So, I’m not back in the flow again, but I have a good strategy. Since I cannot bring myself to touch the piano yet – don’t ask me why – I just listen to some good old music (the lesson being that one should never underestimate the importance of input). I simply put my iTunes on RANDOM, and let it play whatever. It can be anything from Laura Nyro to Webern to Caetano Veloso. I’m terribly inspired by Swedish musicians Rebecka Törnqvist and Stina Nordenstam. Rebecka’s two last albums I listen to a lot. She has also made a cover album of Steely Dan songs with Sara Isaksson. Have a listen to this album if you can, it’s incredible!! It’s called FIRE IN THE HOLE. Steely Dan is my favourite band, so hearing these to fantastic women interpret some of the best songs written (yep, I’m serious) makes me shiver with pleasure. I also listen a lot to Judee Sill, Steely Dan (bien sûr), Andrew Bird, the last album of Natalie Merchant, Nancy Griffith, Sondre Lerche, and also Kate Rusby, Lina Nyberg (a great Swedish jazz vocalist. She’s done a bossa album with texts translated into Swedish, it’s so beautiful..)
I suppose that what I have realized lately is that listening to music is what gives me the ideas. I cannot pick them out of thin air, just like that. It may sound very banal to everyone, but I never new that having listening sessions was so important.
Also, I try not to push myself too hard. If a week goes by, and I haven’t written anything, it’s not that big of a deal. If I tell myself that “it’s not good enough”, I just get anxious and stop writing all together. When I keep cool, and sort of invite the songs to come to me, they just appear. Very often this is when I’m doing ordinary everyday stuff like doing the dishes, having a shower, or pee. It can be a phrase or an image. Sometimes I’m able to write it down, and sometimes I loose it. Sometimes I wake up at night. Sometimes I’m on the metro, and a sentence keeps repeating itself to me, and I take it and repeat it to myself, like a mantra.
Periods like this will always come I guess, periods when one is drying up and don’t feel like one has the energy, the will or the determination to turn on the computer or touch the guitar or the piano.
Today I have been through Katy Lied and Brasilien & Lina Nyberg. Tomorrow, after lunch, I’ll put on the headphones again, and hopefully I’ll soon make friends with the piano again.