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  • Composing So. Songs

    Have you ever composed a song?

    Did this song ever get sung at a powwow?

    How and where did you get the inspiration from?

    Did you put it on a recorder to save it?

    Did you add words to it?

    Was it an intertribal or specialty song?


    __



    When get a good tune in my head, I share it with others who "tweak it" and make it flow better. I have my dad put words in some of the songs.

    Lot's of times I get these tunes on long drives.

    I get inspiration from many sources. I made a men's fancy dance song from a Bear Dance Song I heard in So. California.
    I made an intertribal we use in grand entries from an Oklahoma stomp dance song.

    I have seen some song's Indian words written and translated on paper by some hobbyists. I suppose this is one way of "writing songs?" I was told never to write down songs.

    To me I would rather call it "composing a song" as opposed to "writing a song" when talking about making a new song.
    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

  • #2
    Originally posted by WhoMe
    Have you ever composed a song?

    Did this song ever get sung at a powwow?

    How and where did you get the inspiration from?

    Did you put it on a recorder to save it?

    Did you add words to it?

    Was it an intertribal or specialty song?


    __



    When get a good tune in my head, I share it with others who "tweak it" and make it flow better. I have my dad put words in some of the songs.

    Lot's of times I get these tunes on long drives.

    I get inspiration from many sources. I made a men's fancy dance song from a Bear Dance Song I heard in So. California.
    I made an intertribal we use in grand entries from an Oklahoma stomp dance song.

    I have seen some song's Indian words written and translated on paper by some hobbyists. I suppose this is one way of "writing songs?" I was told never to write down songs.

    To me I would rather call it "composing a song" as opposed to "writing a song" when talking about making a new song.
    I've got a few songs down but nothing worth anything. I usually put the song down on the computer in writing and attach a midi drum file to it to see how it sounds and feels.

    The problem I seem to have with the songs is my profession as an audio recording engineer. I work very closly with many drums both northern and southern. The process becomes very close with the music because of mix down and editing. I may run a complete pushup 20 or 30 times in a row setting levels and editing. For example I may need to take out a stray drum beat that is out of time. You get so close to the music that parts stay in your head behind everything else going on.

    So what usually happens is that I write songs that are actually parts of different songs in different languages. When you put them together it sounds good. Everything seems to flow well. When you start to take a really close look and start translating the languages, I find that I may be singing about a Lakota grandmother and a buffalo hunt at the same time so to speak because of the mix of language. If you start mixing words and languages like I do, it becomes very dangerous. We could end up singing about hunting a Lakota grandmother to feed the tribe. Not very cool!

    I guess I'm a "Jack of many languages" but a "master of none". I only know bits and pieces. Right now I know just enough to be extreemly dangerous in my choice of words.
    Don't ask me what I think about something unless you want a truthful anwser. It may not be the anwser you are looking for.

    It's better to fly with the eagles then drive with the turkeys.

    Duct tape has a light side and dark side that binds our universe together.

    Bad attatude lessons available here. To inquire, Check the box to the right. []

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by WhoMe
      Have you ever composed a song?

      Did this song ever get sung at a powwow?

      How and where did you get the inspiration from?

      Did you put it on a recorder to save it?

      Did you add words to it?

      Was it an intertribal or specialty song?

      Have you ever composed a song?

      Yes, quite a few.


      Did this song ever get sung at a powwow?

      Quite a few of my songs have been sung at pow wows. I am tickled to hear one sung. Makes me feel even better when they sing it correctly.


      How and where did you get the inspiration from?

      Inspiration? Hmmmm...thats a good one!

      My inspirations come from many different sources. I try to stay away from "composing" while I'm listening to others songs. I am always afraid that I'll end up taking someone elses song and edit the ending. Not cool! Not my own work really!

      I learned years ago to not try/force out a song. What I compose nowadays just come to me. Often I'm only able to catch but a small piece of it and I have to hum/sing it immediately or I'll run the risk of losing any or all of it. Sometimes when I do lose part of it and it just doesn't flow well I'll put it aside and more than likely come back to it....esp. if it was worth anything to begin with (i.e. quality).

      One of my most recent songs, I composed while I was on IM w/ one of my singers. I forget what we were talking about but I do remember we were both in a good mood and out comes the song. I have my microphone hooked up the computer at all times and I just pulled it up close and hit record. Today, that song belongs to that gentleman and he has offered us to use it as a Grand Entry or as an intertribal.


      Did you put it on a recorder to save it?

      Often times I am not near my computer. So, yes, I have been known to put a song or two down on my recorder. This helps me to be able to revisit at a later time...seeing as how my memory fades me big time when it comes to newer songs.

      Gotta have that repetition ya know!


      Did you add words to it?

      Since our language was lost, there have been efforts to re-establish a working language by several people. And since no one is really fluent w/ it, I'll often turn to the dictionary written by Horatio Hale who transcribed much of the language from "Waskiteng", the last fluent speaking full blood, and many of his living relatives. So, if there is a story I wanna tell through song, I'll have the story in mind and I play around w/ words and phrases that are available to me until the story makes sense in our language. Usually what will happen while I'm playing about w/ the words is that melody/tune will come to me while I'm playing around w/ the words and it all comes together.


      Was it an intertribal or specialty song?

      The composition type depends on lots of variables. Just like any other song, it can be sped up, toned up or even toned down. This is the beauty of using your own songs...esp. straight/vocable songs. Other times, I'll set something aside based off what I was thinking about at that time...like when I composed my wife's songs....a pretty, but long, southern womens traditional song.
      To get a true picture of your purpose in life, you only get the whole picture when you listen with your mind, your ears and your heart. This way The Creator has a direct connection with you and only you...no outside interference.

      When you follow the will of IT that created you, understanding that your purpose is not for you...but for IT and all that IT has created, there can be no wrong except failure to be obedient. Only then do we jeopardize the gifts we are given.

      Its not the final destination that defines us, rather the journey taken!

      Comment


      • #4
        Did you add words to it?

        Since our language was lost, there have been efforts to re-establish a working language by several people. And since no one is really fluent w/ it, I'll often turn to the dictionary written by Horatio Hale who transcribed much of the language from "Waskiteng", the last fluent speaking full blood, and many of his living relatives. So, if there is a story I wanna tell through song, I'll have the story in mind and I play around w/ words and phrases that are available to me until the story makes sense in our language. Usually what will happen while I'm playing about w/ the words is that melody/tune will come to me while I'm playing around w/ the words and it all comes together.
        If you're interested in reading up on some of our history, feel free to check out this link.

        http://www.canadiana.org/ECO/mtq?id=...e4ba&doc=04399

        In here, it tells of some of our relationships w/ other tribes.
        To get a true picture of your purpose in life, you only get the whole picture when you listen with your mind, your ears and your heart. This way The Creator has a direct connection with you and only you...no outside interference.

        When you follow the will of IT that created you, understanding that your purpose is not for you...but for IT and all that IT has created, there can be no wrong except failure to be obedient. Only then do we jeopardize the gifts we are given.

        Its not the final destination that defines us, rather the journey taken!

        Comment

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