Disentangling the vision

One reason that I haven’t been posting here very frequently the last several months is that I have been struggling to write a song. I wanted to get it just right. There are several versions of it, in particular text versions, before they got to the “song versions”.

Then one night, when I lay sleepless in bed, I resolved that now was the time to get it all straightened out.

I wrote much about a concept in my Honors thesis at Brigham Young University, which entailed writing and developing a music drama, producing and directing it, and afterwards theorizing about the process. The music drama was called “The Exchange.” What I learned from that process is that it required many tries before it came out right. I had a vision of what I wanted to communicate, but the first attempts just didn’t match with what I had in mind, often termed “a director’s vision” (but perhaps I could call it “creator’s vision” since it is applicable to composing or writing or directing anything and probably much more). However, this vision is for me usually at first clouded, mixed up and not at all clear.

Well, with these songs, I initially wrote one text, but I knew that it was “wrong” or “not ringing true to my vision”. It was like this with “The Exchange” also, I had to throw out the first material – before I had uncovered or disentangled the underlying vision of the communication I wished to make.

In this case, what I thought would be one song actually spawned three works – one song in Swedish called “Frid” (“Peace”), one song in English called “Good, right and welcome” (which title and message I found in my notes was inspired by Jean Liedloff in “The Continuum Concept“), and a duet for trumpet and trombone with the same title and same melodic material with some variation to it. The songs are written for soprano and trombone.

It seems that it often takes several attempts to uncover the true identity of this initial idea, before it rings true to the feeling I want to communicate. I am planning on singing these songs for a Swedish audience in Hörnefors on November 15th with Anna Sjödin, trombone.

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