Margaret Stutt, working since 2008 under the name of Pezzettino, will be releasing her 10 inch EP, ‘Venus’, her 11th release under that name. From it comes the single, ‘From A Window, Big Sur’, is a dramatic piano and strings track, the instruments lightly framing her airy vocals, the finished product resonating in effect the sound of waves breaking on rocks, seagulls catching the air, and gentle breezes.
Margaret Stutt is a multi-instrumentalist who trained on piano, and then took to teaching herself accordion on her father’s instrument. She started out in Milwaukee, during which time she gained radio play on national college stations, as well as coverage in the press, resulting in successful tours across the Midwest and East Coast. The attention didn’t have happy results however, with Stutt having to take a break in 2012, while recording her album, ‘Phoric’. Since then, she has moved to Oakland, California, and releases her music independently, and refraining from public performance.
Speaking about her music, Stutt said,
“Music and art has brought my life significant meaning since I was a kid, but it has also been a journey of figuring out what role it plays. I am not the type who enjoys playing casually. I write because I have to, because I need to get something off my chest or need the outlet to figure something out, for the necessity of defining a feeling so that I can move on from it or learn its lesson. I used to thrive on the adrenaline of performing, the freedom of touring on an open road, I absolutely loved connecting with people at shows… but there’s nothing that I want to do less now. What I enjoy is living a relatively normcore life, with the freedom to figure out what it means to be human, through this medium at my own pace. I don’t really care if loads of people like the music or about making it big.
Of course, I do find pleasure when people find some friendship in the music, if someone out there feels connection while listening. I’m an old $%^& who is pretty satisfied with small pleasures, I enjoy the flavor of fruit and the color of sunsets. I can’t believe how many sunsets I wasted in my 20s. There is so much to be found beneath the surface of everyday, boring life. I used to think success meant going all out, getting signed to some label, releasing big budget music videos and being in all the magazines. But it turns out I make better work when I take the pressure completely off and am a small fry. Success to me means that I’m well rested, fed, healthy, that I care for and am cared for by others. Success to me means having the opportunity each day to witness beauty in life, big or small. I just so happen to write music along the way to help me through.
It’s such a luxury to get outside of your head. There isn’t one way to be a successful creative. Some people work best when they write everyday. For other people like me, writing is seasonal, like farming. Sometimes it’s better if the field rests, or goes through winter, if you nourish it with other inspiring experiences, if you process the experience of living for a while. I’ve been releasing albums now for 12 years and I keep thinking each one is my last. By now, I’m beginning to trust that the music always comes back. Sometimes, maybe, I just need a little breathing room to simply be in the world. So if you’re an angsty creative, maybe you can join me in trying to be less judgmental of your process. Maybe you can join me in some level of acceptance.
My hope is that by sharing, it might land in someone’s ears, somewhere, somehow, that it finds them wherever they are, and that they feel a glimpse of belonging to this world. It’s all about belonging, to ourselves and to each other.”
‘From A Window, Big Sur’, is accompanied by a music video which in many ways looks completely the opposite to which Stutt is singing in the song. Scratchy film, pinhole camera sepia toned photos of ferns, scratch-painted line drawings animated in black and white and occasional splashes of colour match the rhythms of the track, giving the song an overall feel of a lullaby, or perhaps a children’s song. Sweetly poignant, yet with the same sort of odd horror that comes with old nursery rhymes, ‘From A Window, Big Sur’ is hard to define, with so much sadness in its lyrics and minor keys; and yet there is a joy in the idea of watching the year pass, from a window.
You can find out more about Margaret Stutt and her music on Bandcamp, Facebook, and Instagram. ‘Venus’ is out this Friday, May 1.