4 thoughts on “Somewhere Different Now

  1. So I clicked on “Music” here on your blog while I was listening to a recording of tonight’s gig, and what song was playing just as this page opened? “Somewhere Different Now.” Coincidence? Ha. You have great taste in music, along with an encyclopedic knowledge of many musical genres.

    • A happily harmonious confluence of events, that is…
      When i first posted this song, noting that there’s so much going on in it, i couldn’t help thinking about a person you told me of who saw it as too simplistic musically. To me what is so stirring is that the simple melody and chord structure interact with incredibly evocative metaphors in the lyrics, while the descant vocals and overall intensity build correspondingly.
      Great to see you here, Marie — thank you for the compliments!

  2. Well, that person could be me. I appreciate the confluence of words and music in your experience. Songs hold power as touchstones. I love to hear how one becomes a marker for an individual, or a couple. Song lyrics sail right past me and leave no mark. This song might end up in a Pandora playlist with something by Nick Drake or Iron and Wine due to common sonic characteristics but my druthers would choose either of them over this. More creative, more side road, more boundary stretching, more invested or asking me to invest more. De gustibus and all that. I believe it is that I am inclined towards the music of a tune and take a pass on the words, stopping short, I hope, of resenting the words’ intrusion. Must be quick to say that I love a cappella and that it attracts me independent of its tongue. Also understand the evocative nature of (textless) tone poems, program music, etc. as well as the sublime fitting of music to words in e.g Vaughan Williams’ G minor mass Credo “passus et sepúltus est” (died and was buried.)
    Maybe that’s what you mean? And at any rate, sharing music is hard to do with words. Have you read Sacks’ Musicophelia?

  3. Thank you for your comment, Jerry! I regret that i did not get back to responding to it sooner. I found all of it resonant and thought provoking.

    As it happens, the person i was referring to (who’d found the song structure too simple for his gustibus) wasn’t you.

    I like your word ‘touchstones’ for the the power songs can hold for ourselves and our stories.

    Instrumental pieces stir me deeply; movement and melody can carry me away, evoking profound emotion with no lyric signals needed. The boundary stretching qualities tend to be secondary for me, however; i am often amazed at how affecting the simplest (or seemingly simplest) structure can be.
    When you refer to investing, are you thinking of emotion, artistic complexity, both, neither, something else entirely?

    When lyrics are present, they draw my attention — and they can detract from the overall musical experience to the degree that i find them in some way unmatched to the chords, tempo and melody. On rare occasions, the musical satisfaction supersedes obtrusive lyrics (as with Girlyman’s “Everything’s Easy,” where the inane lyrics don’t enhance the mood; i disregard them in order to enjoy the rest).

    “…the sublime fitting of music to words…” Yes!! That is exactly what i mean! When each enhances and amplifies the other, i experience something more profoundly gratifying than i do via instrumentation alone.

    I have not read that Sacks book, but i think i will plan to! Your spelling of the title makes me think of a tune Hamlet’s love interest might hum… 🙂

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