Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thematic Songwriting and human trafficking

First of all, to write a set of songs around a subject is a big challenge. It's too easy to be cliche', insensitive, melodramatic, or just plain dumb. A few people do it well . . . sporadically. I've toyed with it on Wind, Rain and Thunder and Seconds to Sunrise, but the themes were pretty loose.

In this current project, add to that innate challenge the nature of the subject matter we're dealing with (human trafficking). Just learning about the subject is draining and horrifying. No wonder most people (me included) don't know much about it. It's crazy what humans are doing to each other right now as I write. I'd rather not know.

I was surprised, though, how much great work is being done to help people in unspeakably horrible situations (check out for one example).

So this is what I've been working at this last week and a half and fitting other responsibilities around.

My approach to the project was to pray for help and wisdom, jump in writing and hope it works. We'll find out for sure when the album comes out and we play the songs live, but if how rewarding the process has been is any hint at the quality of the work, this should be a good record.

It's a gift to be able to face a challenge like this and take little steps -- one word, note or line at a time forward -- and find yourself somewhere you didn't know if you could go just weeks before.

No comments: