Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Writing my first song, part 2

Click here to read part 1!

Once I had written my first song, On my own, I kept playing it with good response for two years on different occasions. I thought I was done with it and wrote a couple of more songs during those years. I started writing the song in Denmark and after this my travelling lifestyle continued.

I wrote my second song while in Malawi, Africa. It's called "Vinterkanslor" which means "winter feelings" and is in Swedish. This song is mainly about all the hardships we face in life and how we are forced to keep those within ourselves, because most people just want to hear happy stories. I think the reason I wrote the song in Swedish was because then no one would understand it where I was. Somehow it gave me the freedom to freely express myself in the song without having to face any judgement on what I wrote, at least not until I got back to Sweden.

The reason I became inspired to write more on my first song was because in the fall of 2009 I went to Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. This is a university where they see consciousness as the basis of knowledge and I met many inspiring people here. The whole atmosphere of the campus was very conducive to my creativity and I realized that musically it made sense for my first song to not just be verse, chorus, verse, chorus.


To really give it a more powerful ending, I added a bridge followed by another chorus one full step higher. I was sitting in my dorm room on campus and I felt a strong energy inside me, like I had unlocked some source previously blocked and I just had to put this energy to creative use. The bridge started with F, then G, followed by Em (a chord I hadn't used in the song previously) and then Am, continuing with F and G.

This kinda leaves the song hanging, musically speaking, and makes it smooth to continue with a chorus that goes in D instead of C. This transition brings a more hopeful sound to the last chorus, even though the lyrics still were pretty sad. It made me feel like I had ended the song in a more full way, with a greater musical variety. Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, final chorus felt like a good song structure.

Once again I expected this to be the final version of the song, and for another two years it was. When I went home to Sweden for winter break in 2011, I had written another four songs (It't not a Fairytale, Natten "The Night", Find your Grace, Praise the Good) and I had kind of put "On my own" behind me at this point.

At the airport, my good friend Malin met me along with my parents and since we hadn't seen each other for almost a year, I felt really happy about it. Later that day, she said that she had a belated birthday present for me (my birthday is November 26th and this was December 23rd) and she showed me lyrics of two verses and two chords, that would come at the end of On my own. She called her part "I'm always here" and brought light, hope and support into my otherwise melancholic music.


Now the song is titled "On my own, I'm always here" because of her part and I did a recording together with her that same day, just with my computer's microphone and somewhat primitive recording program (it has only two buttons: record and stop). After the recording I did a few adjustments to the lyrics and now I've uploaded the song with chords and lyrics right here on the blog!

I think this song is as long as it's going to be, but who knows? Lately I've been starting to add small guitar solos to my music so that's always a possibility... or I might try to practice this song with someone else and develop some harmonies, or come up with some interesting picking patterns for the guitar. Life is always growing, and when music is truly alive, it keeps growing as well :)

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