Saturday, August 08, 2009

Saturday Sessions: Karen Mal on writing songs

"I was a late bloomer, as a songwriter. I never thought I had it in me, to be a songwriter. Sometimes I think part of that is because I had a classical music training. You’re examining these unbelievably wonderful pieces of music, and what can I possibly say that can compare, that hasn’t already been said? What I’ve learned about that is, it’s a little bit like the way DNA works. How is it possible that there are all these billions of people in the world, and nobody really looks exactly alike? The DNA code is not very big. There are thirteen tones in our musical scale,” Mal continued, “but when I started to realize that nobody else has seen the stories, the adventures, the experiences, the love, the losses, the friends, the tragedies, the visions -- just the stories that make up my life as I’m walking on this earth -- nobody has seen and experienced those things in the order that I have, at the time that I have, with the people around them that I have -- when you start to think about how many variables there are in just that, it starts to make sense that I might have a perspective that’s unique.

“I’ll never forget when I started coming around to that It’s about finding poetic, compelling, exciting ways to show people things that they are already thinking about. It’s really just about showing people’s humanity back to themselves, the love stories, the navigating through obstacles, the stories where people have difficulties and things to reconcile. We never get tired of that, of hearing those stories.” And, Karen Mal said, “songwriting is the hardest thing in the world I’ve ever done. But the best feeling in the world when it’s right and you know it. And then you’re sure you’ll never again write another song,” she added, laughing

Kaen Mal's website

you may also want to see

Music Road: Voices: Carrie Newcomer: faith and laughter

Music Road: Saturday Sessions: Emily Smith on songwriting

Music Road: Dakota Lullaby: Albert & Gage

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