Process of Writing: songs and experimental process

Well here were are at another TGIF. It’s been quite a week. In a good way, though. I’m very thankful for what  I was able to do. So I’m talking about songs and experimental process, which sounds pretty impressive but is really quite simple as I’ll explain in a minute.

So yesterday I was working on writing a song. A song which I have been working on on and off over the past several weeks or so…without success. I got the first part but the rest just wan’t coming–writers block at it’s best! Music has always been a passion for me, but I didn’t start writing songs until about 6 years ago. See I come from script writing, and script writing is a different format…a little more wordy, if you will. Song lyrics express and idea in a more concise way, they’re supposed to anyway, not that scripts should be extremely wordy either. It’s just that songs are in a smaller package.

My inspiration for song writing is much the same as as my story telling; it comes from experience. And also concepts that I think would it’d be cool to see realized.

Now here’s where experimental process comes in. Basically that’s just taking an idea and playing around with different version until you get one you’re satisfied with. So for this song I’m working on, I decided to try something new which I’ve probably done before with less intention. And that was to sit at the piano and just play chords and sing. Now the chords sounded great for the most part, but I was pretty much singing random sounds and ideas while I worked on the tune. Later I’ll fill in proper lyrics. I learned this from Graham at therecordingrevolution.com, so I thought I’d try it out and sort of get the feel of the song and then match the lyrics to it. When I was finished I had about 16 minutes with some surprisingly precious gems, backed by my sisters screaming and shrieking as they played near my door lol. (preteens smh xD) Thankfully my voice and piano are the loudest thing in the recording, so I have some good stuff to work with.

Also this week, I experimented with a scene from Marianna. It was a versus scene. I like using those to test ideas. So basically I had a concept for what the scene would sound like, and I decided for fun to implement it. Often I find that there’s something about reading a scene out loud, especially with another person, that helps me refine the dialog and makes it easier to notice inconsistencies that might be there. In the scene I experimented with the concept of having one of the characters throw up. I know, not too pleasant–you can see why I didn’t have anyone else do it! lol Basically all it required was water near $400 of microphone…kind of risky as a student, but in the end worth it. And no, I didn’t actually throw up, I just faked it. In reality, those were the softer elements of the scene. I also played with the stretch feature in my software to lower the pitch on one of the character’s voices. (I voiced both of them) That was interesting. I used to do that more often, so I kind of knew how to play it with the end result in mind. When you lower pitch that way, everything is thickened, so if you’re not enunciating properly things can get muddy. Also it still sort of sounds like me with the pitch lowered, so my acting  needs some work. lol

But in the end I was trying to polish the dialogue, and of course play around with my sound design and mixing skills. With Sasquatch, I didn’t have to pick music because it was chosen already and it was great! Very well chosen. But I wanted to try my hand at once again making a scene completely from scratch using everything I’ve learned up to this point. Well that’s it for this week. Happy writing, be creative etc. =)

-J

 

 

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