Saturday, April 16, 2011

Are you alive?

A week or so ago in Songwriting Scene, Sharon Goldman talked about why she writes songs, and she invited her audience of songwriters to do the same. Responses included:

To emulate other great musicians.

To process and express emotions.

To heal.

To make people listen.

My answer was, To say things in a way I couldn’t in any other medium. To make connections. To make sense of things.

All true. All important. Yet, taken together they felt incomplete.

Today, while catching up on old blog posts, I ran across this from Hugh MacLeod of


When I write, I make something exist that didn't before. Noticing that a thought or idea could become a song, finding words and melodies and building on them, piece by tiny piece ... nothing else in the world feels like that feels.

Though I hadn't thought of it exactly this way before seeing Hugh's cartoon, bringing a song into being proves I'm alive.

What do you do to prove you're alive?


Jarry said...


I saw you had posted a comment on Sharons blog but wasn't sure it was directed to me or in general to all.
You ask, Are you alive? I think so after a life time of not feeling like I was. My music is the key. If anyone were to read or hear it than they would know pretty much my deepest feeling like the one I just did called, I Thought You Were My Friend. It's basically about people I thought were friends like teachers, preachers, ex wife and the like who, come to find out weren't and betrayed trust. A very personal song.
I listened to your music here and it is outstanding and your voice is just amazing. Thanks, Jarry

John Wenger said...

One of the things I do is study (and communicate) mathematics. That sounds deadly dull to those who have no idea of the beauty of the subject, but teasing out the secrets of the universe is a wonderful way of connecting one's intellect to the reasoning part of the universe. Everyone knows that if you start drawing a curve that starts below a line and ends up on top of it that you have to cross the line. But how do you prove it?

Anything that develops the intellect is a life-affirming activity.

Sharon Goldman said...

This is great, Susan! Glad one blog can inspire another...:)


DeppityBob said...

@John: even though I only understand maybe a tenth of what you describe in math, it's still undeniably passionate and you've never lost a bit of that passion. That's admirable.

@Susan: that's a interesting perspective. I'm going to think long on this. A friend said to me years ago that according to an expert, Skinner I think, there are two types of people: those who love life and those who love death. I was described as someone who loves life and that pisses him off. He had a point. :)

cinderkeys said...

@Jarry: Thanks for listening and contributing. Is any of your music online?

@Dad: I can understand how someone could get the same feeling out of math, even though I lack the comprehension to get that myself.

@Sharon: Thanks for the original post. :)

@Dep: B. F. Skinner? Was he allowed to describe people in terms of anything but behavior? Anyhow, keep loving life, even if that pisses you off. ;)

Jarry said...

@Susan, I have nothing posted on the web. I am not really a performing singer/songwriter. I am having trouble posting to be honest. I am simply a writer who sings for himself. it would be nice to share and perhaps I would share with someone for a critique but for now it is all in me. Sounds selfish huh!!!

cinderkeys said...

Hey, no need to apologize. When I started writing songs, I couldn't even sing. I had to look for people to sing them for me. The difficulty I had doing that became the main reason I learned to sing myself. :)

Jarry said...

Hey, Thanks for that... I suppose it will be the reason I do the same. The desire to do the music is just to great to let it fall to the wayside because I am insecure about my singing. I have a desire to feel alive. Music is my way of doing that.