I wrote a song and I recorded it. Where’s the rest of the album? It’s in a blog www.nicolemoniquejohnson.com; it’s in a performance art piece #ForeignAmerican; it’s in a novella, Songbird. It’s written to tell a story to the audience of a digital age. My audience trades in data and I’m ready to deal.
Feet Slow Me Down tells a heartbreaking story of domestic abuse but jabs an angry finger not on a lone perpetrator but a collective consciousness that grooms its players to cooperate and play out the same narrative again and again. The repetition is smooth, engaging, and comfortable with its predictable conclusions.
The use of Indian tabla percussion is a deliberate displacement of what should sound like a Blues idiom. In asserting that the social problem is global, the music is what I call Western situated and Eastern facing. It is Western music taking its fledgling steps to find its place within the World Music community.
Finally, the album art was itself a photographic composition (Sapna Odlin photography) to communicate despair, complacency, and inertia. Its subject, having consumed or spilled a glass of wine, risks being cut with the shards of the broken wine glass when she moves from the bathroom floor. The picture raises a lot of questions and provides no answers or resolution.
It’s only the beginning.