I was asked a couple of interesting questions this past week. How do I come up with the ideas for my column? And, when I write a song, what comes first, the music or the words?
Since I am currently at a loss regarding a subject for this column, I will treat it as a song and write the music first. Maybe the lyrics will come to me.
Creativity isn’t likely to present itself like a tune a drunkard keeps playing on the jukebox. It scurries and hides and sometimes avoids detection in plain sight. It’s a playful little wharf kitten that likes to scratch but doesn’t always want to be held. Sometimes, it’s not a kitten at all but a red herring that the kitten has dragged under the bed, perhaps a stench in the making if not found sooner rather than later.
Avoiding the ever-popular hit tune, with its omnipresent grasp of obvious melodies and inevitable rhythms, I think I’ll Sherlock the harmony today, maybe catch a couple of fish with the same bait.
Music is always shapeless and flowing like water until it is scooped up in some sort of receptacle. I’ve begun songs with the harmony, melody or rhythm, depending on the distraction of the tides, the delicate nature of the smelly drunkard under the bed or the jukebox in the room.
Distraction is always a mighty player in the sequence. Sometimes it whispers and cajoles like an ocean spray that cleans the deck with a sparkle. Other times it’s a tidal wave that swallows the yacht and spits out the dinghy. Some say distraction is the ruination of our modern lives.
In his recent book, “One Big Thing – Discovering What You Were Born to Do,” author Phil Cooke suggested that distraction causes turmoil and eventual frustration in the pursuit of goal setting and overall achievement.