Friday, February 27, 2015

When Songwriting Looks Easy

I craned my neck and ears through the receptionist's window to hear exactly what was going on. Whatever happened to one-way glass?

Strumming an easy volley of chords, Reid was writing a song. What?

By himself. Independently. Smoothly.

Not in fits and starts. Not heavily prompted. No carrots dangling.

You may wonder why this is news. Reid has a musician Facebook page, his own website and is about to release Purple Party, his first full-length CD of original songs. But this was different.

Angela wasn't helping. She was watching...and recording it.

She wasn't providing brilliant scaffolding, fill-in-the-blank prompts, or the chord structure. She didn't have the collaborative agenda that made Purple Party possible. Her heavily lifting wasn't happening.

It had been done, make no mistake, in regular weekly doses over the past ten years during their music therapy sessions. She had worked diligently to create the space for this magical moment. That sounded effortless.


Reid extemporized a second verse:

Its time for you to go home and sleep...
What are your dreams for tonight? 
Thank you for coming and...
Goodnight Angela

"What about Emma (the watchful intern)?" was Angela's only reply.

Here's for you Emma. Goodbye Emma
Have a good night sleep...you don't have any school 
But if you do...make it a good day. 
I'll see you next week at Angela's

"What about Leah (the receptionist outside the closed session room door)?" Okay, maybe Angela was prompting a bit.

Good night Leah
I hope you have a good night
See you next Thursday
I love you, Lelah


Had all the Talk Time interviews about songwriting – with Steve Denyes and Babbie Mason and Angela herself – affirmed and anchored in him what she had been developing all these years? Perhaps.

A tongue twisting bridge emerged like one of those compounding juvenile picture books:

Goodbye Angela Emma Lelah and Reid...

It was easy, like Sunday morning or Michael Buble in a lounge act.


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