After two years of working mostly with existing material, I’m happy to be writing songs again. This one took me over completely for a few days, and then I spent another couple of weeks recording it and animating it on the lattice.
Be Love is a simpler song than Flying Dream, and I think it does a better job of illustrating what the lattice is all about. A couple of notable moments:
Several times, all the notes suddenly collapse to the 1, the note in the center. Check out the feeling of arrival, or homecoming in the music when it happens. It’s especially powerful going into the first chorus at 1:12. This is a real-time demo of tonal gravity.
During the verse, the song hangs out in the left part of the lattice, and then for the chorus it moves to the right. This is an example of a change in mode — the song stays in the same key (1 is still the center) but two of the scale notes change. The language of pure music doesn’t translate literally to English, or to emotion, but it evokes its own sensations that can support, or contradict, the words and feelings in the lyrics.
I had the great pleasure this spring of singing with Tribe of Dreams, a traveling band that creates musical community everywhere they go. They left behind, in San Francisco, a wake of connection and increased musical collaboration that is still rippling outward.
One of my fellow transient tribe members has been the ethereal Froukje van der Velde, whose musical name is Flecha Moon. She was in San Francisco for a few months of 2013, and left a huge impression on my Hotel Utah and Sacred Grounds open mic friends. Singing with Froukje has been a pure joy.
Recently, we both sang on a bill at 50 Mason Social House in SF, and I caught some video of us harmonizing. I’ve posted “Driving” and “The Cove” to YouTube, along with Froukje’s song “Ships Go Sailing By.” There’s a particular moment in the middle of “Driving,” when we get rolling on some improv harmonies, that gave me head-to-toe goosebumps. I hope you enjoy these. I sure did.
A few weeks ago, I unexpectedly recorded a charming version of Real Girl. I’d been plugging away at the song all afternoon, taking videos to watch and critique, when my housemate walked in. She and I always make each other laugh, no matter what is going on. I don’t know why, we just look at each other and laugh.
So when Joey came home, I knew it’d be a fun take. I added harmony vocals, bass and guitar.
I’m pleased with this video, and I think I’ll do more. Also planning more lattice stuff soon.
I wrote this song during a long weekend visit with an old and dear friend in Coupeville, Washington. We did laundry, and then went for a walk. I vividly remember the day, the view out over Puget Sound, the texture and color of the grass we were walking on. Somehow, suddenly, this melody was going through my head and I started to dance and sing it. Words came soon after. Priceless.
This performance is from a couple of weeks ago at Sacred Grounds in SF. The full show can be found on Mr. Natural’s channel on YouTube.
More fun with the Q2HD. Bug Zapper is a co-write with my friend Scott Bryson. I’ve reworked it endlessly, and this is where it sits right now. For years, there’s been a major II chord in the chorus, clinging like the kitten in the “Hang in there, Baby” poster. I finally got over it and went to good old V-IV-I.