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Saturday, May 23

Round and Round my Brain

There's a potential play on words here. Round - is it me being fat? or is it repetition? In this case it's the latter.

The weightloss regime continues (day 4) and I've lost 11 pounds in weight... but in fairness, this is just shock weightloss that doesn't particularly affect one's actual body. It's just a reduction in expendable baggage.

However, dropping carbs, does lead to a general shock to the system and I felt awful this morning. I had a headache, a tummy ache, my tinnitus was particularly strong... I was living the ACTUAL dream...

... and I was dreaming of a song I'm writing.

Another bloody song. The problem with them is that while you're working on them, they're almost all you can think about.

For some reason, I've chosen to pair some angry, intellectual invective with a rather poignant and jazzy accompaniment. Worse than that, because the song is in 4 keys (it key changes every verse) and because it's in two time signatures, and because I've hitherto, only written down the chord structure, with a couple of bits left to a later draft, I have a ghost ship of a song banging around my head with a melody that has variations in it, depending on how I remember to play it.

It was this half-finished tune that was going round in a loop in my head this morning, making me want to shut it out.

Perhaps it should have made me want to go to the piano and play it, but nope. This was a "shut up" tune.

However, once the day got truly started, and I'd finished lying on the sofa like a beached whale, then I did go to the piano and try to map out the song.

Here's an interesting problem with my "skills" as a composer. To be honest, the best way I can understand the melody of the song is to have it as written music. I can't quite read music perfectly, but I can definitely decode it, and it can be a permanent record of which notes were in a particular song. I've cheated before and written a list of notes down as letters, knowing I can assemble them back into a timed melody in the right key... but that's not something I can do perfectly in real time, and it's not incredibly helpful if I'm going to record the song and make an accompaniment in some music software.

So my instinct and my abilities are add odds with each other; another reason for the conflict in my brain.

I want to just sit down and write the music out... I physically do not have the skills. How do time signatures look? Do you put the flat or sharp symbol before or after the note? Where does the tail go? Which rest means minim?

I can read this musical notation fine and even use it to put notes into a computer, but the moment I have to write it with a pen and paper, I'm at the writing age of my 5 year old son.

But I persisted with it and had a damned good go, because that's how you learn.

Why I've chosen to write a song in 4 keys is anyone's guess... perhaps it's because I'm a cheap musical comedian using the tricks of the trade...

That said, I've never heard a comedy song in this idiom before, so maybe I'm just doing my thing.


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