Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Writing, writing, writing

Recently I've thrown myself into a new project. Unlike a few previous projects, I'm trying to take myself seriously (I say with a straight face). Well, maybe that's not what I mean, but I mean to write music that truly means something to me. Music that I guess you would call "no apology" music. Music I'll be excited to get up on stage and share with an audience. Music with lyrics, even.

I love sitting at the piano and sussing out Ideas. I can sit for hours and play the same thing; change things, experiment, and dive into sonic realities until I find a piece I really like. Yet, when it comes to writing words to songs, I get sheepish when other people are home. And, living with 4 other people in a Bushwick apartment, you better believe everyone hears everything.

It's surely not that I'm afraid to sing in front of people, or for people (if you don't believe me please see Rick-Hop). I think it has to do more with the meaning of words. When you play music without words, as I have done for many years as a jazz musician, you learn to derive your own meaning from everything. When you add words into the mix, suddenly you add context to the equation. With context, unless you're writing completely abstractly, people can explicitly what you mean. I think I'd rather not have people listen to my thought process and would much rather present an end result. I guard my thought process closely, whether it's in improvisation or writing raps (again see with aforementioned Rick-Hop) and I'd rather not share.

The point of this is to say I like to write alone. I don't like the feeling of someone looking over my shoulder. Though that's not to say I don't like writing with people- only that I like writing my music, simply, by myself. Do you relate?

Though, to be fair, here's a snippet of a song I wrote with my friend Ryan. He wrote the lyrics and the verse music, I helped write the chorus melody and harmony.

He's singing the verse, playing guitar, and bass; I sing the chorus, play the farfisa, and drums (please don't' mind the drumming!)

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