I wrote Self-Loathing while I was a composition fellow at Tanglewood as part of their annual three-day “Piece-a-Day” project. Self-Loathing is the second piece in the series. It was composed in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on 15 July 2010.
Self-loathing is a short piece that discusses the process and consequences of living life without self-compassion, and reaching wholeness through the creative act.
Through the creative process, we are able to conquer many of our fears and challenges, but ironically, the creative process itself gives rise to our worst critique of ourselves and to the highest levels of self-punishment and self-hatred. In persevering and creating a channel for communication with ourselves, we open a channel of communication and a source of compassion, unto ourselves and unto others. In this piece, since the topic of obsession is that of the fear and self-loathing that are inherent in the creative process, its very existence and wholesomeness lie in paradox with its conception, creating a perpetual loop of loathing and compassion, a paradoxical loop that as humans living the human condition, we experience on almost a daily basis.