Joni Mitchell's new four-disc boxed set LOVE HAS MANY FACES: A QUARTET, A BALLET, WAITING TO BE DANCED was first conceived as the music to a ballet about love.
But after spending 18 months trying to distill everything she'd written about love-and the lack of it-down to a single disc, the influential singer-songwriter abandoned the ballet. "I wanted the music to feel like a total work-a new work. No matter what I did, though, at that length, it remained merely a collection of songs," she writes in the set's liner notes.
Undaunted, Mitchell did not give up. Instead, she continued to sequence her songs, determined to prove to herself that what she was after was possible. After two years, she had created a four-act ballet based on the 53 songs that make up this inspiring collection. "I am a painter who writes songs. My songs are very visual. The words create scenes...What I have done here is to gather some of these scenes (like a documentary filmmaker) and by juxtaposition, edit them into a whole new work," the artist writes.