Does Social Media effect your writing?

March 23rd, 2010

Reading about social media and user experience all day is creeping into my lyrics. Of late, my characters have increasingly been unable to “connect”, they don’t listen to each other, they long for “human touch” and “real time.” Like this lyric I can’t seem to go through with

There’s no device
That reaches out and follows through

I think that the word device might be too loaded. Thanks, Internet!

A lot of people go somewhere private to write, a lot of people write on tour busses or Home Depot aisles. I wonder how much your setting effects your work? Can a writer completely shut out what they’re taking in and keep it out of their work?

Song after reading lonesome dove

March 18th, 2010

Done Some Love

Is there trouble, you’re concerned
was there something you could have done
left a note, a trail of stones
a cautionary tale each night?

Don’t worry your head
’cause what you say goes
only so far

I am nothing like you were
when you were younger
than I am now
I saw the incident ahead
and just kept driving
on

You could have told me sooner
but I would not have heard
Blasting the stereo
Tuning out the world

Chorus: If it’s true, If it’s true
It stays so
If it’s true, If it’s true
just say so
Life doesn’t wait for us
to find the words

I never played the cowboy
I never played the cop
I’m the last to judge
where you ended up
But we’ll keep going in circles
if we don’t learn how to stop
I really want to listen
but the static’s too loud

Chorus

As it was in the beginning
so it will be in the end
We go on pretending
that this is where we live
in our hearts in our minds
in a perfect vision
but we’re nowhere near it
until we really listen

So turn around turn around
come back now
Turn around turn around
I’m right here
Life doesn’t wait for us
to find the words

What I’m reading generally influences what I’m writing and Lonesome Dove + my younger brother’s nearly preteen birthday brought up a lot of parent-teenage drama for me. Listening to Whiskeytown Strangers Almanac didn’t hurt either.

Having fun with word maps

March 15th, 2010

In the interest of using the web to inspire my writing process, this is a Wordle word map of my last song. I’m comparing maps of songs to see what kinds of words I’m commonly using and see if it inspires any changes to my writing.

Wordle: House of Cards

Maybe it’s time to explore the connection of the visual and songwriting. Do know anyone who uses interesting visual tools or props in their writing?

Looking for a Foley

March 13th, 2010

After seeing “Songs of wars I have seen”at On the Boards in Seattle, I just felt energized. Like I do after most every On the Board’s performance.

Why am I inspired? I don’t generally love classical, minimalist, experimental music, I mean to say that I like straight up melodies, pop songs, musicals, ear candy. My favortite On the Boards moment was a man with a boombox pretending to be a “Pip”, just one lonely pip dancing and singing a long with radio Gladys and the others. It was the saddest, funniest thing I’ve seen.

But Heiner Goebbels’ “Songs” had a amazing ensemble, the percussionist had ever imaginable sound maker going off back there while the keyboardist on the mac’s ultra modern “found sounds” were both haunting and elevating. In short, the sound effects rocked!

I want to collaborate again. I want someone to teach me to hear strange whistles and bells where now I only here upright piano. It’s time for me to make mac friends and make music.

Integration

February 20th, 2010

What’s your day job? How does it influence what you create and what you present to the public?

For me, I’ve been interested in user experience since 2002 when I started graduate school in library and information science. Throughout, I tried to make my education and music meet by studying genre classification, designing music recommendation systems and I even played in a band with one of my favorite instructors.

Now that I’m in a music focus phase, I want to integrate my previous work experience with my musical persona. But after years of reading, talking and thinking about user experience and social networking, and online community – I’m much more shy online than I am in person. Why?

Perfectionism? I’m not an expert I’m just someone who likes user centered design AND and I write songs about dragons or bus rides or zombies, etc. I haven’t followed all the best practices in building this blog and I’m terrified of applying user centered design to song writing.

I’m hoping there is a whole world of ways to mesh these practices. And that my next day job leaves room to enjoy both.

Twitter – http://twitter.com/mdawnweaver
Web Analytics = Band Metrics

Start singing an E flat and see where it takes you

February 12th, 2010

A new song started yesterday about how your friends become zombies when they start relationships. I think it’s a post Valentine’s lash out. I imagine the intro in an a cappela motown style and then run through some kind of “indie-zer” or “hipster-maker” that reflects my current neighborhood ;-> No, I just can’t get the word “roly-poly” out of my head.

Intro: Fools fall in, fools falling
I see them rollin rollin
I see them roly poly

You recognize them by the look in their eyes
They used to be so lifelike
They used to be your friends

But now they wouldn’t know you
If you took them by the shoulder
They’d shrug you off like you were
common sense

Wise men say “Only the lonely”
Only the lonely
Fall for stories even
They won’t believe in the morning

If you’re watching from the sidelines
Try to keep the smile from your eyes
You know how these beginnings end
can’t tell your enemies from your best friends

Don’t try to shoot ’em down
Wouldn’t matter anyhow
They fall, get right back up
They fall, get right back up
Better run before you’re one of them

Oh oh yeah yeah yeah yeah
Oh oh yeah yeah yeah yeah
Oh-oh just like the living dead

Lyrics: Your name

February 10th, 2010

Tweeted song #2 “Your Name” complete? Feb 10 2010.

Recorded draft version on Feb 9 experimenting with creating my own vocal backing loops as instruments – an hilariously fun process inspired most by the great Reggie Watts. It’s definitely something I’ll have to keep working on ;> The goal is to sound less like my college’s all-female a Capella group and more like “I get where this song is going.” Today’s research project is find others who use the technique in their writing process.

A nod to Valentine’s Day…

The sun shone briefly this morning
then she went away
By the time I was out of bed
there was nothing I could say

Make a fist, fake a smile
Heard the news said your name

With no one watching over me
No shadows on the street
drew a heart in the wet concrete
Inside, I wrote your name

I made a rule there’s no more singing in the shower
No excuse for getting drowned out by the crowd
My little secret, I’m going to say your name out loud

There should be a rule
when somebody loves you
There should be a rule

With no one watching over me
drew a line at the bottom of the sea
One side for you, same side for me

I’m not giving up There should be a rule
I’m tired of being quiet when somebody loves you

There should be a rule
They can say it whenever they want to
I can say it whenever I want to
I can say it

Bringing it together

February 5th, 2010

And for my next trick…I will attempt to add audio files to this tweetsong experiment. Check out verse 1.

I tried playing with grooves, kits, garageband whatnots, recording my own idea of drums with household objects – let’s just say I’ll stick to a capella tracks for the time being. The current song might be a little valentine themed and although I’ve only tweeted two verses, I’ve written (and rejected) over four pages. The need to tweet is good pressure.

Lyrics as of Feb 5, 2010 Listen to verse 1

The sun shone briefly this morning
then she went away
By the time I was out of bed
there was nothing I could say

Make a fist, fake a smile
Heard the news said your name

With no one watching over me
No shadows on the streets
drew a heart in the wet concrete
Inside, I wrote your name

I made a rule there’s no more singing in the shower
No excuse for getting drowned out by the crowd

Continuing the effort

February 2nd, 2010

I am still tweeting song lyrics as I explore DIY recording options. Ideally I would love to deliver a beautifully complete song when the twitter round is finished but for now it’s still good to explore the exercise.

Song #2 February 2 2010

The sun shone briefly this morning
then she went away
By the time I was out of bed
there was nothing I could say

Make a fist, fake a smile
Heard the news said your name

Evolution

January 29th, 2010

Now that the verses of my first social media song have been sent, the rewriting has been on my mind so I’ll start logging those changes today. Tweeting compelled me to try and build a narrative, writing verses consectutively while playing Beatles Rockband makes me want to emulate a little “Dig a pony.” The rewrite emphasizes the bird thread…

Crows are afraid of honeybees
We can be grateful for a little sting
Without them the crows are unruly thieves
A balance in everything

Something’s out of sync, the black turns white
A longer day, fly right through night
My love, my life intensified, intensified

All my plans were going so good
Lucky star I thought I’d follow it
Didn’t think for a moment to stand still

Wasn’t looking anywhere and I found you

Chorus:
Don’t Say it Don’t Say Don’t
Don’t Say it Don’t Say No
Don’t say No Don’t say No

Like a magpie in the morning sun
Want to sweep up and take you home
don’t want to share you with anyone

But the timing’s bittersweet
I can’t stay and you can’t leave
There’s only so long I can stay in flight

Only so many times I can say goodbye

Chorus

Don’t say No Don’t say Try
Don’t say Go Don’t say Why
Don’t say Goodbye