Hello (Day 35)

HelloThis is another selection that I performed at last Saturday’s salon. “Hello” was written in 1985, the year that D’Arcy and I moved to Syracuse with our infant son Alex, and it’s a song of self-introduction. (Feel free to admire the snazzy two-camera edit on this video! I’m a DIY Spielberg, baby!) More about the song below.

It’s nice to be here.
What do you see?
Me, looking at you,
Looking at me.

It’s hard to be here.
I’d rather hide.
It can be tough
With all the stuff
That’s going on inside.

But now
I’ll try to be here.
Think what you please.
I trust you’ll understand
If I’m a little ill-at-ease.

I’m naked as a kid.
There’s nothing hid.
No kidding!
I haven’t got a thing to fear.
Right now
I’m here.

I wrote this song in 1985, having just moved to Syracuse to take a new position as head of musical theater in the SU Department of Drama. The song was an attempt to channel the awkward feeling of being a newcomer in a cold and unfamiliar environment into some sort of artistic expression. I used it as an ├ętude in my performance class, an assigned exercise in self-revelation that every student had to perform. They thought it was a weird assignment, I’m sure.

I think that self-exposure is a fundamental part of any creative or artistic endeavor. I’m 35 songs into my catalog retrospective, and this is one of the themes emerging in the work. If you know me, you’ll understand when I say that I can be inscrutable. My feelings are not always apparent from my behavior. In my songs, though, I find myself “naked as a kid,” often quite deliberately.

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 11.12.20 AMLater, I used the melody in the score for Enchantment Theatre’s production of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. It scores a vignette featuring a trio of pigs, Ma, Pa and Junior, on a family outing. Ma serves a picnic lunch while Pa and Junior “pass the pigskin” until their game of football gets out of hand. I enjoy ransacking the trunk to find old tunes that can be put to good use!

If you missed them, these are the songs already posted on Project 194. Want to contribute to my interactive composition, “Hear My Song?” Read more here. Want to receive daily songs delivered direct to your inbox? Sign up here!

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