This month, Sylvia (under the name Bcspatch) is releasing a utopian sci-fi concept album: Lucy Enlo Infinity Arp—a multimedia project that spans color and sound while tracing Lucy, a character who inhabits a world unscathed by depression and suffering. You can pre-order the album here.
How has writing this album changed you?
I really tried to separate my ego from it in a way that let me focus on what I found exciting. This album by design was supposed to get me out of my shell, and, in many ways is my most “expansive” work, as in “outside” of me. From early on in the project, I asked for feedback in ways I wouldn’t have before. I’d have people over to my house and just start talking about Lucy and about the story. Sometimes, sharing my excitement naturally led to people wanting to record a little something, or them sharing what they were experiencing. I’ve done so many albums that were all about me, and it felt really good to instead have it be all about the world I was discovering and sharing, with my close friends very much being a part of that exploration.
How do you know when an album is done?
Usually my work is done when I can tell I will learn more by moving on from it. I feel like music can be self-contained and whole while not necessarily being “perfect.”
What does inspiration feel like to you?
I think inspiration is connection; the opposite of inspiration is disconnection, or dissociation.
Inspiration feels to me like a deep sense of understanding, like an “oh, I get what is going on here. This makes sense.” The way it all makes sense can change, and is not necessarily something absolute, but by feeling like you understand something you become empowered. By finding inspiration you validate your own ability to change and make sense of the world, which in turn can inspire you more.
How would you like to be remembered?
I think it’s easy to oversimplify artists into something homogeneous and larger than themselves, especially if their work is inspirational. But that is not how humans work. You feel inspired one day and uninspired the next, so I would like to be remembered as someone who had moments of clarity but actually managed to nail down those important moments while I could—someone who found islands of positivity and somehow managed to make it work.
Where do you find hope?
You have to generate it yourself, I think, either by actively seeking community or by radically validating your own authenticity, if there’s no community to be had. You often have some idea of how you want things to be, but by putting in the work you really get to flesh out your own understanding of who you are and your place in the world. It’s often lonely because you’re doing that work blindly, at your own expense, but it also can be joyous because you find other people on the same path, connected to the same thing. But you have to actually believe in it first for it to exist. It’s like the “if you build it they will come” mentality, but knowing that there is no actual guarantee that they will come. And you do it anyway.