Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rosanne Cash & Joe Henry: So It Goes

My friend Carter sent me a link to the new Measure for Measure series on songwriting over at The New York Times. It's a very cool blog with posts by musicians Rosanne Cash, Andrew Bird, Darrell Brown, and Suzanne Vega, who each post a song and discuss the songwriting process that went along with it.

I found Monday's post by Rosanne Cash, So It Goes: How It Went to be a fascinating read. She writes about the process of co-writing with Joe Henry and even posts the emails they sent back and forth with various iterations of the song. It's a great glimpse into the way a song comes together, and super fun to be able to listen to the final product.

Here's an interesting bit on her feelings about co-writing:
A note: It is not in my nature to co-write; I would rather go deep into the underworld alone, like Persephone looking for the pomegranate. The solitude and the simple satisfaction of having my own phrases laid out like beads on a necklace, while fine-tuning my melodies, suits me entirely. But I have pushed myself to be a co-writer more often in recent years and to force myself to forgo both the arrogance and the insecurity of the solo voice. My songwriting style is a synthesis of my strengths and my limitations, and occasionally it behooves me to borrow from someone else’s strength, and offer a key to the locked door of someone else’s limitations. I had to give up the pride of thinking myself only a journalistic songwriter, in order to become a better writer overall.
What a cool idea for a blog. I'll definitely be working my way through the archives on this one!

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