Art is not only born from misery, pain and struggle

ART is said to be born from misery, pain and struggle.

For singer-songwriter Clare Bowditch, her heart-felt lyrics and emotionally escalating music used in her latest album The Winter I Chose Happiness were drawn from a happy place.

Bowditch said the happy theme created in the album chose her.

‘‘I’ve always written about scenes that have chosen me,’’ she said.

‘‘In  past albums I’ve written about grief, lust and addiction, which are very juicy topics.

‘‘In this album I co-wrote a song with Gotye, who I know as ‘Wally’. Goyte and I were having a conversation about having an international career.

‘‘Goyte was on the brink of his international career, and for me, I also had the choice to continue my career in Europe.

‘‘But I decided I didn’t want that. I wanted to be in Australia. At home. 

‘‘I wanted to raise my children here. 

‘‘I thought to myself, life at home is happiness for me, which got me thinking about what is happiness to others. From there I just started writing songs.

The Winter I Chose Happiness is Bowditch’s fifth studio album and consists of 11 tracks.

Although the album is based on the theme of happiness, Bowditch says it isn’t your typical upbeat and fast-paced style of album.

‘‘I think the sound of the album isn’t your upbeat happy-clappy type sound.’’

“Its just enough to make you feel happy.

‘‘It’s a politically dense sound with big body.’’

The name of the album  has both a negative and a positive meaning.

Bowditch said the title of the album was a metaphor for darkness.

‘‘I wanted a title which stated that although there are bad things or times that are bad, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.’’ 

‘‘It suggests that for us to find happiness we need to be in a dark place to see the light.’’

The album took two years to write and six months to record.

For part of the recording, Bowditch had a major back injury which prevented her from recording in the correct upright manner.

‘‘To record the album, I had to lie down on a mattress,’’ Bowditch explained.

‘‘It was difficult, but I had the man [Bowditch’s husband] I love helping me through the entire situation.’’ Before writing her album, Bowditch delved deep into learning about happiness and conducted her own research on the matter.

‘‘I began questioning: What is happiness? Is anyone really happy? How can you achieve happiness? Can you have happiness while having a career?’’ 

‘‘I went into the library and read brain books, philosophy books, religion, secularism, rainbow-studies, you name it.

‘‘I spoke to scientists, artists, women, skeptics, and nutritionists on the topic.

‘‘I just started talking to anyone and everyone about what they thought about happiness and what it meant to them.’’  

As well as writing and recording her album, Bowditch also facilitated a Winter Happiness Summit.

During the summit, Bowditch conducted interviews on the idea of happiness with inspiring Australians like Missy Higgins, Dr Robert Holden and Stephanie Dowrick.

These interviews have been released on MP3 on her website. 

‘‘The Winter Happiness Summit contains raw interviews with inspiring Australians like Goyte.’’

‘‘It’s about having an interesting conversation about happiness,  how these people find happiness and how they keep happiness.’’

As well as being a singer and songwriter, Bowditch also works as a mentor, actress, social commentator and coach.

Bowditch’s secret to keeping happy while juggling a family and career is to make decisions which make her happy.

‘‘I find happiness is a life well-lived.’’

‘‘It’s about choosing what makes you happy, even if that means you’re having to choose happiness 25 times a day.’’

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