Sunday, August 14, 2016

Songwriting on the brain...

Looking back through the (online) notebook and found this - from August 14 in 2011...

8/14 Been reading Paul Zollo’s “Songwriters on Songwriting” - he interviewed a whole bunch of writers for the book, each chapter is an interview. Trying to be good, not jump around, read from front to back. Right now, Frank Zappa. He had a pretty pessimistic attitude about the state of songwriting in the middle of American culture. All commercial, all about getting sold and/or made into a video. All about consumption, like fast food.
All of the writers interviewed so far have had interesting things to say - different approaches with a lot of common threads.

But here I am, with this Sunday morning off - seems like there’s so much to do and not enough time to do it. Songs that I’ve been working on that need more lyrics - need to write a good bridge for one - and here I am, learning as I go along. Happy to be doing this, but a little frustrated that I’m not further along - frustrated that I don’t have as much time to devote to it as I’d like.
The next chapter after Zappa is Leonard Cohen. He says something about how even many people with jobs are unemployed - I take this to mean the sort of thing that I’ve come to find in my life - what I’ve been telling people lately - the carpentry work that I do every day, that I’ve been doing for about 35 years now, doesn’t really require more than 10 to 20% of my brain. So the brain starts off on it’s own little game - it’s own quest to amuse itself - and I start putting words together. 

Cohen meant that there are people who remain unfulfilled and underutilized, I think, but the part that resonated with me is how I’m dealing with that (my) underutilization as the day goes along.
Is it because we’re terrified of the truly random nature of the universe that we keep creating these little structures?
Doesn’t matter if you have the radar on, the rain could still walk around you at the last minute.
The eggs, the toast, the Holy Ghost. Which one gets you through the day? There’s no right answer, the life you’re living is your own. There are bugs on bugs and gods on gods.

...and then there's the other part of songwriting, of course - the music part. 
Here's a melody with no words from May 11, 2014...

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