Saturday, 4 September 2010

Urge For...Writing

I have an urge for writing, but I have no idea what I'm going to write, so I'll just go with the flow and see which letters my fingers choose.

Things are gearing up towards going off to University now. I'm pretty nervous actually. I'll miss the Island and the people on it so much. I'm very much a home-bod and I don't like to be away for any long stretch of time. For me, a month is a long stretch. Anyway, I'm sure I'll be fine. It's not like all ties will be cut or anything. I have technology to help me out there. I've also cyber-met some people from the course, and they seem nice, so that's all good.

I've been thinking a lot about lyrics recently. - About the rhythm that they make, the different sounds and emotions that they generate. I think a big part of why I love singing so much is actually about how the words feel when they come out of your mouth. Ok, that might sound a bit weird, but it's true. Sometimes I listen to a song, and there's a certain line or phrase that just clicks with me, so I do a cover, just so I can have a go at singing those lines. I think that's part of the reason that I love Suzanne Vega's songs. They're very lyrically focussed. The lyrics are very clever, imaginative and make you think. I was just going to try to pick out an example from one of her songs, but there are too many parts in too many of her songs that I love. Instead I'll leave you with a little selection of some of my favourites of hers...

In Liverpool, Blood Makes Noise, Gypsy.



When I write songs I now think more about how the words sound, rather than making the meaning concise. The meaning behind the words is still very important to me, but sometimes it's nice to let the mind wander. In the more ambiguous songs it's like you're giving a kind of framework to the listener and they build their own unique story around it. As a listener I find that very freeing. And inspiring. An ambiguous song holds a variety of different meanings, whereas a concise one is limited.

I've recently written a song which doesn't really 'end'. It's not a never-ending song, but there's no conclusion. It kind of makes you feel uncomfortable and I wonder to myself how it will go down at performances. Whether people will be intrigued and talk to me about it...or think...well that's a bit annoying! - However - the subject of the song is waiting and waiting for something...and when the time that she's waiting for arrives...nothing really happens. - So it kind of fits in with the mood of the song.

When you write from inside you, you are writing your direct thoughts, and thoughts are continuous. They don't end - you always continue to wonder...

I would post the song, but I've currently got a really annoying cold. :( I've had to cancel a gig because of it. Grrr...

I'm performing at Bestival next weekend and the fancy dress theme this year is 'fantasy'. I have no idea what I'm going to go as. There are the normal fantasy kind of things like fairies and stuff, but I normally like to go for something a bit different. I might take 'fantasy' in the more abstract sense of the word. Imagination rather than fairytale.

Anyway, I'd better go now.

Speak soon. :)

Holly
xxxxx

32 comments:

Larry said...

Holly, thank you for that amazing peek into your mind. Your feelings and insights are important since you have captivated me with your music and personality.
I am so sorry you have a bad ole cold and hope it goes away real soon. Sorry you had to miss your gig.

Just last night I was wondering whatever happened about the 'fantasy' costume thing. It seems like a long time ago that we were offering our ideas to you and, I could not remember what gig it was for. Oops, lol.

No doubt you have some anxiety about going to uni. So do I. But my anxiety is for the normal anxiety you feel. I have no doubt that you will quickly find a comfy and fun spot there and that it will be one of the best times of your life. I realize that you cannot see this the way I do at this time. Mark it up to years and experience. In no time at all, you will be having a most wonderful time. Mark my words, lol!

Take care, little lady! :)

H said...

Hello Larry :)

It's lovely to see you. - Thank you for your lovely words. I do feel ready for uni now, but I'm just a bit scared. :-S I imagine that I'll probably be blogging a bit more whilst I'm there - to begin with at least.

I'm going to try to embrace the change and make the most of it. :)

It's at times like this that I feel so lucky to have friends like you and my lovely online/e-team friends. :)

Thank you so much Larry. :) xxx

wolfgang said...

Hi Holly,
that's really interesting. what you said about the ambiguity of a song and creating a framework. I often contemplated about it and you are very inspiring in the way of thinking about it. A few days ago, I pored over a poem, that would be precise in every way. But it's impossible. It would be everything but a poem. Why? Because a poem and a song has to open up a space, a space of associations and emotional resonance on different levels and even more: The listener in the moment of listening and even later on is a medium for the tune and lyrics. It's hard to understand. There is no distinct separation of subject and object in music and poetry in the moment of listening. We are so trained to think in object-subject categories, that we have lost our understanding for mediality.
A song with no conclusion, 'ein Lied, das ewig klingt', '...water is flowing, there is no direction in where we are going...'.......................
I like the new design of your Blog. Einer Studentin würdig.
Ich hoffe, dass Du Dich rasch von Deiner Erkältung erholst und Dich in Deiner neuen Umgebung einlebst.
Liebe Grüße aus dem nächtlichen Neumarkt

TV said...

Hey Holly, you have to do a gig in mid-october, I'm probably going to england then :D

Trevor said...

Hi Holly,
How lovely to speak with you again. It's intriguing what you say about lyrics and the act of singing.I've found that sometimes there can be a great lyric but it doesn't call out to me to sing it and that often it is the chorus of a song which draws me to it which ,for me,implies a terribly important link between lyric and cadence or melody. Sometimes the entire song achieves a kind of symbiotic engagement of the two -- and these are the songs you return to over the years.For me 'William McBride ' is one such song ...' Or are you a stranger without even a name,forever enshrined behind a glass pane,or an old photograph torn and tattered and stained,fading to yellow in a brown leather frame....' It's probably the most evocative song I know and I will always love to sing it.
You're right about meaning and precision , a truly great song has to speak to the individual but carry with it a sense of the universality of the Human Condition --- many of your own songs do this ---- and often this calls for a kind of imprecision,it's not a weakness but a huge strength; after all, all of the great ,meaningful and important things in life
are of the heart and a truly great song is really an engagement of heart speaking to heart ,isn't it ?

I'm glad you're in a good frame of mind as far as University is concerned;exciting times and new experiences ahead,I'm sure.Take Care.

Uncle Tim said...

Hi Holly, I suspect that the song you mention might make people feel a little uncomfortable, but that's OK as long as it doesn't leave them puzzled and thinking they missed something! As long as it's clear there's no real conclusion then it's just a bit sad...

Uncle Tim said...

.. or, put more succinctly, the song has to have a conclusion, but the story it tells can go on for ever.

wolfgang said...

Hi Terrorvogel, schön mal wieder was von Dir zu hören!

Trevor said...

Auch du ,mien deutscher Freund. :)

wolfgang said...

Hallo Trevor, nice to have you back. It seems, Holly is back on 'stage', I missed her.

Trevor said...

Hello Wolfgang,
I know.I thought that I might have to start writing songs and singing them as Alpet08 to fill the gap :)

TV said...

I would have enjoyed that, Trevor :D
Or Jesse could have done it, which would have been really hilarious :D

Well, there wasn't much going on, Wolfgang.

Trevor said...

Thank you,TV,you are clearly a person of some considerable taste. Better still, Jessedora and I could do it together and we would call ourselves Me and Him :) Alpet 07 eat your heart out !

TV said...

Yeah! :D

wolfgang said...

Alpet08...What would you say, if I would start as Alpet09, singing terrible songs, that everybody wants to hear and reciting poems. I would call myself Mangy Wolf and when the day is over, I'm a new star in the Alpet Galaxy. TV is already an artist, but what about Xeno? Xeno alias Alpet10.
Oh, my first CD will be called 'The carnivore you don't trust' and contain titles like: 'Moonshine at midnight', 'Oh Mangy', 'Sherpy, sherpy, sheep, sheep'...What a glorious future!

Trevor said...

Sorry Wolfgang,
I get the sense that you might be one of those mad drummers that bands ,whilst admiring their undoubted talent,just have to get rid of ! Perhaps your best bet might be to try and break into the American market with Larry -- he's too nice to get rid of anybody !
Xeno ,on the other hand, could stand a good chance of succeeding through his appeal to that well known Cider drinking Bikers with high level IT skills sort of crowd .

I can't quite see who your target audience might be,WG.Can you ?
Sorry.

wolfgang said...

OK, Trevor, let's bury this dream, sigh! I really do not want to leave the continent. Larry is always talking about stormy weather to come! I don't like this. I thought my audience would be the members of the International Association for the Protection of Canis lupus. 'Biking Xeno and the CiderCybers', what a marvelous name...

Trevor said...

Yes,you're right,Wolgang,it was all a dream -- though a rather nice one.We'll have to leave it to the infinitely more talented Xeno to pick up the baton :)

On the subject of the blog ( if you're still following these rather bizarre flights of fantasy,Holly ) I have another thought,which is this : have you ever considered the strange nature of the texture of words ? It just occurred to me that when you're singing a song in which the lyrics and melody are 'matched' for want of a better word,then you almost taste the words you're singing and you're aware of the different textures of individual words.This sounds like nonsense as I'm writing it,I know --- I can't find the right words or the right analogy but think about the lightness of texture of say ' Mr Monet ......' and the darker,heavier texture of ' and he don't care...' in your superb cover of Ticket to Ride.It's not just differences of tone or key is it?
Think also of Tom Jones' recent and quite brilliant cover of Dylan's ' What Good Am I ? ' Texture seems quite a good word to use to describe what Tom Jones is doing, isn't it ?
Think also of John Donne,who I know you like.The subject matter is often sensual,but isn't the successful conveyance
of this something to do with the texture of the language --- though what I mean by this,as you can see,I'm still not sure. Anyway,at best it's food for thought :)

wolfgang said...

Texture of words. Trevor, this reminds me of the synesthesia problem. Vilayanur Ramachandran pointed out, that we are all Synesthetes. This means, that more senses, than one are included in analyzing something. The analyzing of texture could be connected to the tactile sense, not only of the hand, but of the tongue. The whole metaphor thing is connected with synesthesia (Sharp cheese e.g.). My chief at work has a lack for sense of texture in language. So for instance he is very accurate in finding the wrong metaphors. It's sometimes torturing to listen. For me S.is the most fascinating feature of human mind.

Trevor said...

Hi Wolfgang,
Thanks for the reference ; I am researching Vilayanur Ramachandran this evening.I had not heard of synesthesia before,and it sounds fascinating. Thank you once again .

H said...

Haha! I'd love to see these Alpet bands. ;)

I think that texture is a really interesting topic actually. - When singing songs I guess it's about where the words are placed in a person's vocal range too. For instance - 'he don't care' is placed quite low in my vocal register, producing a darker tone, whereas 'Mr. Monet' is mid - high, making it sound more airy fairy.

Not all mid-high has to be airy fairy though - you could belt out those words, but it would change the meaning of the song. I guess that's where the senses come in.

Thank you for your brill comments Trevor and WG and Uncle Tim. :)

P.S - TV! :) Please email me about your visit. :D

Trevor said...

Thank you , Holly. I'm pleased to hear that you're feeling a bit better now :D

wolfgang said...

It's always funny, Holly, to be called WG, which is a German shortcut for 'Wohngemeinschaft'='flat share'. Some fine day I will write a poem 'My personal WG' starting with:

'It's not you, it's not me,
but my personal WG.'

That might be also a good refrain.

Today I found something in front of my door ;-)

Trevor said...

Hello Wolfgang,
I've had a look at Ramchandram and it's very interesting . The science is clearly still largely theoretical and focused on specific groups of individuals,eg those who see numbers in colour,rather than the general populace.Nevertheless ,it is certainly possible to extrapolate from the case studies to embrace a wider theory of interconnectivity of the senses.I find this rather compelling as it opens up a new perspective for me as to how the creative spirit might operate and how we recognize or engage with it. Fascinating stuff !

wolfgang said...

Hello Trevor and Holly,

it seems to me, that everyone possesses his/her personal profile of synesthetic abilities. Ramahandran mentions it, when he is talking of the Booba-Kiki-Experiment of Wolfgang Köhler. It's also compelling for me, because synesthesia opens up the prospect for something, we call world. No abstraction, no metaphor is conceivable without synesthesia.

wolfgang said...

Oh, I forgot this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOUqRZkR8dE&feature=channel

TV said...

Is there anything you don't know any science about? :D

Trevor said...

Hi Wolfgang, I'm getting 93 results ! What am I looking for exactly ?

xenonrush said...

Result 94.

Trevor said...

Hello Xeno, nice to see you again .Thank you for your answer to my question.Most helpful .

xenonrush said...

You're welcome, as the say continuously on the other side of the pond. Been a bit busy so missed the latest set of blogs until now. Glad to see that they are well up to standard.

Trevor said...

Yeah,standards are pretty good ; Wolfgang struggles to keep up at times but everyone's very patient with him,.Otherwise excellent .