For whom the tape rolls

Continuing the conversation with Martin…

M. Salomonsen said on Can Music Tell A Story?

January 29, 2011 at 02:03

Have you ever wondered if people know if you are telling the truth, when writing music?

Some artists have the ability to tell a universal story and capture something that others can relate to without even knowing each other – or do we know what that artist was thinking, feeling or sensing – are we hypothesizing as listeners?

John Lennon once said to a man who camped outside his house, that his songs were for him and the ones close to him, and if other people could relate to them, great, but at the end of the day, they don’t have a clue what I am talking about…

Are you telling the truth in your music? Is it personal or is it for others?

I know that I write for me and me alone – if other people can relate to it – great – but they really don’t have a clue … or do they?

Great questions, Martin.

Maybe it’s a question of authenticity. Occasionally, I feel like I can tell if someone is trying to pull the wool over my eyes in a song, like when the lyrics and the vocal delivery don’t seem to match. But then again, maybe that’s just irony. Sarcasm.

Like Martin, I write for myself. The idea of trying to identify what’s popular at the moment and trying to jump on the bandwagon doesn’t really work for me… I enjoy working in various styles, and often tongue-in-cheek. But I’m not sure how successful or happy I would be if I really tried to force something unnatural for me.

So I write for myself. And when I collaborate with others, sometimes I write for them, too. I guess there are a few people in my mind (really close friends and loved ones– my ‘inner circle’) who, at times, pop into my head as I’m writing. But if something doesn’t feel right, I change it.

One man's Devo is another man's Neil Young

Maybe when I’m truly writing for myself, THAT is true authenticity… and when I’m writing from that place, it shines and has the power to resonate with others. Maybe people can smell a fake a mile away, and are drawn to what’s “real”.

But wait– what if one man’s “fake” is another man’s “genuine”? If I put on a costume and pour my heart and soul into what I’m doing, is that what makes the difference? And aren’t there plenty of fat cats out there today who don’t particularly love music, but are making millions off of it?

I welcome your input, Dear Reader. If you can shine a light on any of this, I’d sure appreciate it.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to write and record music that makes me grin. What an awesome life!

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