The Magazine: The Book (Year One) (only piece original to the collection), The Magazine, Issue 43, and The Magazine: The Complete Archives.
Call has no label, no manager, no agent, no day job, no trust fund, and no health insurance. She writes, sings, edits, produces, mixes, arranges, performs, schedules, books, and promotes her music herself.
“Lyrics first, and usually there’s kind of a spark that makes the lyrics go. If I have a concrete idea, it’s so much easier.”
Alaskan singer-songwriter Marian Call sits in the finished basement of the home of a board-game designer in an affluent suburb of New Jersey, describing her creative process.
“Once in a while [a song] will come out fully formed... Other ones are like little puzzles. It reminds me of doing quadratic equations. The quadratic formula is so beautiful and elegant. I loved algebra: there was always an answer. You just had to balance and [go] back and forth until you got the answer. I loved making things balance.”
Call munches on a post-concert snack of raw broccoli and a cupcake. She has a tall smile, ghostly skin, and dark shadows beneath her eyes that swear to her diligence and autonomy as an independent artist. “Now it’s hard for me to see a song if I don’t construe it as like a little problem for myself, a problem to solve. There’s something very right-brain about the idea, and there’s something very left-brain about the solution.”
You could say the same about Call’s career. . . .
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