Saturday, October 29

OWW commission

I was asked to write a song for warwick's One World Week - the word 'anthem' was first used (and then scrapped because of its nationalistic connotations..)... but sort of a theme-tune, a song they can play at the start of every forum lecture and that can be performed live at the world music concert.
I was pretty hesitant at first - how do you write a song for OWW week?! What genre of music do you use - isn't it a bit ironic to sing in english and use western music for a festival that celebrates international culture?
And how on earth do you write lyrics about cultural diversity and international unity without sounding unbelievably corny.
These issues are far from resolved in my mind, but the song is being written..
So far only the lyrics are down. I worked with my friend Sarah Puello, a creative writing student/ poet. It was a big learning curve for me. First of all I had never written a song with someone else. Secondly, she is trained in the prper practice of poetry - the use of language, grammar, structure - technical aspects which I have never given that much consideration to before. Much more meticulous than me, and a very different style. At points I felt almost embarrassed that I usually write almost as a flow of consciousness, as it comes, not really considering the implications of every word. I think I will treat lyrics slightly differently from now on - in a good way.
But also what surprised me, is the things that I came out with during the writing process: "If we have so many words in the sentence than you can only put one note per word and it the melody wont sound so interesting" or "that word is ugly to pronounce" or "these lines have to rhyme in order to work with the rhythm" - concerns specific to songwriting which I had never consciously considered before, but were obviously in built into my instincts (or habit).

The song is far from finished, the music, and then the realisation of the song in performance, will be a whole new challenge, but so far, its proving an interesting task...I'll write more as it comes.