Chris Kemp White

Words and Music

As a songwriter, I deal with words as much as music. Lately I have been feeling that the words struggle to match the power of the music. How can they? When Bowie belts “is there Life on Mars?” it’s not the query that prickles my skin and makes a lump in my throat, but the impassioned delivery, striking interval, and climactic music. You may be a poetry lover, yourself, but I am a music lover. 

 

Though I spent many years claiming to be a guitarist or bass player, I really am a singer. I love to sing and generally I sing words, except for the mms, oohs, and ahs that sneak into songs. So how do I rectify a love of music with being a singer who believes that, compared to the power of music, words pale? Can a singer move an audience voicing only sounds without words as effectively as with words? What are examples of such? 

 

I’ll be in agony over this when I sing two consecutive weeks at Elements Books Coffee Beer in Biddeford, September 28 and October 6 and at Broadway Gardens Harvest Festival in South Portland the afternoon of October 6. 

 

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