114. Pieces and Parts (The Sketch)

DAY ONE-HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN

Well, you can’t say I haven’t learned anything.  I’ve realized something very significant from yesterday’s posting.  All long, I have felt very strongly about being honest and forthcoming in how things are going and how I feel about a particular song.  I still feel like there is validity in writing all of that stuff… however, it occurred to me that, though I might be unhappy with a certain portion of a song or feel negatively about a certain aspect of it, it doesn’t mean you have to know about it.  In fact, as someone said in a comment, it gets annoying (this secretly hurt my feelings, but I understand it).  I also realize that these statements aren’t helping you devise an opinion about the work itself without my own feelings about the work getting in the way.  Someone said to me, “You create the art and, when it’s finished, you let it go and just put it out there and let people think what they’re going to think.”

I have been openly writing my feelings about the way a song has been going and making my frustrations apparent for the sake of my own learning and future use.  That works privately on paper, but not in the world-wide web where everybody reads everything and remembers everything.  So, from here on out, I will tell you what you need to know about the process, not my personal experience with the insecurity of it.  In short, I am ridding myself of the need for validity.  I simply appreciate that you come and listen.  Simply posting what IS will be enough for me now.

Pieces and Parts (Uke Solo):

I thought I might give an insight into a song as it’s being worked on, not just at the end of it.  Yesterday, I went to pick up a new tenor uke string.  They didn’t have what I needed at the store, but they offered me a replacement alternative which was a .36 gauge guitar string.  It is so tight!  And I’m finding it makes an interesting sound for me to get ideas.  So, this is a rough uke part I have been toying around with.  I found several sections in this very simple tuning (E flat, A flat, E flat, A flat) that I put together.  I have yet to decide on a melody or words, however, and I’m still working out the kinks in the uke part.  Usually words and music come somewhat at the same time, but in this case, I had to teach myself the uke part as I am shifting around frets and playing thirds on two strings.

Pieces and Parts (Vocal Sketch Sample):

I’m also attaching a section of a sketch with vocals I did just as a trial to see if I could find a form.  This was recorded well before the drafted uke part below, which has more form.  If my mind is locked, I can sometimes free it with some improvisation like I did here.  This is the first of about three I did.  Any stylistic vocal choices (creative vibrato, unusual word pronunciation, etc.) usually come later unless I’m struck with something from the very beginning.

To be honest, usually, if a song doesn’t strike me with that specific “something” or its composition doesn’t come right away, I put it aside for a while until I give it away or it disappears.  I would probably would have done it to do this song, but I’m finding it good to push an initially attractive and then suddenly unappealing song to some kind of finish point: a stick-to-it-ness, so to speak.  Maybe this song has something to say, maybe it doesn’t, but trashing it too early on doesn’t help.

I may show this uke part to someone for a collaboration, actually.  It’s very helpful to get another ear.  I’m actually leaving to collaborate right now: driving to Baltimore to meet with a violinist friend named Emily Price (for real!).  Then, off to DC to play with Anna Vogelzang and start the SPRING TOUR!

Pieces and Parts (Uke Part Solo)

Pieces and Parts (Vocal Sketch Sample)


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