Sunday, 27 March 2016

Words have power

I have been analysing things recently, mainly about words, be they complicated or very simple.
For many years Music has been a driving force for me when it came to songwriting, so much so that even very well known songs were lost on me as to what they were about.
      I would hear people discussing things like what the meaning was of "Lucy in the sky with   diamonds" a Beatles classic. I quite frankly didnt give a hoot what it meant, I loved the sound.
It must have been about five years ago now when I got in touch with my "words" side, which is odd to say the least because I wrote lots of poems very early on as a child and well into my teens.
     Words have power, and if you combine that power with music that moves you, you then have a   double enlightenment.
     I recently saw a post on a chat box regarding one of my songs being played on the radio (Barefoot), and he specifically wrote out a particular line he liked when the song ended and I instantly knew what it was that affected him.
                            What about all the comments we dont hear or see written down?
I have now made a point of reviewing my lyrics for even the most subtle of changes that might make a good song a great song, and I am amazed always at how often just one word can change the whole flavour of the song.
   I sang a song for a dear friend recently and she misheard my lyrics. We laughed and then I realised that what she misheard was in fact a big change to the song. That was the line I had repeated back to me on the chat box. Instead of the original intention being "I want everything that we can ever be" It was changed to "I want everything that we can NEVER be"  The whole song was now about a yearning for what you cant have as opposed to wanting everything you could have.
  There's no real point in being over analytical, after all we are songwriters not scientists, but giving your lyrics a bit more attention at the end might well be worth the time.
   Words have power....Music has power....together they can affect individuals lives and also the world.

    Oh and when I said making a good song into a great song ? That doesnt mean neccessarily a song that becomes a world wide hit. There are many great songs that dont get heard enough because they aren't commercial enough. I have been moved to tears by songs with very few views on You Tube and at the same time yawned at yet another copy of a copy of a clone.
    Have a great week !  :)
    

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Glen Frey

Well, no sooner we lose David Bowie, we then go and lose Glen Frey, two artists who I have admired for different reasons. David Bowie I admired for his huge creativity and ability to re invent himself and Glen I admired for being the founder member of what I would consider one of the best bands of all time. I was a sixtees child and The Beatles were the ones who made me want to be a Singer songwriter. The Eagles however was the band I used to dream of being in. They taught me many things as an artist, and at the outset I want you to know that I have never idolised anyone or felt that anyone was so "up there" that they were out of reach....no...we are all human beings with talents and Glen showed me things just by being Glen who was a big part of the skillfully woven fabric known as The Eagles.
                        I remember purchasing the "Hell Freezes over" DVD, and I have to admit I wore the thing out. I watched, admired, learned and fell in love with the fact that a group of guys could completely "Own" a stage without any gimmicks and sat on stools. They were just themselves
but they were themselves playing well worked, meaningful songs and with that great Eagles sound.
                       The Eagles touched me deeply and Glen was a driving force in the set up.
In a recent interview (2012) Glen was asked "If you had five minutes left in your life which song would you play"?................He said "One of these nights" and then continued to give the varied reasons...like chord progression, instruments involved, Don Henleys vocal.
                       As a Singer songwriter I will always have an affinity with singer songwriters.
 Glen Frey was one of those examples who helped to make me sure that this is what I want to do with the rest of my life.  Thank you Glen  R.I.P. and thanks for the inspiration.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

David Bowie




It was a sad week for David Bowie fans, and I would have to include myself in that statement.
David Bowie has been around my whole life and I suppose if I was to ask each one of you what it was about him that struck a chord with you I would get many answers. I can only speak for myself,
so today I decided to write a blog about why he affected my musical life.
                          David Bowie was for decades leading the field in innovation as a writer and performer. We know that he constantly changed his appearance, style, and sound, which can be risky at best for fear of losing fans that "bought into" the style you had previously. David Bowie however managed this time after time whilst still keeping a loyal fanbase. He had such a creative lively mind that he always had something for his fans to look forward to and wonder "what next"?.
                         For me as a singer songwriter, I appreciated how he managed to have a strong
music base to his songs but then be able to take you off at a tangent even just for one chord with a sort of hanging depth....The song "Absolute beginners" is an example that springs to mind where almost straight into the first verse after the first line there's one of those typical Bowie changes.
                         I think I related to his depth, which was obviously a part of his character and something I would always love about his work, in fact just looking for a picture of him for this blog I could see a lot of depth in his face. I also loved and admired how he wrote songs that weren't always that commercial but for artistic reasons, just for the need to be different and explore different sounds.
                         As a songwriter and performer he had an air of confidence that made you just believe in him and his ability to keep going, which is why it came as a shock to me and countless others this week. I will genuinely miss him and his work.  R.I.P David.

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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Peripheral hearing

I have been wanting to talk about this for some time. I often find that when I am putting a track together the levels of concentration can be really intense, so much so that you find yourself telling yourself  "I will have to give this a rest for a while". The amazing thing is that I probably notice more about the track when I am NOT concentrating so intensely. Literally playing the track and getting on with something else within ear shot, even sideways on often makes me notice something. The human brain is amazing at how much information it can pick up when you are not directly looking at or hearing something, you just have to trust it.


             

Sunday, 27 September 2015

The most of us

We see things, we feel things , we say things.
For the best part nobody notices, nobody listens, and for all our efforts little changes. So we find a safe place to operate and find some happiness somewhere where the people around us understand who and what we are.
These are our friends. The world keeps turning under the control of a select few and they are the one's who dont hear us....they never hear us.
They dont have to hear us because we mean nothing to them. They live in their Ivory Towers far from any of our concerns.........but at least we have friends.....and we see things, we feel things, we say things.

(Jason Mark Yates-Singer songwriter)