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.
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.