Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Songs in His Heart


In through the ears, straight to the heart and up to the head. Music has that ability to stir us deep in our core. It evokes feelings - regret, sadness, longing, joy and peace. It reminds us of beginnings and endings, of firsts and lasts. Music is emotional.

When I first listened to Pictures by the Damien Cripps Band, the scene was set in my heart and mind. A warm summer breeze, the light of day dimming into night and the lighthearted conversations and laughter of friends effervescing around me on the patio. The positive feelings that are generated by that scenario work wonders in my heart - turning my jagged heart rhythms into smooth ones.

I have had the pleasure of several cyber chats with Damien. What has become apparent to me is that he works hard at doing something he loves. And, as is true of all who are skilled at what they do, he makes it appear effortless. He is a kind-hearted man who honours his word. He also uses his music to make a difference in the world by performing at charity events. Thank you for caring and sharing, Damien.

I'm always curious about the creative process and asked him about his own experiences.

When and where do you feel most inspired?

"Usually the most inspiration comes from other people and their reactions to situations. This makes me think about my own personal reaction to that situation. It allows me to take a first person view-point when writing."

Do you need certain conditions in order to write your music? (mood, special place?)

"I generally find it comes in periods of about three months - where I love everything I write. Strangely enough, the really good periods where what I consider to be the best stuff comes when I am emotionally charged, either positively or negatively - it doesn't matter. High on emotion, high on inspiration.

Location-wise - I do like to be on my own and I have to absolutely love the sound of whatever instrument I'm using.
(He plays piano and guitar and 'will work out how to play anything.') Outside usually doesn't work for me, the acoustics of a room provide a sound and ambience that keeps an idea different and moving along. I can't create a place to write - they occur randomly. I usually start with a theme or concept, then toy with lyrical options until I come up with what I think is a great starting point. Then, I develop a melody and add the instrumental part thereafter."

When is a song finished?

"I know that I am done when material I actually want to explore further stops coming."

To paraphrase Damien, it is a force that cannot be called upon at will. The act of wanting it, actually stops it. I've noticed that in my own writing. When I am in the flow, it feels as if the words stream out of my pen, without intervention from the brain. This isn't the case, though. It is the brain operating as it should, with the guidance of the heart, encouraging cortical facilitation.


He writes. He plays. He sings. He will soon be touring North America. Damien, when you get here, I'm holding you to that cup of coffee you were talking about!

Related post: Reverberational Effect

Image courtesy Robert Proksa

6 comments:

  1. This was very instructive. Now I know how to write a song. (My major was music.) I'll put that on my list. lol

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  2. Great interview Marianna. Very inspiring post. I hope to hear more about Damien.

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  3. BHB,
    If your list of things to read or explore is anything like mine, it's getting longer.

    Tell us more about your major. Sing, play an instrument, compose?

    Ramana,
    Thanks. I'm sure that we will be hearing more from Damien and his band.

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  4. I majored in (excuse this word) organ. I took piano lessons from 1st grade 'til I graduated from high school. I knew I wasn't crazy about piano, so when asked what I wanted to major in, I said organ. All of that was fine, but I like dance better.

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  5. Wonderful article on Damien. I know he is going to go far in the music world.
    Pictures is a song that won my heart on the first note and melted it by the time it finished.
    Susan
    www.renagadesrelics.com

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  6. Renegade,
    I have to agree with you there re. Damien's progress. I can see the momentum build on Twitter.

    So, with that melted heart of yours, Meltdown would be your next favourite? :)

    We do know a good thing when we see it, don't we?

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