Woah. 4 solid days of work in the studio evidently equals 1 almost complete song. Phew! It's fun, but I need a nap.
Although I probably need a nap more from all the shoveling of snow than the songwriting. Ha! (That snow is heavy once it starts melting!)
The Birth of a Song
The first day of writing this particular song I was suuuuper aware of the 'infant stage' of the songwriting process. It was clear to me that previously I'd allowed songs to "die" because I wasn't protecting them from the harsh elements of criticism or wasn't taking care to nurture their growth and progress. Instead I would start a song and just look at it, or show it to someone who would stomp on it's potential.
However, in this mountainous context at the Grünewald Guild, I am forced to abide by safety and err on the side of creativity not criticism. Thank goodness.
2 days ago I finished the melody and chord structure enough to see it really come together. I could feel the song was now in it's "Jr. High" stage. You know, kinda clumsy, sweet, a little selfish, and most certainly not ready to hear the hard truth about it's existence. I carefully selected 2 people and sent them a really rough recording from my iPhone. I needed someone to warmly and gently say, "Heck Yes! Keep at it!"
When discussing this stage of the artistic process with a Guild staff member, she told me she calls that kind of feedback "Refrigerator Comments." This feedback (like "Way to go!" "Excellent!" "Keep at it!" "Almost there!" "All that and more!") needs to be requested by the creator.
This act of requesting Refrigerator Comments from First Listeners needs to come from my ability to protect the potential of the art.
So after getting my lovely little Refrigerator Comments, I fell asleep listening to the initial recording and kept dreaming of additions and changes to make to it. When I got to the studio this morning I was pooped. My back was really sore from the 2 hours of shoveling snow from the day before and my vocal chords were really tired from singing for about 6 hours. I knew I needed to take things easy and only work on the lyrics.
My Current Fears... (which happen to be fears about all my songwriting)
- it sounds too "Disney?"
- too much rhyming?
- does the bridge sound too hokey?
- are the transitions too dramatic?
- is there room for any dynamics?
And after getting off a Skype call with my songwriting-friend Tara, I am reminded...
I'm doing it! & I may not know exactly what I'm doing, but I am most certainly doing it!