The first single off of the first installment of Michael C. Duguay’s four-part “Tragicalia EP’ series, Caesura was recorded by Michael and Owen Davies in Michael’s home in east-central Ontario in mid-February, 2020, with a small group of friends and collaborators.
The Tragicalia EP series features an ongoing song-cycle that explores Michael’s return to work as a professional musician and artist after a lengthy time away, during which he struggled with mental illness and addiction resulting from PTSD, institutionalization, and homelessness. Serving as both a cathartic writing practice, as well an effort to shift his work which deals with this experience and themes into one body of recorded material, each EP in the four-part series offers one lyrical piece which digs deeper into these experiences, his recovery from them, and how they continue to influence and intersect with his artistic practice, accompanied by an ambient instrumental piece which draws its musical themes from the lyrial single, and offers a meditative, reflective obbligato.
Caesura is a song about song-writing. Returning to his career in music in 2018, after nearly a decade away, Michael returned to a drastically different professional landscape. Digital streaming services and social media had surfaced as the most prominent marketing and sales tools and, with them, a new and distinct emphasis on personal brand. Adapting to these new technologies, Michael experienced disconnect and apprehension about how to best present work that is deeply personal and confessional through the lens of scrolling culture. Caesura is a song which explores this disconnect, tackles the catharsis of song-writing, and asks how to remain honest in an age of insincerity, if it’s even worth doing at all.