Monday, November 23, 2009

what it is like to write a song

It starts with a tsunami. Some drive, some emotion, some event, something bigger than you, more overwhelming than you can take, happens .. at least in your own mind. But without that happening, there is no song. You can't say "I should write a song." there are no shoulds.

Starts soft and slow, in the same part where your conscience lives. That same still, small voice speaks up, but in rhyme. Or music. Or just a beautiful turn of phrase. And then you know it's begun. You can keep about your everyday life or go to some quiet place and let it take over.

I write in the car sometimes. I don't know how safe that really is. When I wrote the song below, I had music on that I will probably never listen to again. And I wrote my own lyrics, based on the events of twenty minutes prior. The whole world changed as the song took form. South became North and large buildings shifted to the other side of the street.

You wake up after the song is in form, at least in its first form. Then your conscious self takes over and you fix the details. The rhymes, the little tweaks to the melody, the variations.

But none of this would be possible without those semiconscious moments when you "switch off the mind and let the heart decide" ... without the ability to let go and let yourself truly immerse yourself in the present moment and the past catalyst moment both at the same time, let them wash over you and let the music come from a place you rarely access.

I wonder when I will let myself write again.

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