I recently had a wonderful, fun experience that I wanted to share with you. A young composer I know, and a young singer, both with great talent, contacted me early this summer and asked me if I would be willing to write lyrics for them for some original songs. Initially, my reaction was that it would be too complicated. The composer lives in Paris, the singer in London, and I float around between Paris and the States, California and New York. And I had never done anything like this before, but after some hesitation (not sure if I could do it), I decided to give it a whirl.
First, I wrote some poems in French, then the composer showed me how to break them into ‘couplets’ (in French, which tell the story), then I added the refrain. The number of beats in each couplet, and the refrain, were very important. It was a whole new language of creativity for me, which made it that much more exciting to work on. Meanwhile, the composer worked on music to go with what I’d written (and I love his music!!). We’re still working on it, and I love all that I’m learning. I wrote the lyrics in French, and then translated them into English as well, and the composer created music to go with my words. And on the last song, he wrote the music, and I tailored the lyrics to work with it. This has been so much fun, and so educational for me. What a fascinating process, and whereas my normal work is so solitary, this is a real collaboration, and it’s so much fun to work on this together, and have company (the composer) while I do it. I hope the final result is good.
For now, we have a very rough version of one song, on CD, with both lyrics and music, in French. The composer still needs to polish up the music, and do the arrangements, and the singer needs to rehearse what we’ve done. In time, we will make proper recordings of all these songs, with full implementation of music and lyrics, in both languages. It is REALLY exciting for me. It has been a very exciting process, and a real joy to work in collaboration with two very talented people. We made 5 songs in all, and will do polished recordings of them. I try to take a break from writing in the summer, so this was a perfect time for me to work on it.
Anyway, I wanted to share that with you. The young composer spent hours with me, working on these songs. He brought a portable electric keyboard, and we sat at my kitchen table, working on all the songs. I had an absolutely terrific time doing it—–and I hope you’ll be hearing more about these songs soon!!! The sounds of music were echoing in my kitchen this summer!!!!!!