Man in The Mountain

Episode #148: Man In The Mountain   (Song starts at 5:06 & 7:36)   

Welcome to a time travelling adventure. On this episode, we’re going back to 1988. That’s one of the great things about being a songwriter. You get to move about in time within a song. You get to act, imagine, be emotional and tell stories. It’s a blast.

I enjoy composing a variety of music. I’ve sold 5000 CDs of mellow piano solo pieces, I enjoy singer songwriter, rock, folk rock genres and so on…

‘Man In The Mountain’ is a wild old song which I composed one rainy day. At the time, I was mid way through an entertaining stint at a restaurant at the Whakapapa ski fields at Mt Ruapehu, in New Zealand.

I took my keyboard back to my cabin each night. It was great synthesiser (Roland D50) which had marvellous sounds on it.

If I’d written this song on the piano I imagine it would’ve turned out quite differently.

For this episode, I recorded a mellow piano/vocal version. I followed it immediately with the old demo I recorded on 4 tracks – lifted from an album by Paul Dredge and myself ( ‘What It Is’. The total release was about 20 cassettes. Probably just as well, as we were finding our way, teaching ourselves how to record, how to arrange songs, but we had fun – and we were learning).

You’ll hear that the old demo could do with a remix. Oh well. Again, it was fun, it had a certain sort of manic energy, which suited the lyrics.

The piano vocal version is more understated affair. It’s a little more haunting and mellow, which I enjoyed recording.

I keep a diary. It ‘clears the slate’, keeps my pen free and ready to write song lyrics. I catch what comes through and really just ‘get to get out of the way’, doing my best to be a secretary as the words tumble in. I’m really in the flow when this is happening.

Fast forward a few days and I’ll have a stack of lyrics awaiting my attention. like back in 1988: “Hmm, man in the mountain.. oh that’s right… this is a bit whacky ‘ a thousand animals crawl at night like thoughts in my mind..’ obviously a love song. I’ll pick this synth sound and see where I can take it”…

So you bring energy and intention with you as you compose.

The words suggest a musical style, but a lot has to do with how you are feeling as to what sort of song you end up with.

It’s also not a bad idea to try writing with different sounding keyboards (or guitars, or different instruments if you’ve got them up your sleeve).

‘The Man In The Mountain’ (song #76), was fun to write and fun to record. This episode was fun as well. The energy of the old demo spilled over into proceedings – and I’m glad it did.

As usual, there’s humour here – and lots of observations.

Have a listen and step into the shoes of a creative songwriter for 30 minutes. I hope you enjoy the show as much as I enjoyed recording it.

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