Sing a melody and everyone around you could be playing it to a different beat in his/her head.
That’s what I realised after making my latest half-yearly appearance on my ccMixter (ccM) page. (In case you are wondering, ccM is a Creative Commons-licensed music-sharing site and home to an international music-loving community.)
The combination of Campbell’s vivid writing and Meryl Streep’s exemplary acting set me thinking: what could have gone through a person’s mind – and a famously tough one – when she was faced with naysayers and obstacles in her path to the top?
So I wrote a song.
The title, “Heart of Steel”, is admittedly nothing creative for a song inspired by a book and a film about a lady with a metallic nickname.
It’s not a political commentary, just a song about an imaginary emotional world of a person. This person could be anybody.
In our quotidian lives, we too would come across people who do not share our dreams and beliefs, challenge us or even try to put us down. I’m not doing a poll here but my guess is that there could perhaps be some kind of universal experience shared by those determined souls who doggedly pursue their dreams and succeed against all odds.
Anyway, when the Muse visits, he would usually present me with either the lyrics or the melody each time. It’s always one or the other, but they hardly appear together. So I was somewhat excited when the lyrics and melody came to me together this time. This is definitely a rarer occurrence than the transit of Venus happening next week.
And so, I recorded this vocal track on my iMac with an imaginary piano playing in my head. (No, I still can’t play any instrument decently.) I had to keep my imaginary accompaniment simple; it can get rather confusing when I record a cappella stems without any real music track.
Not long after posting the stems on ccM, I received two pleasant surprises.
This is amazing.
The beauty of music mesh-ups is that you can’t predict what you’re going to get when you share your music. And it is intriguing how people could come up with songs that sound so different when they are presented with the same raw materials.
I don’t know how this works in our brains.
One thing’s for sure: this world gets a lot more musically interesting when we share the songs playing silently in our heads.