A little news: change is once again on the way in terms of digital presence - expect the recordings to disappear from the internet for a time again some time this Summer - as with last year, they'll reappear in a few weeks, hopefully automatically repopulating playlists as before. All this is just part of the adventure as everyone figures out how this new world works - I shall not point fingers or name villains, I just see everyone looking to make their way as best as they can, and sometimes a change in strategy doesn't work out for everyone involved. Many of those upset at these things wouldn't have gotten their stuff out at all in the "good old days," which were really just a blink of the eye in the history of music and musicians' eternal struggles to find ways to get by and sometimes even get paid for their work. I'll try to get information on the status of things out as I have it, via twitter, facebook, and newsletter.
Charles Ives once wrote that songs, too, may have rights, including the right to remain, as he put it, "in the leaf" -- as a conception rather than a realized sound. People also have rights, and sometimes they can intersect with the business of writing. A lyric nagged at me for some time, until I finally gave in to the itch, having to do with certain places and people I'd encountered as an adolescent. I wanted to get it right - I checked maps to confirm my geographic memory, researched the goings on in the area since I had been there, and so on (gaining respect along the way for the authors of historical fiction!). After the process of reasearch, writing, resting, and revising, I had what I felt was a pretty good text, but also realized that the character speaking in the song was someone for whom I may not have a right to speak. In fact, enough others have taken it upon themselves to speak irresponsibly for these folk that I found myself loath to add another sin to the already long list. I sought out a musician from the area, and sent her the lyric with a brief note explaining my connection to the people and place, asking for nothing more than a reading, being willing at that point to let the song go. And so I did - maybe not at the moment I hit "send," but within a couple of days, I stopped worrying about that song. I'm a better writer for having gone through the exercise, I got to spend some time looking back at fondly remembered places and people, and somewhere out there, "in the leaf," rests a song. On to the next.