The concept of music as a form of escapism, a doorway out from the mundane and tiring repetitions of modern life, is simply put, a look in the wrong direction. Of course the initial experience of musical creation and the thought of escapism is an attractive feeling. However, when we follow our music away, we create a dichotomy that accepts the daily monotony of our lives rather than invigorating and charging the interactions with our surroundings. Our art then becomes essentially useless, doing nothing to inform our waking reality.
The modern workplace is too often sterile, bound in legal and cultural etiquette, resulting in robotic conversation that is little better than watching television. This sterility acts as a sort of blinders keeping our attention firmly planted on a narrow and unfulfilling objective that serves only to tire our spirit. However, when we bring our art, our philosophy, and our passions to the table our mundane activities and interactions can be colored and invigorated by meaningful conversations and creative approaches to our work environment.
Our history in music has shown us that there is great beauty in repetition. Let us apply this to our everyday lives.
Routine is something heavy, with momentum. It’s a cold tool that will bring you where you want to go but only if you can stay firmly planted in it. If you fall off, usually the landing is painful and the running to jump back on is grueling. For the musician this train can’t afford to stop and when we fall off we have to accept that we will be farther back when we get back to it no matter how fast we run to catch up. Of course we can often make it back to the front but this just means making up for lost time. When it really comes down to, it’s a difficult task to not fall off once in a while but short departures are never that damaging. Staying close to the tracks, the heavy rattling and the blast of the engine are always calling you back; but when you start straying off called by other things into the wilderness and your train becomes a distant hum, that’s when you can start to worry. It shouldn’t take more than once or twice to let you know how truly important it was in the first place.
This is how you make jazz popular. Talent, virtuosity, dance moves, comedy, groove, and just a general sense of badass-ery.
Goddamn, I like it.
Hey everyone, this is a performance that my girlfriend and I did of Melody Gardot’s song “Your Heart is as Black as Night” at a dorm in UMASS Lowell. I’m so lucky to have such a talented and hard working partner like her. Please like and subscribe to her youtube channel for more videos coming soon.
It seems to be a pattern that lyrics are often disappointing without the emotional backdrop of the music they accompany. Likewise poems which stand perfectly on their own can be very difficult to fit to music without taking into account the natural rhythm in the writing itself. It is interesting and sometimes unsettling to listen to a piece of music transform mediocre writing into art which is precious to thousands of listeners.
The structure of the writing seems to be the key as to how it connects to the music. If the intention is to write a poem that relies on it’s own musicality, then it may be difficult to avoid a clash when it is fit to precomposed music. This is because a structured poem already has musicality, a structure, an aesthetic. Thus, the music will have to be tailored to work harmoniously with the musical structure that is already present in the poem.
Lyrics written for music however, often lack their own rhythm and read off the page more like a list of statements. This allows the phrases and words to be tailored, moved around, and laid nicely over the rhythms of the music.
Thus, in the writing of lyrics, the music becomes just as important to the beauty of the poetry as the meaning of the words themselves.
Let me know what you think.