Caught a bigger fish than I had time (or skill??) to complete!
A draft of a song, with improvised lyrics for the ending… first minute was composed (and under-rehearsed)! Wohoo! Psyched to do this again in two weeks.
Draft of Lyrics:
We were sharks friends
no lonely teeth
crowds of them
Inside our deep sleep
There were mountains
crooks and valleys and archways
To walk though
There were airplanes
needles in the sky
sunburned candy pies
No more mystery
hiding beside us
no more Juliet
no more march weather
Tybalt just died
a martyr for fighting
A couple of elephants
Predators bite by bite
Brass monkeys to put up a fight
I am uncorking a Spectacular bottle
of misanthropic love songs
I don’t like having emotions about my childhood. The actual emotions tend to feel inaccessible. So I thought of a cool, sacred memory. There’s some magic and excitement in here. my sister and I were flying wooden airplanes in early spring, up at my family’s house in NH. It may have been an hour, it may have been 10 minutes.
The rules of play were simple: wherever the plane landed dictated the part of the world we were in. Given the season, there were flowers shooting up, snowbanks hidden in the shadows, streams of melting snow, a field with wintered over vegetation. In our jubilant play, we were in a timeless expansiveness: connected to an eternal now.
I don’t *really* want feedback, I sort of just want people to tell me that it’s good and say “ok sure hmm yes I guess all that makes sense”.
These are my process brain thoughts that I intend to use for myself as I do this process more regularly (!). Help me revise my practice techniques to get more of what I need into me on a regular basis.
First I came up with Chords; then tried polyrhythms for the “hypnotic effect”. I really liked the sense of harmony shifting in a strange way due to the natural flow of the RH over the slower LH; it gives the harmony a real instability — every time the LH note ticks ahead, it sort of recontextualizes the ostenato in the RH.
By accident, I really liked starting the chord progression for the second half of the verse with the 2nd chord from the 1st. Playing the Esus7 felt like a wicked cool discovery, but then I realized it was just a WS down from the previous transition out of the Cmaj9.
As I came up with such an outlandish basic idea, I recorded it and sang over it — I had an inkling of a melody but tech seemed easier.
I did that, but then it sounded like total BUTTS, mostly from mic quality/something about how my voice sounds through a 57 vs a condenser.
Well, the good news is that I wrote lyrics in a flash, then improvised them as the take. So I had something to go off.
I tried to methodically go through miking my piano, but it didn’t work out — I remembered how uncannily good voice memos sound on my iPhone (and also how my Zoom H6 sounds). So I opted to do that.
I was continually frustrated with how delicate I wanted the compositional gestures to be. I came up with some jamming exercises to get comfortable with the cadence of making melodies with the an ostenato + polyrhythm — but I didn’t really capture that in relation to the flow of the whole song.
I don’t tend to follow linear stories within songs, so as a writer it makes me a little more “impressionistic” (not Impressionistic).
I wish I had/in the future will:
— work with development more coherently:
—> swap between polywhirls in the second verse to make feel more unstable.
—> clarify the ascending gestures at the end of the 1st chord progression. Maybe notate something very specific with accelerating rhythms (5:3, 4:3, 3:2, and some dotted thing)
— clarify the LH gestures. Its a sort of habitual bassline,
— add in strings
— do more precise metric modulations with different polyrhythms
— figure out how to make lyrics that scratch this itch of impression “say whatever I want” ness, but also cohere around something thats more solid in my mind. Lyrics that feel gentle, free and structured.
Looking for feedback on
Suggestions on drafting process? How do the sections flow together? What do you like about it? What should I like about it? What does it want to be next-level of well-structured?