I've been in Ecuador for about 10 days now. Crazy to think I will be back in the USA in a little over 6 weeks!
Aside from teaching during the day with Balandra Cruz Del Sur, one unique part of what I have been working on here is an event called "Un Jardin En Tu Garage" (A garden in your garage). It's a battle of the bands type event, but each band has to compose at least one original song about an environmental or social issue. I have been meeting with some students from different high schools in Guayaquil that are involved with the project after school to talk about writing songs and work on some songwriting exercises. Pretty cool! The students are quite talented and I'm looking forward to hearing the final performance in a couple weeks. Check out this video of the event from a couple years back. It is worth a watch.
You guys have been writing songs for a while now. Can you tell me a bit about your songwriting process?
D- Its difficult to write songs and compose because i don’t play instruments, but i am always singing and dreaming with songs and melodies- then I ask my friend who plays the guitar if he can play the ideas. I write lyrics more than the harmony, I just make melodies and record it. It helps a lot to express feelings, to let it all out. And, I will like to say to people who don’t play instruments- just explore! Let your mind play the music.
G- It is important because I can express myself. It is the only way I can tell my feelings. It is the only way to find myself, to find a new perspective. If you have a really bad situation, you can write a song and feel better. It helps me to think about my personal experiences.
What advice would you give to young people who are just beginning with writing songs?
D- At the beginning, you are not going to know who you are- you need to explore and keep playing music- just let it flow and eventually you will find who you are and you will love it!
G- First, music is a way to express- if you love music, it is nice to explore. its okay to be cheesy and cliche at first, but its a matter of putting your mind and you heart on paper.
Why is creating music/lyrics important for young people?
D- It forces you to create! You must use your heart. Its important for young people to know that it is possible to do this.
G- For people who are already into music- programs that let you create are awesome. Its not about winning and loosing, its about exchanging experiences.
What's different about writing a song about environmental or social issues?
D- I’ve never been in this thing, but its a difficult topic! It's not something you feel necessarily, but its cool. Its a challenge.
G- I actually feel like it gets people out of their bubbles. It makes people care more about bigger issues. What world are we going to leave for our children? We are affected by these things and music should carry a message. Love songs are important, but there are other important things out there too.
More next time!
Follow Jardín En Tu Garage on FB here.