Songwriting in August 2014

These days, I am working on writing songs accompanied by the harp, and in some cases the ukulele. Most of the songs are for an adult audience, though some of them are for children. It has been a wonderful practice, putting into words and music thoughts, pictures, stories, feelings and moods that I want to share with the world. 

Since last year I have struggled quite a bit with this process. I knew that I wanted to write songs but it took me quite awhile to learn how to get into a space where I felt I could let the words flow out onto a page. 

Part of the struggle had to do with going from being a very picky instrumental player to accessing the space of composition and writing. Though I'd composed music here and there before, it was usually one thing at a time that I would work on for several weeks and play just for myself and then years would go by. There was no constant commitment and no deadline to set my hair on fire.

I am used to spending months learning, memorizing, and perfecting a single piece of music written by someone else. Writing for myself feels entirely different. I am not trying to impress anyone but myself. And to tell the truth, after studying with musicians for so long that I KNOW have wonderful taste, I came to the realization that I had to learn what my taste actually was.

How else could I impress myself when I am the only judge? That is pretty tricky if you haven't been paying attention to your own taste, and rather spent most of your time worrying about impressing someone else, no matter how amazing and lovely they are.

But in the end, I think this is all there is to it. If I don't like something and put it out there and by chance everyone loves it, I do not want to be playing that thing over and over again. I want everything I write to be like watching my kids open a gift I chose for them on Christmas when I play it. I want to be jumping up and down ecstatic to share it.

It took awhile to journey into that head space.

For the last few weeks I have spent an hour a day in the early afternoon writing. A schedule has worked wonders for me. In a few weeks I've come up with six songs! Will they all make it onto an album? Right now I think they are fabulous. So, likely so, though I need to polish them up a bit before I go to the studio. In the end we will see what makes the final cut. One thing is for certain, I'm not putting it on unless I think it kicks ass. 

So after all the talk, I should share something, right?

I'd intended to share more over video the last few months but I'll admit it has been difficult to find the time. Scheduling the time to write the music was challenging enough let alone finding the time to set up and share video. And, yes, I still plan to share more video in the near future. I do believe that just needs to be something new I put on a schedule.

In lieu of sharing a video, here are some of the lyrics to one of the songs I am working on. This one is for ukulele. Enjoy!

All Figured Out

I went walking on a sunny sunny day

And I thought maybe I could make my worries go away

So I hatched a major plan, genius and true

And I goes like this, its for me and its for you


I've got it all figured out

Got the whole thing all figured out

From the atoms to the stars (figured out)

And there ain't no more to learn at all


All figured out

Got the whole thing all figured out

'Bout how the human genome works (figured out)

And there ain't no more to learn at all