Songwriting as therapy.

I’ve never really thought of songwriting as therapy. I know that may sound strange, but it’s true. Songs have always been something that I’ve made to listen to, always hearing things from the perspective of an audience member.

A very big and important part of my musical training involved tonal imagination and visualization. Before you perform, you should hear and see the performance in your mind. It’s an incredibly powerful technique, and as you get better at it, the results deepen exponentially.

But I’ve discovered something about this skill that I didn’t really understand until this weekend, when I sat down and wrote a new song out of nowhere, very, very quickly, a song that I find is haunting my mind now that it’s here.

It took me years to learn how to keep the editor out of the room while the writer was working. I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping the former at bay while the latter generates some work for him to do in the near future.

But I hadn’t noticed that I’ve been placing myself squarely in the audience of my mind during the songwriting process.

These new songs that I’ve written have allowed me to move back up to the stage, to fully exist in that space while I create, and only move to the audience when it’s time to listen to what I’ve written. Or maybe a subconscious decision to move back up to the stage has allowed me to write these songs. Either way, the only thing that matters is that the songs are now officially coming directly from me to you, without separation.

It illuminates a basic problem all musicians face, a problem that when solved blows the doors off and opens an entire universe of possibility.

Music is not meant to be merely heard or listened to.

Music is meant to be experienced, to be felt.

Music is meant to be lived. It is meant to be life.