Double Digits into the twenties! Yessss!
Today is a very, very special posting. (Well, they’re all special for me, but…) You will notice two tracks embedded here to which you may peruse.
Track One: This doesn’t count for song of the day because it was recorded in about 2006 when I was living in Salt Lake City. But, it is an important example of today’s installment.
Singing with me here is Julia Mecham. She has been another very influential part of my growth and learning as a song writer right from the very beginning. I met her when she was 16 years old and playing at open mics. I was struck by the maturity, thoughtfulness and honesty in her songwriting, and her guitar playing was phenomenal. She is now grown up, studying guitar, writing and performing as much as she can. We became fast friends, and hanging out one evening, we sat down and just played around with garageband. I was inexperienced with the program (as you can tell by the excessive use of reverb!), but we would often get together like this to record or improvise. This night she just came up with a riff and the ode to butter was born. I am inserting it here because that’s what today’s song exercise is all about: How to Just Forget About Stuff and Write a Totally Bitchin’ Ode. Please enjoy. Julia has been so kind as to let me post this for you to hear. All the lyrics are totally improvised, and you can hear her calling out, “Chorus” when she wanted to go there or signaling me when it was time for a verse. I think the thing I love about this recording is how totally free and unrestricted we sound. I haven’t listened to this in such a long time, and I played it this morning when I woke up, planning to use it today, and felt suddenly jealous of myself: I don’t hear nearly the amount of abandon in my voice now as I did then. I’m chalking this up as a personal wake-up call to lighten up. What’s happened to me? (**PLEASE NOTE the excessive, and totally awesome, use of “Woo’s” and “Yeah’s” in this song. This is a perfect example of the afore-mentioned requirements for an awesome song. Yessss!)
instrumentation: guitar, Julia Mecham (with EHP, too.)
Track Two: This is the song of the day. I asked Jocelyn if she would help me “write an ode to an inanimate object” as today’s song. She jumped at the chance. Pearl and the Beard has a Mercury Lounge show tonight (last night, Jan 23), so we have been here at the venue since 4:00 for sound check, which generally involves a lot of waiting around. So, we got Indian food for dinner, and sat in a park across the street. I said to Jocelyn as we ate, “What inanimate object should we write about?” She said, after pondering for a moment, “What about spiciness? And I’m feeling it should be a Gregorian chant.” I know, spiciness is not an inanimate object, but the Indian food we were eating is, and we listed several inanimate objects in the song: all of which were contained in our dinner.
I believe the point of this is to realize that I am surrounded by people who help me let go of inhibitions and bring in positive thoughts of goodness and honesty, and, most of all, good times. I mean, when would I ever consider writing a song in the style of a Gregorian chant? Improvised or not.
Joc and Julia: I love you. Thank you for being you.
Enjoy. (Felt a video of us in the park singing about spiciness in the style of a Gregorian chant was totally appropriate…)
Ode: Indian Food (Or “Spiciness”)
A capella: Jocelyn Mackenzie and Emily Hope Price
*On a personal note, if you happen to have taught me in music theory a million years ago: I know you taught plainchant to me as a requirement in music theory. I also know this isn’t technically a “Gregorian Chant” because plain-songs in general were sung in unison. (I also know that I don’t remember anything from early music theory.) Obviously we didn’t sit down and go through all the modes and find the choicest one. However, regardless of our musical and historical accuracy, during the performance of this song, I was actually thinking about the movement of my intervals- and yes, we chose parallel fifths on purpose.