This series asks songwriters to describe their writing process, and what influences them. Here, Ottawa-based singer-songwriter Jim Bryson.
How I write could be called how I don't write a certain amount of the time.
I do try to subscribe to the "play everyday and hope for the best" philosophy of song finding, and songs happen fast or most likely never. I can elaborate later, but I rarely have success with working on a song over a long period of time.
I like to play looking out the back window. I stare at the bird feeders and look into the yard everyday and maybe might even believe that the songs are actually hiding back there – who knows?
Songwriting is not super precious, but very important to me. I am not saying it saves me directly, but I cannot imagine where my life would have ended up had I not felt this desire to push words and chords together and add the odd "la la la."
I can tell you this: I wrote "Decidedly" after listening to Blonde on Blonde with a fair amount of obsession, and while it may not sound much like it, hum the melody in the voice of Bob Dylan and it will all make sense, I swear.
[LISTEN] Listen: Jim Bryson (feat. the Weakerthans), "Decidedly," from The Falcon Lake Incident.
I act and behave as if this is all casual, but in my heart of hearts, the importance of music and words in my brain and in my life is so very, very important, and that is never lost on me.
Listen to songs by Jim Bryson on his CBC Music artist page
Words and Music: Alison Pick and Jim Bryson
Previously in this series:
How I Write: Glen Hansard
How I Write: Norah Jones
How I Write: Cold Specks
How I Write: Tim Foreman of Switchfoot
How I Write: the Civil Wars
How I Write: Dan Mangan
on Jul 30, 2012