Writing Cello Parts

Phil Hirschi and I had a fun rehearsal last night, we’re working on cello parts for one of my newer songs, ‘ Suite: Maid of the Guillotine’. Since I don’t write music notes, this is often my view of Phil as he tries to make sense of what I’m looking for while I’m singing smatterings of melodies and using nonsensical words to describe how it should sound. Fortunately, Phil is very clever, and can find the notes and styles I’m trying to communicate and comes up with great suggestions.

We’ll be performing ‘Suite: Maid Of The Guillotine’ soon, it has a neat feel, we hope you’ll dig it.



Elvis Costello has always been one of my favourite songwriters,…

Elvis Costello has always been one of my favourite songwriters, and here he is with Ron Sexsmith performing Everyday I Write The Book (note the first minute of the video is just jibber-jabber, skip to the 1 minute mark to get to the song). Hearing Ron sing it and this new style of playing it reminds me of how songs can be changed and given a new life. I like the honesty and the tone of this one, there are a lot more varied emotions in it, it sounds more conflicted to me. 

It also reminded me that it’s very easy for me to lose a whole morning while finding cool tracks on YouTube.

I have a new Zen Buddha Garden to reflect upon this late…

I have a new Zen Buddha Garden to reflect upon this late afternoon. It’s a lovely match for the green tea I’m drinking with Blind Willie Johnson quietly singing “Praise God I’m Satisfied” in the background.

I’m about to get ready to go to a bar-b-q, and I predict it’ll be perfect songwriting weather tonight. There’s been a steady diet of creation lately.

Ok, getting back to the afternoon. I hope your Saturday is going splendidly.



Come and see me this Thursday at the House of Blues: https://www.sjatr.com/hob

What Is A Muse?

What Is A Muse?

For an artist, the muse is one of the most important relationships he can have. A muse provides a focus that he can create images and dreams around, someone who can be the subject of the romantic ideals of what made him an artist in the first place. The artist can then take those images and feelings and feed them to his guitar and voice (or paint, etc.) to see what comes out. As a songwriter, I take it for granted that people who don’t really have a need to be inspired by a muse to create art know what that relationship is like. 

A muse might be a lover, a friendly infatuation, or maybe even a stranger the artist never even speaks to. It’s usually assumed that the muse is a lover, but really, it’s not as clear-cut as that, and in fact some of the best muses never end up as a lover or romantic relationship at all. But the muse is much more important than the random girlfriend or infatuation. For people who traditionally see relationships as friend, girlfriend, wife, etc, they might not see that a muse can tap into many of the same feelings as those relationships can, both good and bad, but perhaps from a safer distance, or in a way that doesn’t take up as much time and energy. For someone like me who is always writing, the creative fuel a muse creates makes it a necessary relationship.

Just like most other more common types of relationships, the relationship with a muse can last for years, fade quickly, fall prey to misunderstandings and gossip, make babies, make enemies, make pizzas, etc. The relationship with a muse is just like other relationships, but designed specifically by nature to make artists appear even more insane than they do already.

I’ve had a few muses in my life, and each one is so ingrained into my art that sometimes I feel they’re more responsible for it than I am.

There are more songs inspired by my muses in the music player on the right of the page, let me know what you think.


Saint John

For more: http://www.facebook.com/saintjohnandtherevelations