The first phrase came to me last summer.
I’ve been spending a lot of time this summer and fall writing on a text. Actually lyrics. Lyrics to music composed by a young man I have known since before he was born. He and his brothers kind of grew up with Trouble & Trouble and for the longest time they all believed they were cousins.
Anyway, this young man is a very talented musician, singer and composer, and this one piece of music is written for choir. It is without words and feels a lot like film music. To me, it was just begging for a story to tell. And I wanted to tell it.
And the first phrase came last summer. I say came, because that’s what happened. There it was. And it was in English.
Than nothing happened. And a year has passed.
The piece is quit long, about eight minutes. And divided into different parts. A progressive work of music. I new which story I wanted to tell. It wasn’t an easy one. So the combination of me being very busy and dreading to dive in to the subject I had in mind has postponed a focused dedication. But on my summer 2016 list was “writing the lyrics if I want to”. And it turned out I wanted to.
Lying in my sun chair at the west wall facing the fields up the forest, I have allowed the music filling me and I started to feel which part would be telling what. It was funny though. That first phrase in English turned out to be the title of the song, and the entrance of what I call The beautiful part. Then other parts, like the Prologue, wanted to be written in Swedish! Which didn’t work of course. So I actually had to force it into English.
Which might be why I have been struggling so hard with the language. Or it’s just that my English isn’t good enough. This is the first time I am writing to someone else's music in English, that might also be a reason.
I can sense though, writing my blog every week, that my English is the opposite to improving. It’s obvious how my four year long Seattle absence and the lack of my extremely verbal and articulate friends as well as English tutors is working for the worst.
The story of the song is to me emotionally intense. And to find the exact right words and way of putting them, likewise impassioned. And difficult. I feel poor. I feel like I am trying to write in a language where I am not fluent. Like German. Or I have little knowledge of. Like Italian. I feel limited and restricted. Actually a lot like when being in an intense discussion with my Seattle friends perceiving myself as a child never quite reaching the grown up level.
So, imagine the joy when the right word is arriving! When the sentence rings of the right voice! When the paragraph is expressing the very same feeling I am sensing inside me! When the story is becoming rhythmical and complete!
I am getting there… I sent the first full version to my composer friend last night, exhausted and worn out from squeezing my life out of me. There it was. One part added on to the next. The Prologue. The Dance. The bridge. The Beautiful Part. The Last Waltz. And the Epilogue.
It’s taken me the summer. Fall arrived for real this week, but today has been one more really pleasant Sunday. So once again I was seated in my sun chair, now going over the full version. A Stoltergården Arnold Palmer at the side board, I would think the last one for this season. Found the lines still not fluent. The bumps. The stops. The ones out of tune. Oh the bliss as I searched inside me one more time and found the chord in harmony! There are still bumps though. But I will eliminate them eventually. I will find the perfect pitch and tell my story fluently. Find the words making my story sing.