I was waiting to be pushed to my limits with my song-writing and this is what happened…
In collaborating with Alex Von Soos, I moved from writing poetry to music (which I still love although it can be quite abstract) to writing songs with a narrative.
This was my missing ingredient — narrative.
Words convey meaning
Music create atmosphere
Film captures action
I love words.
But as a songwriter words have another dimension when they are put to music. For example words for the chorus are chosen carefully to create and complement what the music industry call the ‘Money-Note’.
This is the climax. It needs to be memorable and when you hear it there is a strange sense of relief. This climactic build-up (this is all sounding a bit saucy, but stay with me) has been masterfully orchestrated by using rhyming patterns in the verses. The words in the verses keep the movement and momentum of the song always rising back up to that glorious summit of the chorus.
It is formulae.
However, the trick is to be the master of the formulae. Manipulate, try, test and discover new ways of creating the verses and chorus. This is why it takes some musicians so long in the studio. Part of my process of songwriting is playing around writing a number of different versions.
Each version would have some ‘breathing’ time before re-visiting it. This is a brilliant editing process. Obvious cliches of rhyming schemes jump off the page. Sometimes when I was working for hours on trying to find the perfect word, my brain would switch gear and the word I was trying to avoid ended up on the page. Bad Brain.
The very nature of song-writing has opened me to the wonderful use of words that is still poetic with an added magic of narrative to hit those memorable climactic notes in the choruses.