Categories
Showing Up

Day 30: 88 Keys To Songwriting Success

The race is on to finish Shang Ding Hong Song before FAWM starts.

Meanwhile I have to rely on kind friends to deliver a piano to Shabby Road today. My fabulous  landlord Graham is going to lend a hand though he fears we may have to take the doors off

Related Posts: The Soundcheck Song – for free
Other free songs by Matt Blick

Categories
FAWM Showing Up

Day 27: The Artist FAWMerly known as…

It’s on!

Today (that’s yesterday in Matt speak) I signed up for February Album Writing Month. The FAWM challenge is simple (in theory at least) write 14 songs in 28 days. Why? Because to quote the website quoting Jack London “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Or to quote me “It’s a compositional laxative.”

And in February I really plan to get things moving.

If you want join me and a “collaborative community where thousands of musicians of all walks and skill levels yadayadayada…” then sign up NOW – it’s free.

In other news…I went for physiotherapy at 9am and came back with a second set of crutches that make me feel less like Long John Silver. Praise God it’s all free (you hear that my Stateside brothers?).

Didn’t get to writing till late again in bed – watching The Fugitive with the sound down and trying to get the key of the linking bit in Shang Ding Hong Song.

At this rate I’m going to have the guitar solo written before I finish the song.

The Soundcheck Song – for free
Great High Priest
Other free songs by Matt Blick

Categories
Showing Up

Day 26: That’s Torn It!

Until a couple of hours ago I had no idea what a Gastrocnemius muscle is. But now I know. It’s that thing on the back of my left leg causing me agony whenever I put weight on it.

Have 45 minutes of today left. So I’m going to write. Let’s see if I can carry on despite the crutches, physiotherapy and drugs that will allegedly “make me happy”

If you haven’t already why not download this rather timely tune

Update:

…did 20 minutes of songwriting lying flat on my back on the sofa. The issue at the moment is I have fully formed verses and bridges and another verse to go after the bridges. I also have a couple of linking bits. It’s just a question of trying to fit them together in a way that feels natural AND at the same time letting go of some bits that have been in the song for the last 14 years.

Related Posts: The Soundcheck Song – for free
Great High Priest
Other free songs by Matt Blick

Categories
Showing Up

Day 23: The Strange Tale Of Shang Ding Hong

Writing is going slowly this week (though I have written every day). The reasons are many.

I spent some time posting a new song on the blog (Everything Is) Broken. Have you downloaded it yet? What did you think?

I’ve been winding up a rock band workshop at the Old Library Studio for the last three days.

And the song itself is weird.

A year or two ago I wrote a crazy thirteen verse song about a fictional Chinese village with the same rhyme scheme on every verse.
Oh and the whole melody was made up of 5 notes.
And those five notes were all from a diminished 7th chord.
And every verse was supposed to be in a different key.
With different arrangement and harmonisation.

And different time signature if need be.

So when plan A is that deranged you’ll understand why I felt slightly relieved deciding to reset the lyrics to a bizarre chromatic melody that was originally a hyperactive guitar instrumental called Verbal Gerbils (written in 1997).

This is something I have never done before, so I feel like I am not only working how to get to where I want to go, but laying the tarmac on the ground at the same time.

I’m getting there though.

Related Posts: The Soundcheck Song – for free
Other free songs by Matt Blick


Categories
Let's Build An Airport EP Song Vault

Everything Is Broken

If God were only strong, not kind, or God were only kind, but weak
An odd-time hard folk, head-on collision with human suffering.
Download     Lyrics (pdf)     Buy mp3     Behind The Song

Shattered frame, photograph all torn
His Daddy doesn’t live here anymore
And the lawyers are the only ones on speaking terms.
I try to tell the boy he’s not to blame
For the vows that Mum and Dad unmade
But words can wound in ways no words can ever heal.

She’s drinking coffee from a mug that’s chipped
Warms her hands, cuts her lip
As she tries to give birth to all the pain within.
Pours out her heart, staring at her feet
Staccato sentences each incomplete
The baby she was carrying in her womb is gone.

If God were only strong, not kind
Or God were only kind but weak
I wouldn’t have to try to find
Words I’m not afraid to speak
When answers sound so trite and incomplete but…

Everything…every thing is…
Everything is broken.

Take a drive try to clear my head
The news is on ‘cos the CD’s dead
They say another peace treaty was torn up today.
Must be a hairline fracture in the universe
The Earth is cranky and she’s getting worse
300 dead, a city split just like an open wound.

If God were only strong, not kind
Or God were only kind but weak
I wouldn’t have to try to find
Words I’m not afraid to speak
When answers sound so trite and incomplete but…

Everything…every thing is…
Everything is broken.

I search for clues in a freezing Church
The boiler’s dead, the pipes have burst
The priest flinches as the choirboy’s voice begins to crack.
I start to understand as he breaks the bread
Red wine burning deep into my chest
You said, “This is my body”

And your body, just like everything…
Just like every thing was…
Just like everything was broken.

More songs in the demo vault

Categories
Showing Up

Day 18: Help You Write What Song?

Here’s the thing.  You know all that “I’m gonna focus on writing blah blah”. Well today it was a choice between putting up that post and spending the last remaining half hour of the day working on the Shang Ding Hong Song.

I chose the latter. That other post will appear some time.

Meanwhile the development of SDHS is proving to be a tale stranger than strange genre of fiction.

That tale too will have to wait for another day.

Hopefully nothing will get in the way of posting [Everything Is] Broken tomorrow…

Related Posts: The Soundcheck Song – for free
Other free songs by Matt Blick

Categories
Uncategorized

New Song Preview: (Everything Is) Broken

Shattered frame, photograph all torn
His Daddy doesn’t live here anymore
And the lawyers are the only ones on speaking terms.
I try to tell the boy he’s not to blame
For the vows that Mum & Dad unmade
But words can wound in ways no words can ever heal.


She’s drinking coffee from a mug that’s chipped
Warms her hands, cuts her lip
As she tries to give birth to all the pain within.
Pours out her heart, staring at her feet
Staccato sentences each incomplete
The baby she was carrying in her womb is gone.


If God were only strong not kind
Or God were only kind but weak
I would not have to try to find
Words I’m not afraid to speak
When answers sound so trite and incomplete but…


Everything…
Every thing is…
Everything is broken, broken.
Everything…
Every thing is…


Take a drive try to clear my head
The news is on ‘cos the CD’s dead
They say another peace treaty was torn up today.
Must be a hairline fracture in the universe
The Earth is cranky and she’s getting worse
300 dead, a city split just like an open wound.


If God were only strong not kind
Or God were only kind but weak
I would not have to try to find
Words I’m not afraid to speak
When answers sound so trite and incomplete but…


Everything…
Every thing is…
Everything is broken, broken.
Everything…
Every thing is…
Everything is broken, broken.
Everything…
Everything is…


I search for clues in a freezing Church
The boiler dead, the pipes have burst
The priest flinches as the choirboy’s voice begins to crack.
I start to understand as he takes the bread
Red wine burning deep into my chest
You said, “This is my body” 
And your body just like…everything…


Just like every thing was…
Just like everything was broken…


Download the free mp3 (Everything Is) Broken

Related Posts: First Black President (free song)
Other free songs by Matt Blick

Categories
Showing Up

Day 16: Bottlenecks & Birthdays

80% more successful as a songwriter. What does that look like? Well last year (which is as good a benchmark as any) I achieved the following –

Wrote 7 songs in one year
Wrote 5 songs in 3 months
Wrote 2 songs in 1 month.

Yesterday I started work on the 3rd song of Jan 2011 Shang Ding Hong Song. I’m hoping to finish that and a rewrite of another tune (which I need YOUR help for – tune in on Tues) before things really get exciting in Feb.

So where are all these songs?

Ah. Well.

There’s bound to be a bottleneck when you’re the chief cook and bottleneck washer/writer/publisher, and general dogsbody. But also at the moment I don’t have all the gear I need. Thanks to my wonderful wife‘s fiscal juggling skills I now have my very own mac, but the interface, mic, stand, mic lead and keyboard controller had to wait. The good news is my birthday‘s coming up soon so I might get lucky (and feel free to increase my luck by clicking on the donate button way down on the right hand sidebar (click through to my blog if you’re reading this in a feedreader).

The other good news is that I have a backlog of 3 songs from last year that I’m very exciting to share with you and I’ll be posting the first, (Everything Is) Broken, next week.

Did I do any writing today, or just begging for money/goods and services?

Well 50% of today was taking up playing the role of frazzled parent, 15% frazzled Liverpool FC fan, and when you factor in time for church, meals, blogging and prep for work tomorrow, didn’t leave a lot of day left…

but my wife slapped me on the butt – literally and sent me out of the door for half an hour. Every songwriter needs someone to slap them.

Ain’t art romantic?

Related Posts: The Soundcheck Song – for free
Other free songs by Matt Blick

Categories
Showing Up

Day 15: Good News

She liked it.

(And she didn’t point out any errors either.
I was wrong and I am a bad man).

Related Posts: The Soundcheck Song – for free
Other free songs by Matt Blick

Categories
Showing Up

Day 13: Love Songs And Donated Body Parts

Teaching today in my hometown of Sutton in Ashfield.
In my old school.
Practice room 5.
The very room that I first picked up a guitar.

Boy, there’s nothing to make you’re feel you’re going nowhere in your musical career like ending up back in the exact same spot that you first started.

That’s also where I decided to play right handed, based on the law of supply and demand. I demanded a left handed guitar and they failed to supply one!

This town has a totally different vibe to a city. In the 10 seconds it took me to purchase a diet coke I’d been called ‘Flower’, ‘duck’, ‘darling’ and ‘sweetheart’ by the lady with all the tattoos in Arden News.

Being in school over here means I have a little time to write when kids don’t turn up and I get to rock a Casio CTK 651 or even one of the upright pianos.

Today I’m working on the song variously know as Brother Cow, Brother Bull, Promises & Dreams or The Courting Song. It’s all there bar the final bridge/coda which again I haven’t planned out in advance. In my defence planning in advance wasn’t easy as the song started out as a weird concept of asking animals to donate body parts, and then turned into a love song for my wife.

I’m really excited about this one. If no one else likes it I’m hoping my wife will. My guess is she’ll point out various factual errors, such as the colour of her eyes or the number of rings she wears, before being quietly pleased and appreciative. We’ll see.

By the way – SHE DOESN’T KNOW YET – DON’T TELL HER!!!!

I know Billy Joel can knock out one multiplatinum hit single for every woman he marries, but it’s taken me 25 years to write a love song for my wife. I never felt able to sum up all that she is and means to me and as the years go by it’s getting harder. But one day I realised it’s like writing a song about God (which I’ve done a lot). You just pick one attribute, one aspect of his character, one phrase, one day in the life and write about that. That really helped me. Who knows, maybe this will be the first of many?

More tackling the bridge lyrics on the tram home, and half an hour at Shabby Road to work on the music.

BTW – just to be clear I’ve still been writing every day. Just not posting. O Lamb Of God is finished. This song is nearly there.

Standing in the kebab shop afterwards I understood a little of what the Bible means when it says that God looked at his creation and saw that it was good.There are things in the world that weren’t there before. Creating things is awesome. Thank you God.

Download The Soundcheck Song – for free
Other free songs by Matt Blick