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Author Topic: The Muse  (Read 3612 times)

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Offline Old Goat

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The Muse
« on: November 30, 2014, 12:36:44 PM »
I suppose not getting my challenge song uploaded may well have been subconsciously done because I'm not very happy with it. I went to write at the beginning and ended up with a completely different song, "No Unicorns".

So, when I spent Thursday beating my head against it, I was very frustrated, and a bit mad at myself for keeping at a losing battle.

We chanced to see Charlie Rose do a brief interview with John Mellancamp Friday night. When he was asked what made the difference between good songwriters and great ones, he replied to the effect that great writers don't try to force the song into a mold or direction, they let it go where it goes.

I knew that. I know that. That's how I ended up with Unicorns. I'm perfectly capable of taking an idea or theme and writing a song about it. I've just come to dislike working that way. I get much better results when I give the Muse her head and hang on for dear life. It doesn't always end well. "Long Goodbye" and "Willow" are as bleak as I've ever written, but the Muse demands that I open a vein and bleed, even though it disturbs some around me.

It's a poet's job to say things out loud that most are afraid to think.

Much as I enjoyed the old KAE Challenges, one thing stands out in my memory. The theme was love. I worked the whole month writing and rewriting a song, recorded it, and hated it. Absolutely hated it. I wrote, recorded, and uploaded "On the Porch" the afternoon of the last day. I don't recall if I even placed, but that's one of Rosie's favorites.

Because I listened to the Muse.
Better a crust in peace than a feast in a house of contention.


Offline neilmac

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Re: The Muse
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2014, 09:33:49 PM »
It's a struggle sometimes....

I started out this month thinking in one vein and what came out was completely not what I started aiming for...

My problem is usually the initial inspiration....which is why the "challenge" format works for me....
Left to my own devices I'd procrastinate and mess around and achieve precisely nothing lol

But once the initial hurdle is out of the way, what comes out is...whatever comes.... I don't consciously set out to write THIS song....

What you end up hearing here is very much a "flow of consciousness" thing, I don't usually change what comes out first, if it works it stays and usually each part helps mold the finished song into whatever it ends up being.

For example, Long Cold Winter started out with a 3/4 time sig, just the metronome and the arpeggio guitar and built from there into a 6/8 instrumental :)

I record as I write....or should that be I write what I record :P
It's probably a bad habit to get into, as far as any aspirations of being an artist go.... but it's what works for me :)

At the end of the day the only yardstick I need is "Do I like it?"

If any one else happens to enjoy it then that's a bonus.... admittedly, it's a HUGE bonus :P

Offline Glenn

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Re: The Muse
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2014, 05:37:33 AM »
I'm much the same way ... 

When it comes to meeting a criteria for a 'challenge' tune, it's not always the first idea that 'works' for the challenge, - I usually know after the first or second track is down if it'll fit the challenge.

It's like having a lump of clay sitting there... now what will I shape it to be... let's try something I've not done before... who knows where it'll take me....
  :)   I find this creative process is like going on an adventure.   8)
Sometimes it works... sometimes... not so much... lol ... (but it takes courage to 'go there' and 'try' ... even if it doesn't meet your expectations or isn't deemed 'great' by others' measures.

Sometimes I'll pursue the idea, only to realize later, that I'm forcing it... and it's not feeling 'right'... not with the lyrics or theme or whatever the criteria is... so I'll move on.  lol  next!   Those tracks may come in handy for another occasion, or perhaps re-work the idea in another direction.   I get more tunes that way!!! lol 

As OG mentioned, inspiration can't be forced,  and IMO, inspiration is like the wind... we can open a window and invite it in, but we can't force it to come...   8)

and OG, don't be too hard on yerself...  although they wrote thousands of songs, 'great' songwriters write very few great songs in their lifetime...     
I say, don't worry about trying to write a 'great' song ... just write!  ... and share what you write.

missed having your tune in the challenge this month OG...

You ever get that 'flash'? ...  :o 
I've written songs that have felt very much like they've written themselves... my pen can hardly keep up with my thoughts as the lyrics get transferred to the page, in a flash... no corrections or revisions needed... boom... it's done!   8)
I think this is truly 'inspiration' at work when this happens.


« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 05:39:04 AM by Glenn »
Old Eastern saying "Man who run in front of car, - get tired .... man who run behind car, get exhausted"
I like to ride IN cars, it's less tiring and less exhausting :)

Offline Agradeleous

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Re: The Muse
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2015, 12:35:02 PM »
Sometimes one needs to just post it and not worry about it , let cool down maybe hear what some think about it then go back listen then re record . I know some folks like to do this first before they post .

But a lot of times we forget or don't find the time and never get back to it and then no one hears it !