Thursday, May 7, 2015

Continuing To Educate Myself

I think I may have mentioned that I am once again taking the Songwriting course by Pat Pattison via Coursera. I have taken it three times before, and I've downloaded all the lectures so that I can watch them anytime, so why am I doing the course again?

Deadlines. They really help keep me writing. And then there is the chance to do something outside my comfort zone. For example, the verse and chorus that I just submitted for grading started out with me just thinking about the requirements for the assignment: that the verse feels unstable (has forward motion) based mostly on the number and length of lines, and that the chorus feels stable (comes to rest) on the same basis, and that the subject matter for each is appropriate for the feeling.

I know that most of you reading it won't exactly know what I'm talking about; these are concepts developed by Prof. Pattison, and he explains them much better in the course than I possibly can in a short blog post. But it lead me to thinking about moving from something that feels unstable to something that feels stable, and I thought of a young child suffering some kind of little trauma, which is anything but little to the child, being comforted by her father. Unstable followed by stable.

As I developed the lyric, though, I found myself going somewhere that didn't sound like the usual me. That's a good thing, not because the usual me is so bad (I hope you'll agree), but because I want to change it up and keep it fresh whenever possible. And what I'm hearing sounds a little like a show tune. Definitely something new for me.

Now, the song is far from finished, and I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with it, except that the little girl in the song is going to grow during the course of it. But here is the first little snippet:

So have a listen, feel free to tell me what you think, keeping in mind that the song is likely to change a lot before I declare it done.

And now back to work. Not only do I have three other songs in the works, but I'm going to attempt another one-day song tomorrow. Not that you likely get to hear it tomorrow. As with Always Here, I expect it to get rewritten over the course of several days before I'm ready to record it.

Because with pretty much any kind of good writing, that's just the way it goes.

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