Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Awaken, another new song!


The birth of another new musical tune, and song came my way again today. As the days in living progress these songs and their lyric, inspired by the universe, I'd say due to having no other form to pin the inspiration upon, seem to form into units containing what I consider as having higher quality in its overall result. The reason for this is likely the experience gained over the years, creating my own songs in my method or it might be chance? What ever allows it, this brings to bare a sense of personal satisfaction.

For the sake of this writing and the theme of the blog, the trigger for writing, if known, should be stated. Quite like the previous posting about the song Bomb Train, this was also influenced and triggered in watching Democracy Now. Thank you Amy Goodman! I truly think this is more a general circumstance than anything other. Yet the same kind of scenario that brought out Bomb Train, occurred again this morning. I know I have been harboring the will to write this song and its general content for some time now, without actually having taken any steps to bring it into being prior. I guess this actual subject had not been clear in my mind before the words began forming upon my typing them into the word processor.

This lyric came in the form of what is the first line of the song, “Wake up, we can awaken today.” With it came a piece of what is now a melodic shape, though brief and truncated from its now complete form. The general theme is the state of humanity and the racial injustice and inequality that is so pervasive both here in the United States of America and in most locations where there are separate cultures, races and belief systems in contact, one with the other(s). I consider this representation in the human condition one that will one day fall into the past. As humans, the struggles that groups create, based in their own fears, and their own prejudices, serves to retard our potential to be better both as individuals and as groups having commonalities in sharing our home planet. It is sad really.

So I wrote two lines out in the computer, then having that melody forming internally, I grabbed a guitar, quickly finding the key and shape of it in a rhythmic form, set in a 3/4 time, and sang those lines, I then repeated the process to attempt capturing its entire essence. Succeeding at that, I shifted back to the computer and wrote another few lines, using a similar form as in the first line. That is with an opening two word statement, followed by an expansion on that statement, or a further clarification on what the statement represents. I completed 4 lines using that form. For the following verse, I chose to alter that theme a slight bit, reducing the introductory statement to that of a single word. Again I repeated this shape, writing 4 lines with this form.

I then got an idea of breaking from a traditional song shape or form. Most generally, folk type songs follow a pattern similar to: verse, verse, chorus, verse, chorus... I wanted to attempt something different as a form of musical structure for this song. Having now constructed to verses of a consistent meter, the next set in verse would take on a differing meter, slight though distinctly altered. The metered lines in this part are unlike that in the first two verses. The single and or double word introduction to the line was dropped, allowing the lines to be broken in two segments, having two measures each or being that of a single line taking on the entire four measures. When it had taken form in the digital space before me, I again switched to the guitar and fooled with a form that would complement the original, while bringing it out in the 3. rather than the 1. Thus as the key for the original verses is a G Minor, this second stanza is in a C. Having a simple understanding of music theory, I can barely understand that this song is in a minor key, but only because of the use of an A minor, and the E minor, in the progression. I finished fitting out the chord structure in this second part, then returned to the computer keyboard to write out more content.

Again with the thought of breaking with tradition, the following section I decided would take on another musical shape and meter. This part is set in E minor. Another set of four lines formed up. They are somewhat representative of the second shape or second part of the song in that the original structure, of an introducing word, or two, followed by a complementing element was dropped entirely. These lines are also split in the middle, having a duration of two measures, followed by a second part having two more measures to make up a line. An exception is the fourth line carries the entire four measures, and is a summarizing statement Similar phrasing is also done with single phrasings that carry through the entire 4 measures.

With this much complete, I considered that the song's lyric was finished in that it said all I wished to express. None the less it was rather brief in total duration, having played and sung it along the course of its construction. So if naming the four verse like pieces of this song with each containing four lines, the first and second sets are the first part. The third set is the second part and the fourth set is the third part. I concluded a way to bring more length to the song would be repeating the entire four sets of lines but in a different order. Having reached the end of the writing or the fourth section (third part), it is followed by a repeat of both the third and fourth sections (second and third parts). This is then followed by what would be a break where the melody returns to that of the beginning of the song. The break is short in duration and is followed by a repeat of the first two sections (first part, a1 and a2) of lyric, with which a conclusion is reached with the repeat of the last line.

I successfully recorded a rough version of the song, a method of preservation because my aging brain has a way of loosing these ideas while they are young, where as not recording them leads to a differing kind of struggle. One that is hopeful of somehow recapturing that which was.

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I have added a recording of this song, ''Awaken,'' today December 12, 2015 http://thomasepeterson.com/mp3.html