John is the teenage terror of his northern industrial town. With his friends, James and Simon, he is a disciple of depression and ennui. His world is a haze of smoke and heavy metal, anchored by poverty. Every day he steps closer to the edge. When an altercation at school leads to a bad encounter with the police and involuntary commitment to a psychiatric ward, John finds himself alone in the hospital Quiet Room with time to think, to reflect on who he is, how he got here, and how to move forward-whether he wants to or not.
John is a successful musician. Music is his passion, his solace, and the place he belongs Looking for the lyric in the noise, he sifts through his life, through layers of experience overlapping like chords. He searches for himself in his psychiatric records, in the voices of his friends, his teachers, the cops, his doctors, and in his own memories. Rearranging the layers into some sort of music, he tries to find a true account of himself.
In Singing, He Composed a Song is a masterful experimental novel that blends poetry and fiction, past and future, word and image, to radically question how language and authority intertwine to shape the ways we view ourselves. It finds the music-however dissonant-that can’t be held behind steel doors or hidden in the pages of your file.