Adding music to act can set you apart from your peers.
I like it best when there’s just a little crystal of an idea that comes from somewhere. I know not where and it just sort of springs forth.
Little tiny idea, you know, can be a line or an image or just something that a character would say and ideally when it works best, it’s it’s a it’s a thing that that occurs to me and then I immediately know everything about that character. It’s a it’s! A little nugget of a thing that Makes me completely understand who this person is, and then it’s just sort of, then it just sort of comes out, and it’s very easy. It’s rarely like that.
However, more more often I have to really kickstart that process at any number of points, so I might sit around with a guitar and just play and play and play and play you know noodling until I come up with a musical idea that I like and I’ll Play the musical idea over and over again and Sort of hum nonsense, syllables against it. Until I hear a word that I think works, and maybe that word becomes something you know I know. I know this line ends with the word dissolve and so what rhymes with dissolve and then we’ll look at that be about, and you know, along the way you have to sort of keep stepping back and looking at it and seeing if it makes sense and thinking About where you want it to take the listener and and just sort of piece by Piece by piece stringing it together until it’s a until it’s the thing that you that you believe it should be real.
I’m a real sucker for the the slow sad sensitive folk II stuff. I really am it’s one of the reasons that I love bluegrass. I came to listen to bluegrass relatively recently, but it’s it’s it’s one of the few styles of music that actually can move me to tears when I’m listening to it.
You know, there’s some of the sadder Bluegrass songs are so amazingly powerful. Have such an emotional quality to them, even though the music is very simple and the the messages are very simple: it’s always it’s always there’s always a child dying or somebody’s mother is dying or it’s somebody just missing their family who’s far away. This is very simple concepts, but they something about something about the simplicity of the music and the simplicity of the ideas just expressed In this really raw way really really hits me, and so you know I try I try when I can to you know I am A lot of the time – I am, writing funny songs, but I try to bring out that emotional aspect of it.
When I can so you know, I try to find sympathy for the characters that I’m writing about, even if they’re ridiculous, which frequently they are, I like to think well what you know, what do they want and and and more important? What is it that they want that they’re not Getting it that they’re never going to get, and why is that sad to them? You know, that’s that’s to me the heart of writing. A good song is getting to that. Getting to that piece of it there’s a! I can’t think of the name of the song now, but it’s a Stanley, it’s a Stanley Brothers song and it might, it might be called my precious children or something like that.
But it’s it’s literally. It’s he’s talking about how his his kit, his kids, have sort of grown Up and moved away, and it used to be the family was together all the time and now they’re dispersed, and he rarely rarely sees them and it’s a kid a little just picky about It and maybe it’s because I have a parent now that that that means so much to me, but that’s that’s that’s the one that you know I was driving somewhere in the car and that song came on and I started weeping. You know it’s really really amazing.