June 11, 2015 in Atlas Ramble

Songwriting

NancyAtlasBeachMagazineShotbyLisaMazzuco

June 11th, 2015

This won’t be my funniest blog and that is ok.  I am in a little point of bliss these days and, as Billy Joel so eloquently once noted, happiness can sometimes kill creativity.  I think he was on to something but I am not afraid oh William Joel, I am not afraid.  Things are good,  I am happy, writing and the band has been kicking it into fifth gear of late.  Leonardo DiCaprio is making out at my shows and  people are still passionate about our original music and that is enough for me.  It doesn’t always work this way so I’m just trying to let it roll baby. Let it roll.

I think artists, in general, always teeter on this fine line of doing their art from a very solitary space and then having to bounce it off in a very public format. It’s an oil and vinegar pairing really. Isolation to get to the core of the art and adoration if it is achieved. It’s a bizarre combo that you get used to after a while and then at some point in your career you realize you have to fight to get back to the bone, the base, the original well or it just all becomes an act. So you regroup. Take stock and fight like hell to find the pure inner silence without any other distractions, particularly of the human kind.

I bring this up because, as I mentioned already, I am writing.  I have a few songs I am scratching through at present.  Cutting, shifting, write a little more, redraft then back to another round. Black writing books in my purse, by my bed, in the laundry basket. Another verse. Holy shit that chorus doesn’t hold up. What am I really saying? What am I trying to say?  It is a constant game of chess that doesn’t leave my head. For me, every emotion and consonant is thought out. Rolled over. Picked apart. Do I care if a sentence makes sense? Yes. I do. To me at least. You don’t need to know what the hell I’m writing about but it has to have some gravity within my head to hold true. That way when I’m singing it the story will be told and if you can’t figure it out through my lyrics well then you’ll hear it in my voice.  Writing a song will frustrate you, take over your mind and also release you of whatever thorn sticks in your pretty little soul. I have always said it is the cheapest form of therapy going and for that matter thank god Freud never picked up a guitar! (he very appropriately hated music but that is a whole other blog).   But writing… writing will haunt you. Once a line or melody bites in, it will not leave until you give yourself completely over to it. When you eventually do finish a song, which sometimes takes minutes and sometimes takes years… all you can do is look at the ceiling, light a cigarette and say to your guitar, “Damn, was it as good for you as it was for me?”.  Then your guitar rustles on it’s pants and you let out a desperate gasp as it hits the bedroom door, “Call ME!”.  A look back out the window as you see him peeling out of your drive way with a violin in the cold morning light. Bastard.

So my point is that as I was walking the bluffs of Montauk and figuring out a certain twist to a song that doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the brood, my black duckling song if you will, it dawned on me how lucky I am to be free of mind to create. To let the neurons snap, crackle and pop. To work on a bare bones rock song one minute and then a sea shanty the next. As I took a minute to watch the salted air kiss the newborn spring bramble  I breathed in the silence, closed my eyes and smiled.  The sun hit my face, the sound of waves rolled in and that was enough. In that moment I was truly alive.

See you all this summer with bells on and hopefully some new spanking tunes.

Keep it real.

X
Nancy

 

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