Wednesday, 4 November 2009

60 second lecture on Tone

Melopoeia is not just the art of forming a melodic passage but it is also how it puts weight on to what is said or sung. A moan from Gregory Isaac in a high falsetto singing the word "baby" carries far more heft than saying the actual word baby. When Vincent Gallo sings the words "Honey Bunny" he takes a cliche and subverts it and wrings out the emotional resonance that was there before the words became a cliche. Melopiea also brings to the songwriting equation the space between the words. The combination of words and melody cant' be effective to the listener if there's no time to absorb it. When we were making "Waiting for You" we tried to simplify the lyric and its space as much as we could and instead concentrated on what tone and melody would add to it.

1 comment:

  1. playing language games on a tone board creates a slippery space between the 2 cognitive modes where it is difficult to pinpoint the exact location of meaning. or at least that's how we see it... but the voice is the original instrument, and song and poetry used to be inseparable. i was listening to the songs of the Dobe Ju/'hoansi, and even though i can't understand a word it seems the the click sounds maybe closer to what they symbolize (compared to english). perhaps through out history there has been a steady process of compartmentalization of meaning where the heart and mind are increasingly operating in their own spheres, emotive resonance and linguistic signification more and more divided, only occasionally, almost by accident, working together in a 5 minute pop tune.