February Album Writing Month Rides Again

Tomorrow begins a month-long exercise in artistic immersion.

I’ve been participating in February Album Writing Month (FAWM) since 2006, making this my 13th year. (I missed the first year it went public, but I’m still one of the Old Folks in the forums.) Nearly every song I’ve ever written has been born in February. For a while I wrote throughout the year, partly because I couldn’t afford to shut down all my other activities during February.

It wasn’t the same, though. Writing three songs in a week isn’t the same depth of immersion as writing 14 (or 30, like last year) in 28 days. Now that my schedule allows it (thanks to Best Beloved who loves my art) I’m back to diving in unrestrained.

Except tomorrow, when we’ll be taking the Little One to Tucson to spend a few days with her sister. But I’ll bet I can write a song on the drive. Maybe she’ll even play the ukulele while I record it.


Laminated Map of the World

I wanted to write a follow-up to my 12-minute epic Arabic trance mandolin piece from a few years ago.

This feels a bit like ordering whiskey and getting lemonade. I like lemonade, once I roll it around in my mouth a wee bit. Still ain’t whiskey.

http://www.freeimages.com/photo/antique-world-map-1153206

Continue reading “Laminated Map of the World”


Adding Music to the Mix

Joel playing a tin whistle in IrelandIt’s time for me to start making and sharing good quality recordings of my music. This year, the first post each month will focus on music rather than mysteries. I hope that’s okay with you. If not, I’ll see you on the second Friday of each month, eh?

Most of the existing recordings are rough demos, recorded within minutes of the song’s birth primarily to allow me to learn them again when I start performing them.

And then, when I play them live for a while, they grow and change.

Those are the versions I want to record.

This one came out pretty good on the first try, though I need to back off on the bass a wee bit and kill the bad drum bit.

Listen to I Wish I Had a Ukulele (lyrics below)

Are you interested in folky-rocky-country kinds of music, the stuff we now all Americana?

Lyrics

In case you like this sort of thing. I know I do.

I Wish I Had a Ukulele

Oh baby, I wish I had a ukulele
Driving me crazy
I wish I had a ukulele

My mandolin is in the same sonic range
But any acoustical engineer will tell you it’s just not the same
Oh baby, I wish I had a ukulele

I’ve got a piano
It’s actually an electronic keyboard
A friend bought when he went on vacation
So he wouldn’t be bored
We all know a piano makes a mahvelous sound
And every songwriter should have one around
But baby, I wish I had a ukulele

Bridge
My bass is like a musical anchor
I can play it night and day without the slightest bit of rancor
Those drums in the corner, I can’t do much with ’em
But I know they come in handy when you’re laying down a rhythm

Oh baby, I wish I had a ukulele
Driving me crazy
I wish I had a ukulele

Like many of you I’ve got a guitar
There’s a parlor size you can play pretty much wherever you are
But baby, I wish I had a ukulele

Oh baby, I wish I had a ukulele
Driving me crazy
I wish I had a ukulele



Intent

Silently watching through the window as you play
Intent that every single note says exactly what you have to say

Will it disquiet you to know I hear your song?
I think about how lovely it would feel if you would only let me play along

I love you so
So here I go

I boldly strum the strings to let you know I’m there
You gently change your tune to let me know you care

I love you so
So here we go


all@sea

sometimes it seems I’m all at sea with you
but in my dreams, all I see is you
your tide gives me a lift
then you set my heart adrift
then I’m wading through the foaming waves to shore, just sure you’re waiting there

sometimes it seems I’m all at sea with you
sometimes it seems I can’t agree with you
but I love you just the same
and that’s why you share my name
but sometimes it seems I’m all at sea with you