Blogs » Musings On Muses » Conceptualizing (or, sorting thru lyrics)


Conceptualizing is best approached with an open mind. The more open minded you are the better. Concepts can congeal out of the ether like thawing molasses. The can form at any speed in general. When they do it’s always a good idea to try to think them to death. The more you look at ways to negate any concepts strength the more readily you might be motivated to evolve it into something stronger. There is always a way to change things but not thinking it thru many permutations might or might not work.

Some months ago I went thru a ton of lyrics sheets and picked out what I felt were the darkest and most somber ones. I was looking for melancholy yet powerful emotions. I ended up with ten or twelve pages that all had that thread of sadness I was looking for. I soon arranged them so that all the titles were showing and left them there to ‘stew’, and in my subconscious.

Weeks later I began to write music and re-arrange the lyrics sheets as I looked over them again and again. I was trying to fit them into the music I was composing. Several fit with many passages and others fit with just a few. Many didn’t fit anything. There are still unused lyrics there, waiting for music. It’s a challenge I embrace with much enthusiasm.

At some point I might go back thru all those old lyric sheets and pull a few more that ‘fit the bill’. The meaning of words, even after they are written down, can easily change from day to day.

So here I am with a ‘loose’ concept. It does have a certain focus to it though. It is evolving nicely and I see no reason to hold it within any concrete guidelines. In addition to the ‘sad’ theme I can now count ‘apprehension’, ‘things coming to an end’, ‘loss’, and ‘compassionate comparison’ into that stable.

I sometimes ask myself why the muses assail me. I know when the hair stands up on the back of my neck, that’s when I’m making them frown. In hindsight, that makes me crack a small half-smile. Between me and the muses, who is using who?