It’s been a week since my last entry and I was bothered by that, but I’m okay now. Life gets in the way, and I’ve been working a ton of hours, and that leaves me drained and with little free time to write. So, I’m going to welcome myself back by talking a little about music and how I come up with songs.
Because of my work schedule, I find it difficult to just pick up my guitar and start noodling. When I get home it’s late and my husband is asleep, and in the morning or early afternoon, I have errands, sometimes chores, or sometimes I just feel like a zombie and I don’t want to do anything. You can’t force inspiration or creativity. At best it’s a spark that needs to be stoked and nourished before it can become a fire. My main hesitance in trying to write before work is that I hate the hard deadline of having to stop at a certain point. I don’t want to be in mid-song and have to leave things undone.
I guess I will have to work with what I am given, though, because recently I had a massive download of creative juice. I’m alone in my car for 9+ hours a day, and sometimes I just don’t have the radio on. In those quiet moments I will hear songs, and not songs I’ve heard before. Riffs and choruses will sometimes run through my mind, but they will sound distant and incomplete. This is where my gratitude comes in.
The smartphone has made it very easy for me to remember these fits of musical revelation. Something that stands out just a little more than the normal cacophony that swirls around inside my brain gets me to pull over and open my voice recorder app. I’ll take a few seconds and hum or sing the melody into the phone and BAM! That shit is captured!
I was listening back through voice notes I made months ago, and every one of them brought back the full sound of what I was hearing in my head. I have over 50 random riffs and hooks, choruses and patterns stored on my phone. I’m sure I will have many more, and I am thankful that I am able to preserve them and make something of them.
Here’s a idea of what I sing into the recorder and what I hear in my head. This was from last year and I was kinda hearing a Sonata Arctica thing, but then it came out like this:
(Photo by David Kristofer, from our PaganFest date last May)