First gather a list of titles - which are really shorthand themes. Then you have to establish a wee magnetic field - in this way. You switch on the drum machine and find a jerky old pattern that the rhythm of the words can adhere to in some way. Then you switch on the synth and find a three or four note melody that seems to have some appropriate resonance with the title.(Full interview at Electronically Yours, posted 17 May 2010)
This is the main theme - I always see it as a sort of mysterious cinematic intro.
If all the foregoing meshes well enough, it will exert a magnetic attraction for other phrases - so, gradually you accumulate the nucleus of a song. Then you can begin to arrange it all.
Once you establish a main theme, the whole thing runs like a movie. In come the characters, they interact in some way and something is thereby revealed which is unexpected and rewarding and you hope has some universal emotional resonance.
Then circumstances are resolved - or not, and we go out on the main theme again. If you do this well enough, you now have a small universe with its own internal logic that you can adjust delicately over the rest of your life.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Is It All Done With Magnets?
Use key words as magnets to create a field that attracts other phrases. That's electronic music pioneer John Foxx's secret for constructing lyrical language. He explains: