Monday, December 27, 2010
These are a few of my favorite sings...
I got a Moleskine Music Journal from my wife for Christmas. I had put it on my list, and she came through! It has six sections in it: Artists, Lyrics, Playlists, Concerts, My Life in Music and Music Map. The first two were what really got me interested...
I have been wanting to do a little research on some of my favorite songwriters. There are a dozen or so people that I have a lot of respect for, and who I listen to constantly, that I have never really dug into outside of the albums. I have always loved history, so this is a chance for me to put the two loves together. After watching recent documentaries on the Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Fleetwood Mac, Harry Nilson, Paul Simon, Legends of Motown, Tom Petty, Stax Records etc. I thought it a good exercise to look into the people that are secretly shaping me through their ability to create good music.
While I have been actively playing music for over half my life, I am, for the first time, actually writing music...or at least actually writing lyrics. Its hard. It seems you can either be taken seriously because you are melancholy...or use bright melodies/chords and end up on the cheesy end of things. I like music that both has depth AND lifts people. Fortunately there are good examples of where I would like to be headed.
And so, in a way this research is indirectly on myself. Music is such an enormous part of my life, and these people that I intend to write about over the next couple of weeks I consider my "Immediate Family" as far as music goes. I thought about listing them...but wouldn't it be more fun to just be surprised?
My composition Professor at SPU, Dr. Hanson, told me that you never compose anything new, you simply make fresh compounds out of existing materials. (Or as Carl Sagan put it, "If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.") Therefore, half of our job was to dig deep and learn tricks from the greats...I listened to the library's copy of Brahms 4th Symphony probably 30 times one quarter (With headphones and reading along with the score nearly every time) for this class. All of the people I intend to write about will dwarf Brahms in familiarity, and have certainly provided me with any tools I intend to use to make good music of my own.