JEFF SHATTUCK MUSIC

Stream/download free tunes, see photos, get the latest goings on from the blog.

• Remembering "The Forgotten Place": How a new song came into being, the end. Sort of.

In part two of this three-part series, I posted about how I rewrote the end of the chorus, but continued to struggle with the middle 8, or bridge, of The Forgotten Place, a song I'm working on with Dave Tutin. Still, I sent off what I had and awaited Dave's response, which I knew was going to be less than enthusiastic.

I was right.

So I did what I should have done earlier in the process: I scrapped my first sessions and started anew. If you write songs or create any other kind of art, I think you know how hard starting over can be, but it had to be done. Not that the entire song was wrong, in fact I liked most of it, but the tempo was just too slow to let the song go anywhere. It dragged, and though the song is supposed to feel a little mournful, dragging is ALWAYS bad.

So I opened a new session on Pro Tools and set the tempo about 10 beats per minute higher and got to work. As I'd hoped, the faster tempo lead to new ideas for a middle 8, and after hours of noodling, and many fitful nights, I finally, finally, finally settled on an overall structure I liked. I played the new version for Catherine, she approved, and I sent it off to Dave.

He liked it, but like me, still felt something wasn't quite right in the end of the chorus. I tweaked the chords, resent the tune, and, well, now I'm torn. Personally, I think the chorus that goes to Em is best (first version below) whereas Dave kinda prefers the change to D (second version below). At this point, though, I need to stop, step away from the recorded versions, and just let the song marinate in my brain awhile longer.

So, there you have it. The story of a song, but sadly, without a definitive end. That's the way art is, though. Sometimes you just need to wait, get away from the process a bit, do something else, then come back to your project and try again. And that's what I'm going to do.