Lyrics perceived as sound
It took me many years to find my approach to write lyrics.
I find it very hard to explain. I perceive the world through sound. For me, everything is sound. Even if it’s obviously not, I’d be sure I hear something. A situation, a tiny moment, a picture, a painting, a feeling or a face: They all sound and that’s the main sense I’m focused on.
Once I visited an art gallery with deeply moving paintings by Ferdinand Hodler. I was so tired that day that at first I needed to rest on a bench and worried already that I’d come in vain. But when I tried again to dive into the world of Hodlers’ paintings emotions started to flow. Then I heard the sound of each shape and color he’d painted. One big symphony perceived by my eye and translated with my ears…
Do you know this feeling, experiencing your life by hearing?
My trouble with lyrics
My deep addiction to sound disabled me for many years to focus as well on the content of a song, not only on the sound. I loved many songs I was listening to as a child. The Show Must Go On by Queen, or Smells like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. Great songs. And I never even thought about the content. Weird you think? Well, I wouldn’t blame ye!
My sound focus was so thorough that I believed for many that I just wasn’t a person who’d be able to create a text, a poem or something… I did write letters, all kinds of! Very emotional ones indeed! But poems? I wasn’t talented I told myself, other people would do such things.
When I started to dive into the world of rock music in 2015, songwriting became an issue for me. But still I believed that I’d just not be the kind of “text guy”. Soon a long and adventurous journey started that opened my eyes slowly. It became clear to me that it wasn’t at all about if I’d be this “talented” guy or not, but truly about what my very own approach to lyrics would be and how I’d be able to find my own way of creating lyrics myself.
Lyrics to express myself
Today I believe that truly everybody can write lyrics. For me it’s not about good or bad lyrics. Every human being speaks to communicate. Words are there to express our needs, feelings, love, anger and to reach all our goals by communicating, by connecting. Express yourself. Well, like everything else we’ll improve by practicing. That’s what I realised when I started to write text more often.
And then English! Years ago I’d never believed how quick and fluent I’d write an English song today. Of course there’s a difference between my German and English abilities, no doubt. Still, some ideas that pop up in my ear, head, guts or whatever, just don’t sound in German, they must be written in English. So I practiced. Frequent use of a dictionary, regular reading and watching movies helped me to find my flow.
Of course I want to create good songs.
The judgment what that means would differ a lot between each person, I guess. For me it means to find a most direct way to express myself, to express my sound. So, first of all, I’m searching for words that sound the way I need my song to sound. Secondary comes the meaning. Not unimportant at all! But still secondary. If the meaning would confuse slightly but the sound is great: That could work for a song of mine. But never the other way around.
What I consider my best songs unite this to qualities: Sound and meaning become one.
Whatever your direction is, whatever your own priorities: I deeply hope to encourage you to choose your very own way of how words work and sound for you. Naturally I’d be delighted to inspire you with the lyrics I wrote so far.
Some of them you’ll find here. More will follow frequently.
If you want to listen to performances of my lyrics you’re welcome to visit my Youtube-channel!