Thursday, September 19, 2013

Catching Up From Summer

Large chunks of time pass without reaching out to blog.  I'm not so sure I understand why I don't write here.  I have been very active in writing music this summer.  First, there was a tune back on May 28. called 'The Trip Will End."  It is life, summer evenings/nights, around a campfire, enjoying life under the stars, this entirety is known to end with death, so the trip will end, it is as simple as that.  I enjoy the song, it is quick in tempo, in a 4/4 time. I really am having a hard time trying to write about, without revealing lyrics and/or giving up a recorded audio file.  The intent is to write of the process of creating songs/music.  I guess it doesn't actually require a demonstration of audio to be effective. 

The earlier part of summer didn't provide any new ideas or creations.  It was August 5, that I wrote the next song.  Now this was a very unusual experience, for it began with the full intension of writing a letter to a friend.  So I wrote my friends name, followed by a coma, after the new line, I started writing what was in actuality poetry of a rather pure form.  This was very unexpected and purely spontaneous.  This song has a sort of story line, more fairy tale and certainly fiction.  I really grasp at, still, the ways that the lyrics of songs come upon me, having no actual idea of how it is that lyrics come to me out of thin air.  Like this song, "Cows and Birds" being about neither cows or birds, but having their subjects named is a just reason to include the words in the title, right?  It is a fun to play song, I think because the lyrics flow along so easily.  I have written songs that at times seem like a tongue twister to get out of my mouth.  This one, despite having rapidity in delivery, still flows easily and even better seems easier to remember than a lot of my songs.  Now in this email to my friend, after concluding the actual lyrics of this song, I did a copy / pasted into a new document, then proceeded to block out the song lyric as a separate item but leaving it in place for my friend to read.  I went on and wrote him a rather long note, explaining the passage of time in writing him this email that turned into the lyric of a song, and then I went on and recorded a rough draft of the song in an mp3 format, sending it along to this friend.  Now this person I met while serving military service in the Marine Corps.  We were both jet engine mechanics working on fighter jets of the day, F4 phantom.  We became friends because of music, well that and the times I guess, being in contact at the work place must have had a lot to do with it also.  The crux of the significance to this is that we began doing music together back then, I composed one of his lyrics sets back then.  I recorded it a few years ago, posted it on my web site where it resides in this place where you found this.  Running With Angels This is not the first time I have written in rhyme while writing to  friends, though the first song, for me.  I am not editing so I do imagine this is a convoluted paragraph.  Back to Cows and Birds, it is nonsense disguise as a story, though the story is vague enough to consider it verse.  I know not how to describe songs.

August provided a second song, on the 22nd called, "Gone Crazy," a rather political piece, although actually its focus is truly on a perception of the world of humanity and its overall effect.  It is powerful as seen from my point of view, because I believe that as a structured group of humans, I think gone crazy as an apt description of what's happening.  Now although I personally have halted the use of broadcast television from any source, I remain aware of the influence it puts on the collective understanding of many sections of human activity, mostly as it relates to the expenditure of money, but also through the propaganda of those news outlets, feeding infommercial, hype-crap, unworthy of my participation.  Though being aware of this condition, I wrote about how we (the collective) sit back and do nothing about what our government does, and what it allows corporations to do which flies in the face of both logic and even civility in many instances.  Honestly it is sad to note, and will bring us all the blues eventually. This tune I placed in a blues theme, B minor is the key and it is far from being a twelve bar blues.  The cadence combined with the tempo are blues, plain and simple.  The idea erupted right immediately after the conclusion of watching Democracy Now  As always the news can seem such crazy stuff.  I have no actual recollection of the subjects covered during that showing.  It did leave me disturbed, as it so often does.

Now it is mid September, nearing the autumnal equinox, again, (eek), and more songs come.  This week brought four songs, starting Saturday, well technically last week, but...  It was another occasion of unintended writing, as sometimes happens.  Busy doing something when a thought, a line of verse simply materializes inside my mind, without any consciously understood trigger.  First one line, then another, which these days quickly leads me to this keyboard, where I open a document and type out the words for the sake of preservation.  At this point I usually have no idea which direction the words will take me,  The first two lines during a beginning can be moved to the middle, to the end, to the chorus, or anywhere else.  Trying to remember the what and the why of an event last Saturday seems difficult in this moment.  The song I titled "Back Porch Gatherings." It is another complete fiction, story like, though not actually a ballad.  The words talk of thunder storms, watching them and talking nonsense.  This song has 3 and a half verses, that I repeat fully.  I guess the chord progression of this song is quite unusual having three semi-unique sections.  The sections are each a patterned progression of four chords that repeat.  The following section, these patterns are then transposed down four steps.  This second section is followed by a third section that is up one step above the previous, where it then concludes by walking back up to the origin.  I do like the beat of this, again a quick 4/4 time in the key of D.  Oh I wish I understood theory well enough to accurately describe this progression, but I don't and so I can't do it justice other than to say it is unusual and catchy to my ear.  Now my music partner told me today that it is a difficult song for him to play, yet I seem to find ease in it.

Sunday brought another song, though for this song only the musical composition was formed.  The lyrics I wrote April 28, although at that time, the lyrics had no accompanying music.  On the morning I completed this composition, I had a plan to practice, although, in opening the folder containing song lyrics, I noticed the title 1-river, which I actually had no recollection of. The prefix of the numeral 1 I use for keeping that particular file at or toward the top of the file tree, so there it was, glaring at me as I opened the file manager program for viewing the list of file names, all being song lyrics.  I decided to look at the file to recall its contents.  Four full verses were written, well structured for the most part, although I did do some minor editing, then rather suddenly a melody came to mind, I grabbed my guitar and in seconds I had this new idea fully formed.  This one I finger pick, an unusual technique for me personally.  I have only in the past 3 years began to use a finger picking method due to my previous inability to coordinate my right hand well enough to create the desired effect.  Many times over the years I attempted to finger pick but I simply could not master it, something about separating nerve impulses to opposing fingers doing differing things.  That combined with my sense of pitch and physical direction (up or down the neck).  Finally just a couple three years ago, I learned a pattern from a friend, and after much persistent practice I was able to do that one pattern though with difficulty.  Even today I played that original patten and I still find it difficult.  Regardless, back to the subject the song formerly named 1-river, upon completion I renamed to, "River Song."  I am now able to finger pick some, using patterns of my creation, which I did.  It is a simpler pattern than the original finger picking pattern I learned.  I think the song turned out to be quite a beauty.  The melody flows, as rivers do.  What more could one ask for.

Now as for the two songs I wrote this morning, I am going to have to write of them at another time, if in fact I can remember to do it.  It is now, as Peter Rowan wrote, "it is tired, and I'm getting late."  I simply must go off to the flat lands where dreams can happen, rejuvenate and get on with the next day when I live it, as I live it. 

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