Happy Mother’s Day @wandaemann! I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful mom! Thanks for being such a support, encourager and friend over the years, I love you!
Morning at the studio, doing some keys work for my mama @wandaemann #mymomisawesome
Writing music again…it’s been way to long.
Check out my brother Tim’s band Gdansk’s new video: Adam’s Needle! So proud of them!
Kimbra: Two Way Street
I’ve been sooooo impressed with Kimbra’s style and music. Her unique look (which I absolutely love) and trained sultry vocals really inspire me to be more creative in my vocal ability. She isn’t afraid to add jazzy vocal techniques into her songs and experiment with different instruments & rhythms. Her voice is always featured as the main instrument in her songs.
This is one of her newest songs off her new album VOWS.
As a writer, one of the most important things you can do to expand your creativity and inspiration is to be a good listener. We all have favourite music that we are drawn to, certain aspects that stand out to each individual more then the rest. Your musical taste as they say.
As a songwriter, I am determined to be a good listener. I am in the process of defining my style, sound and want to grow lyrically so i’ve decided to experiment with listening.
I’m going to pick one artist/album/song a day (well try to) and write notes on what it is in that particular song or artist that I love, what makes them unique, their style, sound, lyrical content…anything about them that I’m drawn to. Intern it will help me define as a musician and songwriter the sound & taste that I have and want to portray in my own work.
First artist on the list: The Civil Wars: Barton Hollow
One thing I love about this song is the musical side of it. This song to me is their best one on the album. The back woods guitar riff that is almost continual through out the entire song, exiting in key moments to add some down pauses steadies the song. The lyric content is quite simple and the theme is a darker more hopeless content but then put with bright catchy rhythms you almost feel happy singing about hopelessness. Contrast between musical & lyrical content can be a really affective thing.
One last thing that The Civil Wars are known for in their music that I love and want to incorporate in my music in the future is vocal builds. They are fantastic at building there songs, not so much instrumentally but vocally. Using there voices to layer and lift the songs and also to drop the emotion of the song. Their voices are the driving force in their music.
Today was spent diving into the re-writing process of a couple songs I’ve been working on as of late. I’ve recently really felt inspired to begin to write, taking small steps forward into the process of hopefully doing some sort of musical project in the near future. What it will look like, sound like and feel like is still unknown to me but as I cross out, add to, mark up, circle and re-word my songs more, the more determined I am to be able to put forth my best. It’s fascinating to me how a small seed of words, melody or even musical structure can be enough to launch and grow into a new creative idea for a song, and eventually into a completed song.
I’m praying about the direction I should go right now with my music, and hope that through all of these hours of scribbling, demo-ing and creating I’ll begin to see around the corner, to where God is leading me.
Purposing in my lyric writing & creativity today.…iced cappuccino’s are always an asset :)
All these toys were never intended to possess my heart. My true good is in another world & my only real treasure is Christ.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Just listened to this song and got chills.
Download Phil Wickham’s new Singalong2 Album for FREE here: http://www.philwickham.com
It’s interesting how one verse, one line from a movie, friend, pastor, advertisement, magazine or song can launch an entire set of ideas & inspiring themes. We are surrounded with messages, ideas, opinions, words in general that all have a hand in influencing what our songs will look like & ultimatly what are songs & words will say. Your views on society, family, faith, love, abuse, friendship, trust, justice all have a strong hand in determining what you will write. That being said…what you surround yourself with & allow to influence you are vital in shaping ‘what’ kind of writer you’ll become.
What goes in must come out. I think that’s the line.
My dad once told me ’Alisha, if you want to be a great writer you need to be a great reader.’ At first when he told me that I blew it off and thought to myself that if I am a ‘great writer’ my ideas and thoughts will magically appear in my own head, genius, and won’t be influenced by anything else…just me, myself and I. Forgetting that my own thoughts, ideas and lines have all been formulated by years of observing others, reading, watching & being surrounded by my world and culture. In conclusion…the more I study, the more I seek truth, the more I look for new inspiration from what’s around me & what’s already been writen…the better & more defined lyricist I’ll become.
I hate writing cliche things, cliche lines, cliche ideas. But the only way I’ll ever escape my own cliched thoughts is if I dig deep and chose to think beyond my bounderies…maybe let someone else who has already delved deep into what I care about influence my pen. Inspiring writers like C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Tolkien, Francis of Assisi… Witty poetic writers like Shakespeare, Austen, Bronte, Whitman who have vocabulary that sparkles with colour…delve into the Bible, one of the most beautiful, challenging and awe inspiring books ever written. In the last 3 years I’ve decided that I want to be an avid reader so I can intern become an excellent writer.
Every song that I pen should have an ounce of what I genuinely feel or think towards someone or something. The more narrowed in I can get on my theme or point that I’m trying to portray & imply the better my song will be and the more affective it will be to other people. Look at your song you’ve been working on and narrow it in, choose something you are trying to say and formulate the entire song around that main theme. It’s hard to elaborate or get creative with description or imagery when you have way to many ideas all in one song. 20 mind blowing themes in one song is way beyond to much!
Just some thoughts :)
For the last year I have embarked on a new journey of studying the art of ‘the song.’ I am far from mastering this topic but through my studies I’ve come to appreciate the process not just the outcome of crafting music. Viewing things like finding inspiration, tweaking, writing & re-writing, being critiqued, structure & form, rhyme patterns & rhythm, arranging & strategizing musical elements in an entirely new way.
Previous to starting my studies with Berklee College of Music (I’m a student in the Masters of Songwriting Certificate Program) I was what they call a ‘pop out the song’ songwriter. I had an idea, ran with it & didn’t stop for breath till the song was done…sometimes completed in a few nights or less. Very little thought went into the lyrical content, little attention was given to the form & melody of the song, no strategic plan arrived in the process & very little attention went into taking the core lyric and re-writing or digging for new & better ways of articulating what it was I wanted to say and definitely NEVER NEVER a second opinion…I was far to insecure/protective in my writing to let someone else give input.
Just like anyone who has any ounce of talent in their craft you learn that you can very easily get away with ‘not trying’ or ‘cutting corners’ still coming out with a semi-decent product or song based on sheer talent alone. I’m not satisfied with that for myself. That medium can define you as a songwriter with potential that’s never tapped into, a songwriter that could be excellent but is satisfied with just being ‘good.’ Ask anyone that you look up to in any field of work or craft, it took talent + devotion + study + training to obtain the title of a ‘great composer’ or ‘great anything.’
I’m not saying you can’t spin off an amazing song in 10minutes, I’m just coming to the realization that like anything, maybe a few extra 10minutes sessions (or hours & hours) would help you get from an amazing song to an exceptional one.
So this week I’ve decided to embark on a week of delving into my particular craft : writing, recording and taking time for the thing that I love the most & want to be exceptional in, music & lyric. Armed with my Bible, random books, google, notebook, garageband, thesaurus, dictionary, rhyming dictionary, my dearest friend Mr. Nord Electro 2 & coffee I think this week has the potential of bringing forth some great things :)
Treat your ears right. Listen to this album.