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Monday, 25 January 2016

On Going Away.

It's ten past six in the evening here in Mumbai. The sun is starting to set, and there are bits of colour and light starting to play on the glass and metal of the skyscrapers across from me. I still can't get over how familiar it all feels. It's a lot more crowded and busy than I'm used to - but we are spending all our time in the city. I've always preferred the country myself, but there you go. And now I'm in a city with a population that rivals that of Australia! It just keeps going. 

When you go to another country, you might think that you'll miss the little things - little luxuries and such. For here, things like hot showers, clean water, and easily communicating with people are not given. Neither is silence! Good luck finding that anywhere here. I've also found it strange how hard it is to get a decent keyboard pedal. So many places just don't have them at all. (This is why I prefer pianos.)

What you actually miss most, though, is your family and your friends. The people that you leave behind. And even though you know you'll see them again soon, and your time here is limited and you should enjoy it while you can - you still find yourself wishing you were back home with them. Even with everything that's happening here. You know that you're here for a reason, and a purpose - but you miss people. You really do. 

I suppose it's also something I'm reflecting on because when I get back home, I'm moving out. And, if I can help it, hopefully I'll be able to make it permanent. One thing at a time, though. But I know how much I'm going to miss seeing my family. I'm not moving that far away, and I'll still see them round. But it won't quite be the same. 

Eleven days can't pass fast enough. 

Monday, 11 January 2016

Day 30 - Begin Again

And finally! We're at Day Thirty! Phew. Nearly didn't make it. This last one is about writing and writer's block; I thought this an apt name for such a song. And on piano! Rather happy that I managed to squeeze another one of those in there. Quite happy with how this song turned out. Got a nice suspended chord happening in the right, with a moving bass. One of my fun things I like to try with piano. Hope you enjoy! Lyrics below, video here:

Begin Again

V1: / F / F/G5 / F/D5 / F/Bb5 / x2
Slowly, words are starting to come together
Bit by bit
Beginning to form together on the page
But I can’t quite get it

Attempting to simplify thoughts into words
And sentences
Then trying to make it all rhyme
That’s crazy talk

PC: / C / F/D5 F/Bb5 /
But I’ll just keep writing
And I’ll keep on trying

C: / F / F/C5 / F/D5 / F/Bb5 / x2
To write a song
That’s not too long
And draws you in
To try and say
It any way
Before it all begins

Maybe try to tell a nice story that I know
With imagery
Or just make something up that sounds nice
That you’ll believe


B: / F/D5 F/C5 / F/Bb5 / x4
Maybe you’ll remember
Something about this song
Maybe it’ll get you through
The night so long

So I’ll…C x2

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Day 29 - Metamorphosis

And we're up to our second last day! Today, the challenge was to do a story over three songs. I tweaked it a bit to do a story over a three-part song. Or, rather, instrumental piece. As such, won't be posting any lyrics! This was partly planned, partly improvisation. The idea is that it's depicting the metamorphosis from a caterpillar to a cocoon to a butterfly. It is, however, very hard to depict a cocoon musically. While still making it musically interesting. But I'm quite happy with what I ended up with :) Hope you enjoy it! Video here:

Friday, 8 January 2016

Day 28 - Lexicon

Yesterday I had an MCU Phase One Marathon, so no song. But today, we are nearly done. So close! Today was meant to be about something else...but I made it to be about language. I actually set myself quite a specific challenge with the lyrics. Can you figure it out? Hope you enjoy! Lyrics below, video here:


V1: / A2 // Cmaj7 // x4
Are you constantly perplexed
By gramarye and lexical fancies?
Persistently baffled by the wizened folks
And their Brobdingnagian obfuscation?
Or blindingly confounded by the quizzical nature
Veritably and hysterically displayed
By jargon and the like?

C: / A2 / Cmaj7 / D // A2 / Cmaj7 / D / Fmaj7 / x2
Lengthen your lexicon
Revamp your vocabulary
Read a book
Even one on the net
It will help you understand
Wonder at words
Linger on your language
You might just find
After a while
That you enjoy it

Interjections, adverbs, pronouns, adjectives
Similes, metaphors, hyperbole, names
Words can be and do so many things
So if it’s starting to get frustrating


Twenty-six different letters to make our words
And so many different words to make our language
Constantly growing, evolving, changing, assimilating
But such a beautiful thing it is

C x2

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Day 27 - Unputdownable

And we're at Day Twenty Seven! My goodness. Yesterday was a tad busy, so doing it today instead. The challenge for today was going to be writing a song about anxiety; but I didn't particularly feel like that. So instead, I decided to use the word of the day - which, according to, is 'unputdownable'. It is defined as "(especially of a book or periodical) so interesting or suspenseful as to compel reading." I also straight away thought of the Nat King Cole classic, Unforgettable. So this is a bit of a hark back to that! Lyrics below, video here:


/ Fmaj7 / E7 / Bbmaj7 / A7 /
/ Eb Ebm7 / Bb G7 / Gm / A /

Unputdownable, that’s what you are
Unputdownable, at home or in car
How I love it you just sing to me
Through these pages how they bring to me
Never before has a book been more

Unputdownable, in every way
And forever more, that’s how you’ll stay
Just like Shakespeare, who could crown a fool
With his words, you’re unputdownable

Maybe I could be unputdownable too

Monday, 4 January 2016

Day 26 - More Beautiful

Day Twenty Six! Getting so close to the end. Today, was a dance song. I may have been looking forward to this. And if I'm writing a dance song, it's not going to be a doof-doof-doof dance club number. No. We're talking about 3/4, partner dancing, slow dancing. I also took a bit of inspiration from this old quote that a friend of mine loved: "Those who say sunshine brings happiness have never danced in the rain." For the record, the 'more beautiful' that I refer to is love itself. Though people are also more beautiful than the world; we were created last, as the pinnacle of creation. So that's true as well. But not what I was referring to. I've also kinda figured out the F chord on guitar, so that features prominently! Though my guitar has quite a wide neck, which means that I just don't play the bottom string - because it's left as an E, and that semi-tone difference is not nice in the bass. Works fine up the top, though. Anyway, hope you enjoy! Lyrics below, video here:

More Beautiful

V1: / IV // I // x4
We sway in the breeze
We sway among the trees
The rain patters a rhythm on the ground
It just adds to the beauty that is all around

We dance in the cool of the night
We dance by the starlight
The full moon shines down over us
Illuminating your lovely face

C: / IV // I / V / x2 / IV //
And while we’re here
Nothing can take this away
And while we’re here
The world fades away
To show something
More beautiful

We move together as one
We move as if our cares were none
The wind joins in the dance gently
Slowly teasing us and bringing laughter to this night


B: / IV // V // vi // V // IV //
How could we ever
Want more than this
How did we ever
Manage to miss
This beauty, this treasure,
This dance, this pleasure,
This love


Sunday, 3 January 2016

Day 25 - Moments

Today is Day Twenty Five. Today, the challenge was to write a thoughtful song. Wasn't exactly sure what that was supposed to look like, but I ended up writing a sort of reflection on a couple of memories - one of the beach, one of a sunrise, in this short poem or stanza-like form. An interesting little progression as well. Attempted to represent it as best as I can with the chords below, but it's fairly easy to figure out what I'm doing from the video. Lyrics below, video here:


/ Bm / Bb+ / A2,6(no5) / G#m7(no5) Gmaj7(no5) /
To me, to me

Laughing, laughing

I see, I see

With me, with me

Day 24 - Call To Love

We're at Day Twenty Four! Today, the challenge was to write about something visceral - for those who don't know what visceral means, it means something basic and emotional, rather than high and intellectual. So I wrote about loneliness, and some of my struggles with that. I think that often when we're lonely, we can call out to love - or to what we think is love. And so that's what I've called the song. Hope you enjoy :) Lyrics below, video here:

Call To Love

V1: / vi / V / vi / iii / x2
Another lonely night
With nothing to cling to
Distraction only lasts so long
But I don’t turn to you

I lose my sight
Of what is right and true
So blinded by what’s now and what’s here
Which is no-one, I can’t see you

C: / IV / V / x3 / vi // IV / V / IV / V / IV / iii / IV /
And so many times
I’ve lost my way
The night has taken me
Away from you
But every time
That I have strayed
You’ve been with me
You stay true

I fall down
Just to try and feel something for a moment
But it can never fill me
Your love is all that makes me feel complete


B: / IV vi / V / IV / V /
Because you are love
Greater than any that we could create
Because you are love
Greater than my imagination can make
Because you are love
Greater than any that I can find here
Because you are love
And all other loves will one day disappear


Friday, 1 January 2016

Day 23 - Resolution

And we're at Day Twenty Three - only a week left! Today, the challenge was for partially alliterative lyrics. Lovely little lightbulb, Lee. Haha. I'm terrible at it. As such, the aforementioned alliteration is pretty much constrained to the chorus, unfortunately. The song also takes a bit of a cue from something you see a lot of around this time - New Years' resolutions. And they often seem to be quite similar to ones made about 365 days ago.... Also, I like the little riff idea I came up with using the open strings. Hope you enjoy :) Lyrics below, video here:


V1: / Em / A2 / G // Em / G / A2 // x2
Will you give up smoking?
Give up fat?
Give up sugar,
Or your thirteenth cat?
Lose a few kilos,
Find yourself a wife,
Run three miles a day
Or get a life

C: / Em / G / A2 / C / x4
Resolution remade, returned
Restrict yourself
Resolution replayed, redone
Remake yourself

One big decision
To shape your year
Then lots of little ones
To keep you in the clear
Compromise and
Life’s surprises
Always seem to take you
Back where you started

C + I

B: / Em / G / Asus4 // x4
The solution is not
To just give up
Or keep trying harder and harder
Realise you’re human
Cut yourself some slack
But keep your focus clear

C x2

....and towards 2016.

Happy New Year!

This post is going to be more airy-fairy and values and ideas and such. I'll be doing another post that's talking about what I'm actually doing this year. Otherwise this would take too long.


Near the beginning of 2015, one of the things that I did was write down my goals for the year. Some of them were fairly concrete, some quite abstract. When I had a look back at them, it was pretty 50/50 as to how I'd done. But that was okay, there were a fair few. I got to the last one, though, and found it quite interesting. That's not the right word, but that's the best I've got.

It was this: "be proactive and patient."

Being proactive is something that I am classically terrible at - I'm very much a reactive person, and horrible at self-motivation. Also very not great at stepping outside of my comfort zone. Particularly when it comes to emotions, and connecting with people in ways I'm unfamiliar with. But this was something I'd been drilling myself about for a while. No, the thing that got me was the second one.

Patient. Because that was something that, for the last couple of months, has been a bit of a theme that God's been having with me. It's not something I'm always good at. I like to think I am - because I can wait; but I don't wait well. I'm an impatient waiter. I'm a horse chomping at the bit. I may be a horse quite used to chomping at the bit, so it can do it for rather a while, but I'm chomping at the bit the whole time. Rather than relaxing. Or refocussing. Instead of stressing out about things.

Into this, I want to introduce a movie that I watched the other day: Chef. An absolutely fantastic movie for many reasons, and generally speaking a foodie's dream. It will have you salivating. And it's also just a really authentic movie, which I love. You'll get it if you watch it.
But apart from that, there were two big things about it that I loved. It was about following your passions; and about family and people. And this fits rather well into the other bit. So I want this to be what I take into this year to come, and also a bit of an encouragement to others.

Be proactive about your passions; they are yours. No-one else is going to be proactive about them. If you have a dream - go for it! Make it happen! Dreaming is great - but being able to do some of it is even better. Yes, it's hard; yes, it's not always what you think it's going to be; yes, you don't always know how to do it or where to start. But just give it a go! You're not going to get anywhere doing nothing. Be proactive in your passions.

And be patient with people. Other people are not like you, funnily enough, no matter who you happen to be. And when you're interacting with them, it can be easy to be impatient, because they're not understanding it like you do. They don't get it like you do. Because they're not you! But that's okay. Because they're them. And that's a whole special and unique and incredible and beautiful person in themselves. Not less. Not more. Just different. And still awesome. So be patient with people.

I'll probably come up with some more specific goals as I go into the year. But those are my two big ones; being proactive in my passions, and patient with people. I think that's a good place to start. As to specifically what that looks like - well, that's another post.