Soul Yo Yo

Episode #193: Soul Yo-Yo     (Song starts at 5:08)

Ever wondered about all the personal ups and downs we have and how – in some of the more extreme moments – we seem to bring to light aspects of ourselves we perhaps don’t regularly access? I wonder why we wait for those times of crises to express and act on more of our potential?

That was the inspiration for the words of song #43 Soul Yo-Yo, Written in 1998. ‘We’re barely in touch with our souls, closest to them in our pain’

When I arrived in Melbourne (from NZ, back in 1997), it was quite an adjustment to make, living in the big city.

The normal ensuing ups and downs of settling into somewhere new resulted in me writing a lot in a diary – some of which, in turn, found it’s way into lyrics for my songs as I found my way along.

I was lucky. I found gigs relatively straightaway and, after a while, I started a stall at the arts market selling my CDs and art (which I still do today).

In between gigs and markets, sometimes life in the city was quite challenging. Seeing people who were homeless as I took the tram to a gig (where I entertained in the shiny environment, performing for clientele with plenty of money to buy dinner) played on my mind.

Also, I missed the easily accessible NZ outdoors, where I was used to heading for several times a week to help cope with city life: ‘The country feeds my soul’.

Looking at the bigger picture, the lyrics touch on the idea of perhaps doing a bit of work on the self regularly: ‘It’s soul money in the bank’

I was without a band at the time & I was in the process of trying to find some players for a rock band (And I did – Pete Pascoe and the Patient Hum – I’m busy finishing our 3rd album, presently).

So I wrote Soul Yo-Yo for a non existent band, planning to present it sometime in the future (it’s in the genre of a lively crowded house song).

I was determined to be making progress in some way. By doing this, I was sort of laying down stepping stones for a possible future. An exercise in self belief, determination – in effect, acting in faith, that it would all come together, somehow.

The demo on this episode was recorded back in 2000. I’d gone into a studio with my electric piano and my voice, and recorded the current group of song (I’d completely forgotten about this recording session until I put my hand in a box of old recordings and pulled out a CD…this is song number 5 row 14 recorded ‘on the trot’ one afternoon).

On the recording, you can hear a younger me, playing and singing in a style that would suit a band arrangement.

I think perhaps I’ll present this one to the band in the new year and see how it goes. If it doesn’t suit us, I’ll might put it on a sort of ‘80s synth rock’ album, which I have brewing.

With this sort of back story as a kind of a backdrop, I hope you enjoy the show, listening as I analyse the lyrics and look at how the music came together for ‘Soul Yo-Yo’.

The creative process of songwriting is such a joy. Exploring ‘Soul Yo-Yo’ has brought more of that to the surface again on this episode.

It’s such good fun to be producing the episodes for this podcast. It’s my online ‘songwriter speaks’ sort of a presentation.

So here’s another song, several interrelated stories and concepts – all delivered with a liberal dose of humour and with some piano accompaniment.

Enjoy (and by the way, if you’re new here, welcome! If you enjoy this episode, there’s another 192 listen to!)