Rediscovering my Sound: Unexpected Songwriting Styles

Greetings music lovers,

In this blog post, I invite you to join me on a sonic adventure as I explore the evolution of my songwriting style during my recent(ongoing?) period of obscurity. Life’s demands and external factors have shaped my journey in unexpected ways, leading me to discover new sounds and genres. Today, I’ll share with you my experiences of rediscovering my voice and redefining the boundaries of my music.

Unforeseen Combinations

Embracing new musical territories has been an exciting endeavor, leading me to explore sonic soundscapes I hadn’t originally planned on traversing. While folk and alt-country have been my musical roots for years, my growing confidence with digital composition and experimentation in Logic Pro X through sampling and production, and a newfound appreciation for VST instruments and plugins, has infiltrated my creative process and introduced some electronic elements where none previously existed. These unexpected genre fusions have unlocked new dimensions of creativity and expression within my music.

How have these diverse influences transformed my sound and expanded the palette of emotions I can convey through my songs?

My current home studio setup

Embracing Serendipity

Some of the most beautiful creations arise from unexpected moments of inspiration. Over the past few years, I have allowed myself the freedom to indulge in spontaneous songwriting sessions, incorporating technology in addition to organic flow.

See my songwriting parameter generator, which has since evolved further.

These unscripted moments have become a testament to the artistic growth that continues to occur. By embracing serendipity and letting my creative instincts guide me, I have discovered an authentic representation of my artistic evolution.

How have these unplanned songs and unfiltered moments of creativity become a true reflection of my musical journey?

Stay tuned for the next post in this reflection series, where I delve into the concept of relevance and address the doubts that lingered during my absence from releasing music.

I have a songwriting itch. A creative hole in my pocket. I want to fill it up with new musical ideas and songs but I’m worried that nothing will stick. I want to do things in a different way. At the same time, I’m a stickler for processes and methodology. This brings me to part two of this blog series. In this edition, I’m giving you a gift – my songwriting parameter generator! Hopefully somebody out there in internet land will find it useful. If you do, please get in touch. 🙂

The Songwriting Parameter Generator

I’ve spent the past month or so concocting some ideas on how to streamline the songwriting process. My idea – Randomisation. But I didn’t just want to make the process simpler by randomising elements of an unwritten song. I also wanted to force myself to implement elements/parameters that I wouldn’t usually include/use. Enter, the songwriting parameter generator.

Like many creators, I am forever at the mercy of my past experiences. In this case, those are listening experiences. We create things similar to that which we have absorbed; either subliminally or consciously. At the same time, many of us very easily fall into the safe notion of comfort. There is nothing wrong with comfort. There is, however, an issue with embedded repetition. I’m talking about the kind of repetition where excitement, innovation and exploration have been replaced with expectation and routine.

In later posts, I’ll go into more depth, detailing my (fast evolving) process and how this generator fits into the puzzle. In the meantime, feel free to give it a go. Here’s how it all looks:

songwriting parameter generator
Songwriting Parameter Generator

Basic instructions:

  1. Open the file and select ‘Enable Macros’.
  2. You can choose to generate one parameter at a time or do the whole lot with one click.
  3. I’m not exactly a ‘programmer’. This is the first thing that I’ve coded (besides aspects of this website) since high school. If you encounter any issues or bugs, feel free to either get in touch using the contact form or make a comment on this post.
  4. Make music!

The parameters that I’ve made available for selection as part of the randomisation are:

Songwriting Parameters for randomisation

Unfortunately, I’m unable to share Macro-enabled Excel Spreadsheets in WordPress. Here’s a link to the file from my Google Drive:

Any feedback or suggestions? Let me know.

These past 18months have been really difficult. Like all musicians, the pandemic has affected me and my creative output. Gigs were cancelled; creativity and motivation at an all time low. I also had COVID about a month ago, which wasn’t devastating. But wasn’t pleasant either. In fact, as I write this post, my lingering cough and course voice won’t seem to go away…
Further from above, I am also currently extremely time poor. I’m working a full time (demanding) job with a young family but my musical and creative needs yearn to be satisfied. These issues are snowballing alongside a deep-down longing to do something different, innovative – at least as far as my own creative processes go.

I’m currently shaping a songwriting process. One that is more reliant on the DAW, which seeks to use it as an instrument, as a tool. To support this process, I’ve also worked some magic in Excel and created a random parameter generator. Here’s a screenshot:

I’ll go into more depth about this process and attach a copy of this file in case anyone is keen to use it in their own songwriting with a post later on. For now, I just had to get the ball rolling… Had to get some of these thoughts out into the open.

Stay tuned.