Songwriting: From Madness to Method

I’ve always been one to explore abandoned buildings. While I’m not exactly as ambitious as Lewis and Clark, I certainly can get the adventure itch, which can be just as much bravery as sheer idiocy (I was locked out on a roof once when the window I used to get out on it shut behind me). So, when waiting by the Midway airport stop, where I had made the journey for a vocal lesson, I, despite not having a ticket, ventured up into the geometric hallways that led to Midway airport. In the hallways were images of old maps. Unlike a busy traveller, I had time to look and stufy them. I came across this map of the city, and I am sharing it here because I want to compare songs to cities.

I used to write songs by watching them bubble up from the earth, kind of like cities that would appear by rivers and good soil. Ancient Egypt, for example, rose up by the Nile and the Anazazi people built a city into the rock of a cliff in the Western United States. For many years I watched my songs come and go, like little pockets of civilizations, appearing and disappearing.

The same way one might start to tend wild fruit, by planting and harvesting, here I am doing what’s never been done before: really digging into the habit of songwriting and structuring the madness into method. I look forward to sharing them with you.

Studio photo by Michelle Heyden Visual Art
Header Photo by Patrick Engman, Jr., with added graphics by H.F.