October 2nd, 2015
“Be quiet more. Listen to the earth instead of building things on it all the time.” -from Neither Wolf Nor Dog
“If only you’d remember before ever you sit down to write that you’ve been a reader long before you were ever a writer. You simply fix that fact in your mind, then sit very still and ask yourself, as a reader, what piece of writing in all the world you would most want to read if you had your heart’s choice. The next step is terrible, but so simple I can hardly believe it as I write it. You just sit down shamelessly and write the thing yourself.” -from Seymour: An Introduction
Remember that before you were writing songs for a band you were a listener. What do you want to hear? Sing that.
Owls? Yes, we like to hear owls too. They don’t need our songs. Go quietly into the night. Learn to sing their song back to them and sometimes this will inspire one to come close (See: How To Spot An Owl by Patricia Talyor Sutton and Clay Sutton). That is your applause if you need. One night you may listen for owls and hear coyotes instead. Well done! The earth abounds with melody and rhythm even as the soundtrack of the landscape begins to quiet down with the changing of the season. Even as the song of the wild world is drowned out with civilized noise.
Two links shared in the spirit of listening:
1) A recent episode of John Zerzan’s radio show. Around 5 or so minutes into the program he reads from a new essay of his all about listening.
2)Joanna Newsom is releasing a new album called Divers on October 23. All of her music is worth attentive and repeated listening! Here is the first single from it:
“For a songwriter, you don’t really go to songwriting school; you learn by listening… Any place is good for eavesdropping, if you know how to eavesdrop.” -Tom Waits