Today was my first songwriting tutorial with one of the university lecturers for my final year project. I hadn't met this lady before and I had no idea we would click so well! She spoke softly like honey and she made me feel like there was nothing wrong in the world when we spoke.
I've had a few songwriting lessons at uni before, and they've always started out like kind of therapy sessions -- in the best way possible! It's pretty similar in some ways - someone sitting across from you writing notes about what you say, mainly on the things that make you feel, think, write, whatever. They ask questions to try and get to know you a bit, and in my case, everything just spills out - no filter - and in going through almost every facet of a-day-in-my-life, I start to look at things in my life slightly differently. More positive, because of the caring atmosphere this lovely lady has created for me.
Still, upon realising the bullshit I've just forced this new acquaintance to sit through, I start up one of my new songs that I've been producing for the new album on my computer. I don't know what I was expecting before I experienced her reaction but I didn't expect the brief silence that came after the song finished.
'It's beautiful' she said eventually. She was basically speechless. I was speechless too. I usually receive pretty positive reactions when I play my new music to other people in a personal setting like this one, but for a university lecturer and professional songwriter to have such a reaction, makes me so hopeful way less insecure about my songwriting abilities! She gave me some structural and arrangement tips and then I moved on to show her the next song.
This first session was just showing her what I had to offer and boiling the music down to why and how - two things that I've learned to always remember when songwriting. First - Why am I telling this story, narrative, why am I writing this word and this phrase, and second - How can I put it so I'm not saying more than I need to, but saying enough to convey the message and emotion.
Anyway, we carried on talking about music, love, life, pain, all the feely shit and then our time was up. I said how great it was to meet her and so did she -- I think she really meant it as well which made me happy. She was so tall, she was so pretty, and I can't wait to see her again.
I've learned today that, if someone tells you your music is beautiful, or says anything positive about you at all, trust that it is coming from a genuine place, and carry those good feelings that they're giving you to sleep, through the night, and on to the next day.