Collide: by David Husted

My thoughts on the birth of Chords and Arrangement in the moment of conception

I completed a song I decided to call Collide today.  It grew out of a simple C chord strumming pattern in the verse and me mumble singing melodic phrasing until the line "Show me your piece of the world" appeared. Coming out of that C I play a simple Am G back to F  and then back to the home court C.  I heard the following

Save me all your raving lunatic
Slogans that placate our minds

Verse 2 was more of the same until new words emerged.  I still had zero idea where the story was really going.  It seemed to be teetering on the brink of two divergent storylines.

I then spent a lot of time trying to be too cute with complex chorus chord structures and began to see my concept of a song and the actual feel of the song were not converging. I tried again.  This is when I went back to my keyboard and I just quietly played a piano version of the verse and felt my way into a simple pre-chorus chord transition that hit with the emotion in the words I was humming. These words ended up morphing into this:

C D7 F Fm 

But we got to move fast
This Earth's still shining
But she's running out of gas

I think the Fm is what grabbed hold of me because of the turning of the F major into an F minor.  Close chords yet shifting the mood a bit. Radiohead does this perfectly in the song Creep going from C to Cm.

Now, the actual chorus chords did get a taste of the chordal complexity I was after but I was happy that this complexity arose more organically based on what I was singing vice just force fitting in more complex chords.

Here is the chord pattern I hit on

Am F#m7b5 C G7 
The F#m7b5 adds a subtle dissonance that I was after

It was the lyrics here that the storyline finally took a position and became about our escalating climate and social crisis but also about how one balances their own mental health against these stressors. Hence the image of the yin yang symbol emerged and took shape in some of my lyric lines.

When I hear No, know that Yes opens doorways
When I feel Sad, know that Happiness will rise
When I head East I think I might be meeting West
When Yin meets Yang and birth and death Collide

So there you have it.   But not totally.  What I did not tell you is that I spent several weekends building a totally other song that just simply had to be let go of.  I was basing it off a reference track called Alaska by Maggie Rodgers. My goal was to create that intimate drum and singing style similar to that song.  It was a disaster.  I gave up. This song has no similarity to that song because I started over but it did provide the spirit and enthusiasm to create.  Thank You Maggie.  This is part of music creation I am afraid.  Sometimes you just have to start over. 

Well,  I finally took an opportunity to jot down some of my thoughts right at the moment of song completion.  Thanks for sharing a moment with me