If you’re a podcast listener you’ll probably be familiar with the two podcasts whose names I’ve mashed up for the purposes of this series of posts. I thought it apt because what I’d like to do is to give you an idea of my creative process (à la Song Exploder) as I actually work through it over the next few weeks and months (à la Serial) on a new song called “Wrestle With Giants”. 

 

At this point, if you’ve been if you’ve been following this blog series with unbridled anticipation for each new installment, you’ll hopefully think that the tune is sounding pretty filled-out at this point. As a songwriter, this is where it gets tricky because now I can start adding window dressing and ornamentation without the song really needing it. A certain degree of dressing and ornaments is nice but it starts getting easy to go overboard. Especially since the foundation of the song has been laid so it gets temptingly easy to just throw in a new part that doubles up or adds simple harmonies to something that already exists in the mix.

For “Wrestle With Giants” and the next iteration thereof, the ornamentation is drums and a brand new instrument I’ve never added into any of my previous songs: clarinet. One of the joys of marriage (well, my marriage) is the fact that my wife and I share the love of music, her being a talented musician who plays various instruments. At one point she was even in a wind band(IN a wind BAND…not IS a wind BAG). Now, I know very little about the clarinet. I know that it does lazy and plodding pretty good, but it also does frenetic and Jewish equally well. I also know my brother played it for a couple of years in grade school. All of which helps very little in telling me how I can add it to my song. I suppose this means I should proceed with caution…so I featured it front and centre in the song’s only solo. Thanks to my wife for navigating the three sharps in the sheet music.

Oh, the drum part was also interesting because the song is definitely quite loose in its flow and I never considered laying down some kit. However, after the song’s breakdown, it naturally builds to something, and surprisingly that something is a more steady rhythmic final chorus which lent itself well to drums.

A final note before the last installment of this series…

It’s pretty obvious that I’ve been purposely avoiding what the vocal melody of this song is. If you’re a songwriter and have been following these posts, I hope you’ve had some fun in coming up with your own melody then seeing how it compares to mine when I post the conclusion of this series (possibly the next post). If you’re feeling especially adventurous feel free to Voice Memo it and send it to me!

Without further ado, here is the penultimate version of Wrestle With Giants:

Blue Blue Satellite

 

 

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