The Mysterious Kernel
There is a kernel of something unknown, deep within myself to which I turn for inspiration in my songwriting, so as to bring something better than I could ever do alone. In essence everything that I write by way of lyric or melody is given to me from this source. I believe that is how it is for all of us, whether we know it or not. Of course, I elaborate on it, refining, editing, remolding what I write to fit what my inner ear is telling me. Honestly, I couldn’t do anything without receiving inspiration. My own thoughts circle rather than flow!
My own mental knowledge of music is limited.
I never studied musical knowledge as a child. But I sang! I say to myself so often, "if only". If only I had studied piano as a child, my entire life would have been different. I would have gone to the conservatory. I would have studied musical theatre. "I would have ..." My mother actually did give me lessons, for about 2 months. The teacher came to our New York apartment with a cigarette (in those days it was perfectly acceptable to smoke in the house). The ashes fell across the keys one too many times and this teacher, who had taught my mother in her youth, held no inspiration for me, or less than none.
Of course, everything happens as it should. And so I arrive late to this game. Somewhat outside the ball park. There are sounds, and there are meanings that must come into awareness. There are subjects that must be sung about. I feel it in my throat and in my chest, like a pressure that must come out. When I sing to you I share a part of myself with you, my questions and concerns put into sound. My astonishment at living this life—it’s all there. I offer it to you humbly, knowing that ultimately what any of us are is beyond us.