Writing Music!

Hello Readers,

I am posting after only nine days!

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Seriously guys, I am impressed.

Though the only problem now is I have no clue what to write about.

Just great.

So until I find a good subject to write a whole post on, I’m going to give you some music recommendations. I listen to these songs while writing and they help me battle writers’ block on many occasions; but they just aren’t working currently. May they help you with cleaning or whatever task you must do.

  • morocco by moon taxi
  • simplify by brendan james
  • suit and jacket by judah and the lion
  • songs in the night by the gray havens
  • viva la vida by coldplay
  • the wolves by ben howard
  • life in color by onerepublic
  • visceral by john mark mcmillan
  • scars by james bay
  • the lucky ones by brendan james

Let me know what songs you enjoy!

~Ruby Sky

 

 

 

 

 

Suffocation

Hello Readers,

Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile (that is, assuming people actually read these, haha). Just been busy/low on inspiration.

Anyways, I, being a musician, have come to terms with something I like to call ‘suffocation’ (and I didn’t just come up with that on the spot. Definitely not.). Now this isn’t literal suffocation, I just call it that because it seems to fit with the feeling. With the situation I have been experiencing lately.

This ‘suffocation‘ happens when I sit at my keyboard, looking at the keys and thinking, “How on earth could I ever make a song that would be any different or any better than the million already written?” “How could I make anything original? Am I just copying everyone that has come before me? Do I have any talent or am I a parrot?” This feeling, though, is not one that only I get, nor one that only musicians get. It’s a feeling that writers get when they see their blank page and think, “Are there really any good plots left? Is there really a character that’s never been written, or an idea that hasn’t grown into a book?”

This feeling often haunts me when I’m playing my piano, as I’m sure it does many, many other musicians. It’s a feeling that says, “Is there anything left? Can you really play something beautiful? Or even halfway decent?” And let me tell you, it’s hard to shake off. Like smoke that clings to your clothes.

Now, usually when this idea comes, another thought consumes me at the same time. The thought of a thirteenth note. Crazy, maybe, but sometimes I wonder if it’s out there. Somewhere… A sound nobody has heard.

A book idea no one has written.

An equation for a graviton.

A color no one has ever seen.

Or maybe we don’t need these things. Maybe all we need is the twelve keys given to us. Maybe all we need is the creative mind given to us. Maybe all we need is God’s will for us.

Maybe, all we need is a little light to see the sheet music.

-Sam

A Few Songs I Like

Hello Readers,

I’m back with my second blog post *triumphant cheers in background*. I wasn’t exactly sure what to write about once again, but Ruby, my fellow blogger, suggested to me, “You should write a few song suggestions and why you’re suggesting them” and then, out of the blue, I got a brilliant idea! I decided I would write a few song suggestions and why I like those songs! Thank you *bows* I was quite impressed with my idea myself, thank you.

So, here we go:

  1. At The Table by Josh Garrels

The music in this song is good, but what I really appreciate are the lyrics. In the first verse, shows a kid growing up and going the way of the world. Forgetting where he comes from, forgetting what his father taught him. Then it goes to the chorus, and it shows that there is hope, and that he can return. Reminds me a lot of the prodigal son. Then, in the second verse, it shows him being called and coming back, and then planing seeds, and looking forward to a day where his father comes for him. Then it goes into the chorus for the second and last time, and brings the message of hope. Great song.

Now for number 2:

2. Don’t Let It Pass by Junip

Once again in this song the lyrics are the main attraction to me, though the slower, smooth sounding music is good. The song is fairly short, and doesn’t fit nearly as many words in as the previous song, but this one is more to the point. You see immediately in the first verse the exact point the song is trying to get across. It says, “You’re pinned down to routines… Elevate and leave.” And that is basically what the song is getting out throughout the four minutes, saying to take advantage of opportunity, avoid compromise on important issues, and to not get locked into a routine, to not get so used to things that you begin to take the world around you for granted.

3. Eyes Wide Open by The Vespers

For this song, while I love the lyrics and the music and basically every aspect of it, I’ll just let you listen to this one. Hope you enjoy the songs!

~Sam

Of Stutterings and First Blog Posts

Well, this is my very first post (of many, hopefully) and, if there was ever such a thing, I’m stuttering while writing. I keep on starting to write, then stopping… deleting the draft, restarting, well, you get the picture. So, by suggestion of Ruby, I’m just going to do a simple, short one. Sorry if I have let you down, and am not able to share with you the secrets of the world.

So, in my blog posts I will mainly just be writing about music, along with other random things as I feel compelled. Why music? You may ask. (Or you may not, in which case you may find the rest of the post boring, unhelpful, not insightful, dull, etc. etc.)

It is impossible to answer that question with a single answer, or with a single reason, for me. I would have to guess that it would be the same for many other artists as well. First off, I’ll go to the sound of music (not the movie, that’s just the phrase I unfortunately chose to use and my fingers did not want to backspace), and then secondly I’ll look at the lyrical side of music.

So, the sound… Have you ever listened to an instrumental and found yourself just sitting there… staring into space… or, better yet, listened to an instrumental and found yourself staring, but not into space, but at the image in your mind which the music breaks. For example, I often times find myself naming my music (because so far I have only done instrumentals) by just closing my eyes, and listening to what I have made… letting it take me wherever it will, and where I end up, I create a name of it. You see, one of the reasons I have chosen to create only instrumental music so far is because whenever you listen to songs with words, they can manipulate your emotions. The lyrics tell you what it’s about, whether it’s fun, energizing, happy, sad, frustrating, or anything, the lyrics tell you what it’s about, and they guide you and take you where the artist wants to take you. Now, I’m not saying this is a bad thing, in fact, so often it is such a beautiful thing. However, I find myself wanting to set the tone, and leave it up to the listener to decide where to go. I’ll make the tempo fast or slow, make the notes high or low, add what instruments I want to make the setting, and the general feel. Then I’ll leave it up to the listener to decide what ever in the whole universe of possibilities what to do with it and where to go with it.

You can bustle about your daily life with it playing on a speaker, you can lie down and stare into outer space – or wherever the song takes you. You can dance, you can sing your own lyrics, you can simply sit on a chair and daydream. Nothing to lock you in to a certain feeling, a certain place, a certain state of mind. Just your imagination, and the sound of music…

Well, that was quite a bit just for the sound, but the second and last point I would like to make is the beauty of lyrics. Yes, those things that I just said lock you in. Those things that take you where the artist wants the music to take you. You see, to me, it’s very simple – writing lyrics, that is. I have to styles, the first is I try to write what the music makes me feel. The second I get from Andrew Peterson, and from this quote by him: “My goal is to tell the truth in the most beautiful way.” And that is how I write lyrics.

So, to answer the question you may or may not have asked, why music? In short, because of the beauty and freedom in the sound, and the beauty and truth in lyrics.

~Sam

Every Star Is A Burning Flame

Hello Readers,

As I lay in bed this morning, my alarm went off, and I currently have it at a song I selected at random by Andrew Peterson, called “Every Star Is A Burning Flame”. And I never had really taken the time to listen to the lyrics completely, but my interest was spiked and my bed was warm, so I lay there and closed my eyes, listening to what Andrew had to say to me.

I pulled the car off to the side and walked along a starry hill in Idaho
A golden moon was rolling by, the ridge was like a window sill and I don’t know
If I was on the outside looking in

Like maybe all the borders of the world were getting thin
And I could see the sky the way it’s gonna be again

Every star is a burning flame

Now, I know the music is Sam’s thing, but I want to look at this one song, because it’s currently one of my favorites. In the beginning Andrew sets you up with this picture of him driving in the middle of the night, pulling over, and then walking along this big long hill, staring at the stars. And suddenly he’s just… shocked by the beauty of it. Just stares there, up at the sky, unable to believe his eyes.

Well yesterday I trimmed the vines and spread the leaves along the ground in Tennessee
And I tried to hold it in my mind that all the light that’s coming down takes ages to get to me
And I was on the inside looking out
I was lifted by a solar wind up over the clouds
And I could hear the hosts of heaven singing out loud

Every star is a burning flame

I love this sense of wonder he gives you, and I was glad to know that I’m not the only one who’s been so incredibly shocked and flabbergasted at the stars. That the light we see at night takes so many years to get to us. It’s amazing, isn’t it? He looks up at the stars, and suddenly he sees them in a new way.

Every star is a burning flame. 

He sees them, not as a cold light that is probably gone by the time it reaches us, but he sees them as this flickering flame. Burning in the sky.

I remember Mr. Green and I were walking down a busy street in Louisville
The sign said Merton, he looked around and all the people passing by were shining like the sun and beautiful
And the wonder of it caught him by surprise
Oh Lord, I want to see the world with those eyes
I want to look into the night and see a million suns rise

I love this part, so much. How he’s walking with a friend of his, and then his friend just looks around and is so moved by these people walking by. The wonder of all these people passing by, and that they are shining, so beautiful. Oh, I want to see the world with those eyes. Let me see people like that.

All the heat comes running at the speed of light
From the reaches of space to these faces tonight

And every heart is a burning flame
Every heart is a burning flame

Then he ends, with not his normal chorus, but comparing the burning flames of stars to the burning flames of our hearts.

So I listened in my bed, and I was moved almost to tears by this song. It is so poetic, and so incredibly true, and just makes you feel so small and amazed at the vastness of everything, of the stars, and I felt overwhelmed.

every star is a burning flame.

every heart is a burning flame. 

~Rubix

 

 

 

Of Instruments and Practices

Hello Readers,

Today I had the pleasure of sitting in on a couple different music class practices at Lee University. It was an amazing experience. Just the rawness of it. It was almost more ‘real’ in a sense then other performances I’ve heard. It was fun and loud and you could feel how much they loved it. I was the only listener in the room, and they weren’t preforming for performance’s sake, but because they loved it.

Or maybe that was just my impression of it. Whatever the case, it was beautiful.

If I was asked to pick a favorite instrument, I’d have to say the violin (I’m a little biased though, as one of my characters plays it) followed by the cello. I love the sound of it. But then when they all sang out together into the world, it was breathtaking.

Time slows when music plays, reality is but a white noise, the present a figment of our imagination. Present, past, and future all blur together as the tempo pick up and galaxies swirl into blurred colors.

The drum keeps a steady beat, reminded the violins not to veer off down the lovely rabbit trails they long to explore. The trumpets sing joyously while the bass hums deeply in the background. The tuba shouts as the cellos play a melancholy balance. The violins whinny off again like wild horses and then slowly come back down, playing the melody.

The choir sings, competing with the instruments for sounds. The conductor waves his hands, pointing his baton in a language that only the musicians understand. He seems to be in a trance, and the rest of the musicians with him, watching the baton wave in that secret language known only to musicians.

It’s beautiful.

I can’t help but feel a tiny bit envious as I watch their fingers play in a manner that takes years of practice to master.

~Rubix

Music, Poets, and a Dash of Rambling

Hello Readers,

 Music What is it?

Well, the definition of this word is: vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.

But what is it really? Is music something that can be summed up in a mere sentence? I don’t know, to be honest. But for me, music isn’t something I can just put in a box and tie a big bow around.

         People react to music different ways, I suppose. I listen to music, well, when I listen to a song for the very first time, I give it all my attention. I close my eyes and I listen. I digest it, I process it, and then I pick it apart. Carefully. Scrutinizingly. Deciding if this song deserves my undivided attention.

I look for the underlying meanings in songs, I look for the hidden messages, I look to fill in the gaps. And that’s why I’m extremely careful on what music I listen to. Because music affects me, and it affects me deeply. Music isn’t just something we can listen to and brush off.

I’ve thought things and felt feelings through music that were mind blowing. I’ve felt the presence of God just by listening to music. Just drinking it in. And this is why I am so careful.

Because when I listen to something, it stays with me. Little fragments of songs floating around in my brain, little whispers that guide me. Little nudges in the right direction.

And this is why, you’ll find songs with deep lyrics on my iTunes, and no, I don’t have Gangham Style, or that new “Whip” song everyone is raving about, because I am a lyric person.

        If the lyrics mean nothing, or are poorly written, the whole song is just a waste of time for me. And most of the time, when people say “This song makes no sense”, it just means they aren’t looking
hard enough. Because almost 99% of the time, the meaning is there, you just have to look hard for it.

Poets are people who hear music when the music stopped playing. They hear the lyrics in the sun shining and the wind blowing through their hair. Poets are the listeners to the music no one else can hear. And sometimes, these poets don’t even write. But they hear the music just the same.

So, can you hear the music, readers? Do you hear it?

And you keep on dreamin’
When the dreams all fade
When friends desert me
You’re the ones who stay
To write the prayers when every prayer had been prayed
You are the poets I have known” 
-Andrew Peterson