Songcraft: Still

Exploring the emotional center of a song


We can talk extensively about the mechanics of a song as we did in the previous episode of Songcraft. That can be useful, but focusing exclusively on this is to mistake the reflection of the moon in the millpond for the moon itself. Music is perhaps the best vehicle we have for externalizing an emotion, capturing it in a repeatable form that can be revisited and shared with others over and over again. A song without an emotional center is a lifeless thing. In this episode, I want to share a very personal song that I wrote during what was probably the most difficult emotional period of my life. I want to share a little more about how this song happened and what it gave back to me.

For me, music operates on many different levels depending on whether I’m listening or playing. Often when I’m really struggling emotionally, I will go to music. If I can’t play or sing during these moments because I am too overwhelmed, I will seek out something to listen to that gives me what I need. Last week I shared a playlist of songs that speak to me when I’m in a particularly melancholy mood or longing for something I can’t quite articulate.

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