“Me Watching You Watching Me” : Origins

Me Watching You Watching Me
Me Watching You Watching Me

Music: Origins, 5 min 45 sec, 14.1 MD flash video

Me Watching You Watching Me

A huge thunderstorm had rolled in and knocked the power was out, so I had to stop working at the computers where I was still deep in the process of creating this web journal and all the supporting web site changes and intitial content. I had helped the power company tech find the transformer, in our neighborhood they run behind the houses and are hard to get to, the easy way was through our yard.

It was around midnight. The air was cool and wet, and I opened the doors and windows, It was my birthday, though I had forgotten. I lit a candle and sat at the piano, drank the last of a bottle of wine, and sat an played for a couple hours. First, some old jazz tunes, and old originals, when a new song came to me, absolutely new, still unfinished, but essentially complete.

Somehow, I associate her with the piano, though I don;t know why. Perhaps because she mentioned once playing one, or playing with one, and I don;t even know that she played, but it suddenly made her more interesting. Perhaps because I have such a deep connection o the piano, it felt like I was understanding some part of what lay beneath my sense of conn3ection to her, that we had this in common. Perhaps it is that a dream and fantasy, seldom lived, is to sit at a piano with a lady singer, trading songs, singing and playing, leading and following. Or perhaps it is that sitting at the piano, my heart and soul come to the surface, and the thoughts and images that fill them do as well, and she is there, these days. It is all of these, maybe more.

In the same way, when a song comes it is from the images and feelings swirling in my heart and soul, looking for a way out. So of course, I am writing songs about her, or about the memories, feelings and thoughts she brought back to me, things in me, but really, little to do with her. Can you ever really write about anything else than what is inside you, no matter what or who you seem to be talking about?

Origins

The “Origins” Series are videos where I have captured the birth of a new song, sometimes at the actual moment, sometimes when they are finally complete enough to sing. Sometimes I am singing them as I create them, all in a moment. Other times, I am singing them for the first time as they evolve to the point that I can, or have a chance to record them, whether that is minutes, hours, or years.

The songs are new, still unfinished, and may go through many changes before settling into their completed form. Many songs evolve over years, and all my music keeps evolving, but the essential core of the song, musically, lyrically, and emotionally, never changes. That is what a song is, and is what is born, even if it is only a couple lines that wait years to be completed. Though the images and feelings, the vision that is the song, maybe clear, it can be hard to put into words. Sometimes I am missing just a few, or have ones that are still just not right, sometimes I am missing most of the song.

The next day, and for who knows how long, this song keeps changiing, but all the essentials are there, melody, words, the instrumental lines that are so integral to what I sing, reflecting definitive melodic lines. It is always interesting to see how a song evolves later as it moves through other instruments, as I move through other instruments from wherever I was when the song came to me, piano or guitar or dulcimer, or just singing it, or writing the words down. Through the Origins series, and through showing many versions of a song, not just one, I am opening a window on the fluid thing a song is, even after it finishes is often rapid period of evolution and settles in to a “complete” version. But that is still only a version, for the songs keep hanging, and take on different versions depending on what I play them on, and where I am, and where I am at, when I play them.

It is all about creating this clear window on my world, behind the scenes, beyond the old concept of music as a polished, finished and unchanging product. My songs are a part of my life, and my life is part of them, and they have a story far beyond whatever version ends up on a CD, or perform at a certain place and time. These videos are the beginning of that story, the origins.

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