Ideas Become the Wire Frame for Making

I spent part of yesterday putting some finishing touches up on a new song I have been writing, in hopes of having the pieces in place to share with my band — Duke Rushmore — at our practice. Some songs, I can hear in the band, even as I am writing them, even though I know my friends will take the song in directions I probably can’t hear. I am comfortable letting the song go in places I did not imagine. Other songs … just never make the leap from my head to the band to the stage.

Last night, I pulled this new song — You Can Hold On if You Want To — out, and we played it for about 30 minutes, tinkering with parts and talking through dynamics and trying to get a feel for it, and it all began to fit together quite nicely. The lead singer was not there, so I took on the vocal duties instead of working on a saxophone part. The best part of the evening was when I was handing out the lyric sheet, and the drummer sat down and said:

I love that we get to be the first ones to see your songs. It’s like opening up a present.  I’ve seen a lot of your songs over the years and every time, it’s exciting to wonder what might happen.

If we didn’t play another note or song in practice, I would have been fine after a comment like that. His words show the connection and passion that we have for music and for friendship and for making something special, together. The songs I write (and others write, too) get shaped by the band, so that the song becomes “ours.”

As songwriters, we just bring in the wire frame. (In animation, the wire frame is the basic mock structure that things are built on or around, to make movement)

If I can take a leap here, moving from making music to developing a learning process, I think this is a sort of metaphor for the best of the Making Learning Connected MOOC. Lots of people are bringing ideas to the table, and others in the community/network are transforming those ideas into something new. Or collaborating together.

The ideas are the wire frame, and we are all building and exploring off of it. It’s like a jam session of possibilities. Take a riff and build a song. Make something interesting today.

Peace (in the muse),

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  1. It is cool that you have a band to ‘prototype’ your creations. A grand feeling. Most of us don’t have this very happy wireframe to structure their creativity. We all need at bare minimum someone who will at the very least look at the sheet music we have made. A witness if not an audience. Going beyond that to someone who will play along in your band, well…some of us have no one to fulfill that essential role. That is why I have such strong feelings about reciprocation. If you are playing the infinite game, then that reciprocation is the bare minimum ante. If you are playing the finite game then you win just by getting people’s attention like a celebrity. There is no back and forth. I need to remember that I am not in this game to win but keep on playing. Process is the practice and practice is the process. In other words we jam and riff (process) not because we must (infinite play) but because wish to share and learn (practice). Thanks for providing a space for that here in the comments.

    Anti spam today: stayed re. The deer stayed, re the coyote nearby with cool readiness to run.

    • I consider myself lucky .. that I have a band of collaborators to play music with and that I have collaborators like you and others to play ideas with.

  2. I started listening to your song… then SoundCloud kept playing… I am listening to my most beautiful radio station ever! Thank you so much!

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