Monday, 16 April 2012

Elusive songs

OK so I'm pretty excited currently about what's happening in Hi-Sonorous land. We had a great week last week. Worked on some new Tommy Eye tunes which are sounding amazing. Arranged some string parts. Chewed the fat with old friends over the bank holiday.

Also, we met up with Myles Dhillon and Alan Sampson in London on Wednesday and saw/heard the amazing work both of them are doing, musically and other. Got really inspired by them. It turns out we're all basically on the same page in wanting to do something together, so later on this week we'll be adjourning at the Squares to find out what that something sounds like.

At the risk of getting ahead of ourselves, we're also thinking about some filming as well, and the ideas are coming thick and fast. In many ways, so many of the usual things that scupper ideas like this are in place, or aren't issues. Like finances, space, equipment, time. What it comes down to are the songs, and the people. These are the two biggest factors in determining whether any of this is a success or not. And interestingly they're the things you can't really control.

Song writing is tough because it's so elusive. You can learn the craft, but you can't learn to control the creativity. Not really. The essence of a song, the bit that feels magical, the bit that makes you go "yes" is never something a writer can claim ownership of. It's a gift that's imparted - a seed that's sown in you, the writer, by something, or someone else. I like to think it's a bit of heaven on earth.

It's still a mystery to me. Which makes a deadline a very scary thing indeed. In fact a deadline is the sort of thing that is very likely to produce very mediocre, uninspired "craft" from a writer, rather than a bit of real magic.

Anyway, Friday is when all of this comes together, and by then we need to have some songs worth working on. So my thought for today is going to be to reflect on the best piece of song-writing advice I ever had, which actually did not come from another songwriter, but from an activist and political advisor called Jim Wallis, who said "if you want to tell the story, you have to be in it".


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