"Have you ever stopped to consider the fact that every other artist just builds a normal website yet you go on a self-indulgent, self-obsessed, incredibly narcissistic ... journey... "
This is an interview with one of the early testers of the site
My online presence sprawls. Like a cat in the sunlight.
Or perhaps more like the haphazard scrambling of a bag of rice, capsized onto the kitchen floor.
There are several reasons for this horrific sprawling.
One, perhaps the one that I am the least to blame for, being the internet itself.
It sprawls too.
(in a sense, even this post sprawls into another further down the page...)
There’s no way of keeping track of every comment made about you or contribution you’ve made to anything.
The second reason is that, in the past few years I have had a bit of a habit of changing names, such that, FIRELAND, Freya Ireland, and Fraz Ireland, all yield results about me. One problem though, with all of these names, is that they al have “Ireland” in, and Ireland, you may know, is a country that is pretty famous in its own right, and so often you may find that typing into a search engine any version of my name too quickly dissolves into hits on Irish news or music events or whatever they have going on over there.
The third reason for this sprawling is that I have had, for about 3 years now, two websites. They are very similar in content, and neither of them look good. There are bits that one forgets but the other covers and there are bits that the other forgets and the first covers. They are both somewhat out of date, but in different directions (you work that one out).
An extension of this, and also definitely my fault is that I also have links outside of my websites to soundcloud, youtube, vimeo, Instagram (again, multiple accounts), a facebook page (well, actually, 2), 2 twitter accounts. I’m doing 2 degrees at the same time at 2 different institutions. I store my documents strangely straddled between 2 hard drives, and backed-up haphazardly across 2 different cloud storage services. I have 2 different copies of Sibelius on my laptop. I even have two phones.
I am like the human version of every animal in the world as they were ushered onto Noah’s ark.
And yet, I maintain that I have a fundamentally nonbinary worldview.
Well anyway. That’s why I began on this venture. To try and, at the very least, string everything together a little bit.
I use microsoft paint in so many different places throughout this website and elsewhere.
I use it to draw lines and diagrams that I bring into my scores on sibelius.
I use it to make drawings which I animate within premiere for videos.
I even screen record paint to make videos through it.
In this website I have used it to create the favicon (a word I learnt today - it's the icon on the tab in a browser), I use it to make what I called bobbins (those two guys on the landing page that you can click and get taken to different places). It's used for video thumbnails... Anyway, this is an unplanned tribute to ms paint.
Well, I suppose there are several answers to this...
The first might be that I am doing it for the 'Creative Project' module at RNCM.
While this is obviously true, it is not the full story.
Everyone has a website. When I was researching this I discovered that something like 350 new websites are made every second. Which feels like too many.
But so many websites just look the same. And yes, that's sensible, it's useful, it's professional and forward thinking and all of this. but is it fun?
I've also been over the past year thinking a lot about the packaging of work. The paratext. The things that frame what we present and which define how we present it and which inform the reception of our work.
and I became increasingly dissatisfied with the way that I was framing myself.
I've had 2 websites for a while. One is on wix and one is on wordpress(the not-cool one). Both sites are fine, fairly comprehensive etc. But neither are things that I'm proud of. And I thought that having spent so much time preoccupied with programme notes and titles and the framing of pieces that I was doing myself a disservice to frame myself with these two pointlessly overlapping unoriginal websites.
I wanted to make something that is about me. I'm not just some name that groups together a few handsful of sheet music and recordings.
at least, I try not to be.
And so I realised that I should make new website.
And I didn't want it to be bound by the rules of some website designing machine.
And I didn't want any of it to feel mysterious or off-limits.
When you first learn to compose you are encouraged to use paper and pencil so as not to be restricted by the idiosyncrasies of a software.
Why should web design be any different?
And like a child scrawling graphic scores I don't know the vocabulary, I'm not certain of syntax or grammar or even where the big gaps are.
But I own them.
Because I chose to learn how to code this myself I have ownership of not only the things I have done, but also of the things that I haven't yet discovered. They are my things to find out.
And I think that's excellent.
There is also another reason for making this website (I mean, probably many). And none too. It's just art.
But that other reason is this opera that I am intending to create, which will exist within the folds of this site. One day.