Occasionally, I'll get asked the question, "Have you ever considered adding lyrics to your music?" Or, maybe there is a place where people can license your music so they could use it and add lyrics to it? I often get these types of questions from fellow-co workers that have listened to my music often.
I was thinking more about this tonight and decided to blog about it. My normal response to their question would be; "No; New Age music is not necessarily about the words, it's about the music." I sometimes go into more personal detail and explain that when I was growing up, I listened to rock and roll. Van Halen was one of my favorite bands, but, I never really listened to the lyrics. For me, it was more about listening to the music. I sometimes also explain that when I was a teenager, I was extremely shy. I out-grew most of that today, but I am still somewhat reserved around new people. Unlike my brothers Todd and Curt, they feel at ease talking comfortably towards anyone; whether they know them or not. I usually have to get to know someone well enough to feel comfortable about opening up to them or relaxing enough to joke around.
When I played in a cover rock band with my brothers, I was the lead singer. It took awhile for me to learn the lyrics to the songs we played; even though I knew the songs well simply because I listened to the music and not the lyrics. Sure, occasionally I'll hear a song that the lyrics really stand out, but most often not; at least to me.
More recently, since releasing my first CD; "Standing On Top" in 2010, I've expressed that my music has personal meaning to me. It's a way for me to express myself; my inner most feelings. I've even posted a blog on here (About The Music) in the past to try and explain in words what I was thinking about or what I was experiencing when I wrote a song. This holds true to the album I'm currently working on; "Family Values". Four of the songs I've written so far have a title that bears the names of family members or friends that passed away in 2011. While writing those songs, I tried to express my feelings and what I was thinking while writing the music. I also tried to cue in on certain characteristics each of these people had by using certain instruments or playing certain melodies to express these characteristics. The song, "Terri"; I intentionally wrote an accoustic guitar melody as the foudation of the song simply because I knew my sister played guitar in her spare time. When I first showed this song to my sister-in-law Carrie, she picked up on that immediately and asked me what I was thinking about when I wrote the song. She said, "It's kind of funny that you have an accoustic guitar playing in the background because Terri played guitar.". I explained to her that is exactly why I have that in there. So Carrie was able to read into the music and hear what I was trying to express, or better yet, she heard what I was saying simply by listening to the music.
Now I know most of my listeners that are not immediate family may not have cued in on that. To me, this is where lyrics come in. Most musicians use lyrics to tell a story, or to express their feelings. I do not listen to much country music; though I did while growing up. My mom had it playing on the AM radio station every morning when I got up for school. I can remember most of the older country songs were about leaving their husband or wife, or about drinking beer and getting a divorce or something to that effect. These lyrics may have been a way for those artists to tell their story or express their feelings.
Going back to what I mentioned earlier, I am usually reserved around people I don't know well; or am I really holding back my feelings? I may not tell you a story about my life or express my feelings in words, but I am doing both deep within my music. So the real question is; "Can You Hear What I Am Saying?" If you listen to my music, you can hear me and what I have to say.