The Tor Guides

Songwriting – where do the hits come from?

In Okategoriserade on 25 May, 2011 at 17:08

I May I spent a week in the lovely surroundings of southern Gotland, a Swedish  island in the midst of the Baltic Sea. The purpose of my stay was, as I had understood it, to retreat, i.e. get back in ordinary mental and physical shape, and to write some good music. All in all we were 18 participants from all over Europe and even the US. However, we never got around to do much retreating, I and my newly found friends from faraway places, as the great Wellingtons would have put it, instead got down to some serious songwriting – as it turned out, all of the highest quality.

I have always been suspicious when people talk of the creative process as a 9 to 5 job, where the writer or the musician just sits down and forces himself or herself to “let it all flow”. Still we used that method to a certain extent. We met up every morning and were then assigned different tasks – for instance a song with a given title, a song with a rhythmic hook, etc. – that would open our minds and inspire us to write great music and lyrics. Then, in the evening we all shared our newly written music and described our different creative processes to one another. You should try it out!

I suppose if you put creative people in an environment that manages to keep the world at a distance and open up your mind, anything can happen. In our case, we all travelled to this distant place for inspiration, some from places far away, but I believe I would´ve gotten the same results from a similar environment near by – maybe the odd walk in the forest would be enough? In any case, the songs just kept on coming and coming…

The photo above is from all the lovely participants and the three supervisors, with american Brett Perkins keeping it all together. So, if you´re into serious songwriting – don´t knock a good environment, with the cell phone turned off, and a fellow song writer nerd just around the corner to help you sort any kind of problem!



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