artists performing on Worried Mind, including artists who have charted at CFMU such as Gareth Inkster, Fanny Price, and several members of Ellevator. How did these artistic relationships come about?
We’ve been all playing together and recording together in Hamilton for the past ten years. They are my closest friends and also happen to be the best musicians in the city.
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Take us through your process of writing music. Where do you draw inspiration from? Did this album in particular have a message you wanted to convey?
The message of this record “worried mind” focuses on anxiety but from the angle that anxiety and worry can strengthen us and help us grow as individuals. So there’s actually something to celebrate when it comes to pain. That was where the lyrics of the songs naturally went towards and I was glad to explore that theme.
You’ve been releasing music for over a decade now. How has the process changed since your career began?
On a micro-level, I worry about creating new sounds that will find new listeners and to help evolve my art. All the while trying to write songs that are nostalgic to my back catalogue. On a macro level, nothing has changed. I have this lifelong desire to create music that makes others feel the same way I feel when I hear a great album.
Hayley Mullen is a 4th year Communications student and the Production Coordinator at CFMU. She hosts Study Jams every Thursday on CMFU, and has been a devoted musician/composer for over eight years.
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