New songs seem to light themselves like little birds in my musical space – I’m fortunate to usually have some kind of flow going. But with all the new visitation, I’ve found it important to keep my older songs alive, too, so they don’t disappear into the lonely void. Lately I’ve been revisiting some of those forgotten pieces that gathered dust over the years, crowded out by the spiffy younger ones. It’s been satisfying to tweak them and bring them to the front again; to make them a bit more current by adding a riff of piano to the arrangment or removing some cluttery notes that could now make it annoying (sometimes less is more); or rephrasing the lyric so it’s less of an eye-roller. I must say, I find myself shaking my head in wonder at some of what I’ve written in years past.
It’s a bit like cleaning house and remembering a picture that once graced the wall. You dig it out of storage, shine it up a bit and rehang it just to see if it still reflects who you are and what you’d like to say. Then you find a new home for the artwork you just replaced, whether it be on another wall or leaning in repose behind the closet door waiting for another turn in the spotlight.