5/15/2012

Songwriting

Tonight,  I went to the Local for the first time in a long while to see the singer-songwriter night. This is an opportunity for people who know how to make music to play with a live band consisting of Michael Clem, Rusty Speidel and Brian Caputo. It is quite a fantastic time and I recommend it for anyone.

For me, I enjoy watching what people come up with. I'm in awe of how people can write songs, and work out arrangements with a band within a few minutes. All of the songs sound professional and polished. There are some really good musicians in our community.

I also go to be inspired. I would love to figure out how to write a song. I'm stuck in the world of improvisation, where I play a few chords and sing a few sloppy lyrics here and there that may or may not tie together. I enjoy it personally, but I'm aware that the rest of the world may take issue with the way I sound.

I've always felt encouraged to just record whatever I can. I record hours and hours of material, whenever I want. It's catharsis. It's been a way I've gotten through the past three and a half years, same as running. But, what I've done so far is incredibly private and self-referential. I can change that.

I'm not sure if I will change that. My time is limited, and my main focus is to be as good a journalist as I can be and to be as good a father as I can be. After that, nothing really comes close. At a certain point in your life you try to be good at the things you're good at, and the rest is just extra. Maybe it doesn't get refined.

That doesn't stop me from hearing songs in my head every day. That doesn't stop me from having this fantasy in my head that one day I can take my creative energy and pour it into a song that others might want to hear. It's not impossible. It's not even improbable. It's just something I'll have to do figure out how to do.

So tonight I feel content to have basked in the creativity of others for a couple of hours at a place where I feel relaxed and at home. I needed this after a strange day and a strange weekend. I even got to play a little Rashomon!

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