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Archive for the ‘Songwriting’ Category

Sound.

It is the eternal struggle and the eternal mystery, and right now it is a struggle. Have you ever known precisely what you want? Where down to the very tiniest detail you knew?

Well, I do. Right now. I know what I want, but it refuses to happen.

Something is wrong with the sound. Where it should be big, hollow, empty and a fair bit intimidating, it just sounds sharp. No matter what I do. I fear heavy rewriting will be needed, but I do not want that. I like the elements in it so far. It’s organic, imposing, almost sexy if I dear say so. It is placed high on my increasingly long list of musical pieces to finish for my next release.

But then there is this sound. This empty hall where instruments are violated in order to produce tonal pleasure.

It keeps escaping me.

My overall perspective on how everything should be presented has changed in recent years. I’ve always distorted things, but it has still remained somehow “pretty”.

Now I can’t distort it enough. It can’t be cold, distant or unpleasant enough. I don’t want perfection, I want the opposite. I want instruments that sound like they’ve died, and now they’re just being tortured.

And it needs to be performed in a big empty hall, with large shadows surrounding you, where you have only half an inch of a flickering candle left to keep you company.

I’ll get there.

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Encouragement

I’m listening to something I just wrote, but I’m having this weird sensation that I sometimes get. Sometimes, when a melody just “clicks” I start to wonder if it clicks too much and it has possibly been used before by someone else that I just can’t remember.

I’m having that very sensation right now. The sound of it just works really well. Muted guitars rumbling under strings and pianos. It sounds refreshing. Like it could go places.

It’s one of those time when inspiration just hits. Like you have the entire idea in your head before you even start. Like all of it is already completed.

I like those. I work on impulse, I don’t plan, and I don’t like planning either. I’ve never agreed to any kind of tutor who says you need to reiterate and reiterate, and then reiterate some more. I don’t sketch and plan and make sure I know what I’m doing before I do it. That robs the value of the experience. Creating as you explore is the whole point for me, and the first idea tends to be the best.

I’ve received quite a bit of positive feedback lately. I’ve been away from this so long that I had almost forgotten how that feels. It’s hard to describe in words. Every single person who says something encouraging fuels me and makes me feel like there is a point in doing this. I started out writing songs just for myself, and I still do since writing for any other reason probably wouldn’t lead to the greatest results, but hearing what people have to say about it makes me want to do it more.

I try to reply to everyone, but it’s difficult. I want to say something different every time so you’ll all know I’ve seen your words and taken them to heart. But I don’t have to say “thank you” many times before I feel like I repeat myself.

My responses might seem cut and paste at times, but my emotional reaction is not.

I am very grateful for every word.

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Confidence

I suffer from a lack of confidence.

It is something that has always been there to shed doubts on what I’m doing when I’m right in the middle of doing it. And this lack of confidence trancends any compliment I might recieve.

This goes back to when I was young and would sit and draw. People would compliment me on pretty much anything I did, and this bothered me to the point of almost upsetting me and thinking less of them.

Why couldn’t they see that this wasn’t really that good? All I ever saw were the things that needed improving, the things that weren’t quite right. And until I got them right, there was no use in saying it was any good.

I have now written, or rather, I’m now in the middle of writing two songs. Two very different songs that I feel both capture well both what The Dead Birds is, and what I am. Which all in all is pretty much the same, but there are still facets of me that doesn’t end up in the music.

The problem I face now is the problem I’m now starting to remember that I always face when I’m at this stage.

Doubt.

Severe doubt.

I’m starting to not be so sure wether or not the songs that a couple of days ago sounded fantastic, are any good. It’s like the initial rush has settled. I’m at the point where I listen and listen and listen, and I get so lost in the listening that I have no idea how to progress.

Should I add vocals or not? And if I do, what should they be?

I don’t think in words when it comes to music, I think i melodies, and this almost always ensures that words and voices are the last thing to end up in a song.

I think I need to step away for a few days to get some distance and try again with fresh ears.

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Guitar blog image

It is almost a bizarre feeling to be sitting here again. I’ve been so consumed by this thing called life for so long that the parts of me that truly matter have all but withered away.

But here I sit. The room would for all eyes but mine be the very definition of chaos. Cables have turned the wooden floors into a tangled jungle of black lines painting it’s odd shapes. Guitar picks lie scattered, various effect producing equipment force their way up between the neverending stream of cables, and to the side my trusted guitar stands proud, no longer gathering dust.

I wish I had shown him more love these past few years.

I carve a space to sit down, amongst notebooks and scattered pieces of paper containing unintelligible sketches of ideas that might some day come to fruition.

Not having done this for so long makes me feel like I’ve aged in all the wrong ways.

But now I sit here, eyes tired and fixed on the notes playing out before me. Until I lie my head back and close my eyes.

This is where I belong, and I’ve missed it dearly. If these sounds are not allowed to escape me so they can form living entities, I am nothing.

Never stop creating.

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