Feb 24, 2015

Song Travels: Introduction

Song travels.

It is a living, growing, wild thing.

It travels through the soul: the wondrous architecture of the mind and the restless backcountry of the heart. As our personal stories go, so lives a song. Parts of it may stay the same, but other aspects inevitably change. To the artist, the creative starting point—the spark: the memory or emotion that conceived the work—may never really change. It is the foundation. Yet if the song aims to engage real life, it will and must grow. For growth is the mark of life. Such transformation is what I believe defines great art.

Copyright Joshua D. Grubb
For the best of songs, like the healthiest of relationships, new layers of meaning will be added along the way. Inspiration matures into revelation. Revelation guides toward vision—toward action. Action may return to the starting point with new eyes. Wisdom will hopefully result. The cycle continues. As life unravels its choice mysteries to the adventurous and attentive, great art can offer a widening lens of understanding. This can be true for the artist and patron alike. While it certainly does not happen with a majority of songs, it is certainly possible.

To me, the music of Andrew Bird is an example of this beautiful evolution—this shared journey between artist and patron.

Granted, it is a very subjective relationship. One song will resonate with someone, but not another. One person will cherish the song as a gift while another will treat it as a commodity. The artist cannot really control the outcome, but he can offer the gift. Like a personal journal entry, a song’s history alone will sustain some level of meaning, even if only for the creator. But ultimately, it needs the movement—the fresh, vibrant air—of people to continue living and cultivating it as a gift in the life of community.

That, at least, is my aim in writing this series. I wish to expound on why certain songs—songs that I have written and composed—seek to be gifts from me to you by revealing their history: past, present, and possibly future. I will offer you a glimpse into each song’s story, in other words. For, to me, a song is meant to welcome others into a movement. Its journey is richest when tracing the intersecting pathways of human life. I invite you to share in that with me.

Song travels. It connotes both movement and a narrative larger than any one song—a chapter into the soul: mine and yours.

Will you follow?

Read about “Follow Me”, the first song examined in this series.

1 comment:

Ramona said...

This is so true. Sometimes a song may not mean too much to me in one season of life but then in another it can be trigger for so many thoughts and emotions. And isn't it interesting how on song can bring back 1000 memories?