Thursday, March 6, 2014

Songwriter for Hire: A Mask that Reveals

I write songs for people and organizations: a song for a spouse on their birthday, something for a grieving parent, for a friend who is getting married or graduating. Most recently I wrote nine songs for a network of people about the places they live and their vision to make those places better.

When I take a songwriting commission I put on a mask. I set my own identity and preferences behind a thin veil of colored paper, and imagine myself in the skin of that person or place or organization. I ask questions and listen (to the person and wikipedia). I grasp for words or images that capture something specific about who or what they are, then I reach beyond that -- towards a handhold on hope or possibility, a glimpse into an alternate universe or a glint in the eye of God.

When it works the person or group senses both the bones of reality and colors of transformation.

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