What is the Science of Song?
STUDIO VIEW tracks the evolution of my own songs from concept to reality through videos, sound bytes, pictures and words. It won’t always be pretty, and it most definitely won’t be polished, but I hope you will be inspired by an honest, unedited view of the rigors and rewards of creating.
I am a man of many bands—three, to be exact. One is like corporate art, meaning I am employed by an institution to make music for a community so I can put food on the table. Another is like entrepreneurial art, meaning I run the band as an LLC and use the music we create as a megaphone for exploring the overlap of faith and song. The third is like festive art, meaning we get some friends together, venture into the annals of MIDI and Programming and map the Synth-laden plains of electro-pop.
I’m heartbreakingly serious about each of these projects, and all three of them stretch my creative ambition to wonderful heights, because each possesses a sound, which demands a unique approach to songwriting. Now, with two of these three bands involved in post-production for new albums set to release this Fall, I am at the cusp of a whole new season of conceptualizing song, and the possibilities seem endless.
Enter Studio View. Throughout this blog series, you will hear a variety of songs in progress, but to really appreciate the wonders of songwriting, we first need to ask ourselves some important questions about the basic elements of song.
Can song have science? Boiling the wonderful mystery of creating down to palpable scientific method is too rigid a task because, quite frankly, my method may not be your method. Rather, what this new blog series hopes to do is map out some manifestations of how vision and method can intersect on the journey towards the completion of a work.
Science is faith applied towards identifying the intricacies of life. In this way, song and science can coexist. Both strive to tell the story of life. Therefore, let’s call the Studio View project a photograph of a place and time called vision where a busy conversation is taking place, except the people in this picture are dynamic expressions of sound. You can possess a picture, but you can’t own the people in it—they have life beyond the image.
Can song have life? I believe it can. Have you ever listened to a song written by someone you will never ever meet and connected with it in a deep and personal way? If so, then you’ve experienced the reproductive nature of art released into the world. When this happens, who cares what the song really means, or why it was written in the first place? It means something to you in your present, and that is the truest meaning any work of art can ever possess.
Art nurtures story, story defines life, and life expands, making space for more art. True art breeds more art.[Tweet that by clicking here]
Can song have origin? If art breeds art, then where did art come from in the first place? My faith informs the belief that all true art comes from God, the original Artist, who infused all created things with a beauty transcendent. We can join the story by telling it again and again through diverse expressions of the prime beauty we hail from.
This is what drives me to create. It's more than just a hobby for me, it's a passion that I hope to share with others, so that we may collectively engage in communicating a bigger story. The story of how we love, suffer, and sacrifice--the story of how we exist.
So, why are you reading this blog? Do you really want to know what my songs mean? Did they mean anything to you in the first place? I hope so. My guess is that many of you who have chosen to follow this series are creators, yourselves. With that in mind, let me say this—all I can do is display and describe, never dictate or prescribe. I hope you realize each post in this series as a photograph of sound, and use the pictures as a platform for crafting your own story to share.
Feel free to email me or simply comment below about your own thoughts regarding the elements of song. How would you define the ways in which science and song can coexist? How have vision and method intersected in your art?
Next week, I’ll post some rough sound bytes of new songs in the works. I feel that the next six months will be pretty raw for those of us who contribute to Studio View. Some of my friends from the bands I play with are already worried about me posting unmixed demos because they think you’ll judge us. That’s up to you, but let me reiterate: Studio View isn’t a performance. It’s progress.