I’m currently working on material for my new EP. This year it will be eight years since I released my first album. One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is that songwriting can often take longer the more you write. This is probably due to the fact that I strive to find new ways of expressing ideas all the while trying to keep the sound fresh. However, songwriting under pressure or ‘to order’ can always be a challenge – you either sink or swim. Sometimes I find that the thrill of a deadline can help focus my mind on the task ahead or can go the other way and leave me creatively paralysed.
In order to fuel the creativity I’ve been experimenting with new and different ways of songwriting and creativity. My usual pattern is to come up with a chord progression at the piano and then create a melody from there; with this project though I found that my old technique just wasn’t cutting it. I’ve found writing in my office a chore and have longed to escape from there. Walking and getting out into the fresh air has really helped me to see things differently and helped me to hone in on a song’s topic more quickly than before. I’m also considering moving the furniture around in my office so that I’ve got something new to look at. After much thought and no furniture moving I decided to use the technique of Free Singing (or singing out a melody without accompaniment) and found myself going over an idea in mind without the aid of a piano, this in turn led me to experiment more with style and rhythm. It has been fantastic to see freedom in my creativity and writing through the aid of free singing.
Sleep or rather being half asleep has also strangely helped the process! It’s during the stage of being almost asleep but still slightly awake that lyrics and melody have played out together and developed into a new song. It would seem that when I am most relaxed is the time for my brain to start playing around with new ideas and concepts. The annoying part of this is having to wake up and get out of bed to write the song down. I never remember the song in the morning, so I’ve no choice but to burn the midnight oil! It’s true though, while you sleep your creative mind plays…
I’ve also had the frustrating problem of writing several songs on the same topic, both annoying and unintentional. It has led me to the conclusion that I might not have scratched the surface with the subject yet and that there is more to explore on the subject. I keep going back to the drawing board and coming up with more ideas…
So I’m almost there with the songwriting for the EP. I’ve still got a few more songs to write; the process has been a journey and it will be interesting to see how it turns out and which songs make it on to the finished project!