Mary Gauthier: Saved by a Song
As part of my research into concept album development, my friend, mentor and songwriting collaborator, Andrew Gordon, recommended Mary Gauthier's, Saved by a Song. It's one of the most beautiful books on songwriting I've come across. Mary's natural and grounded words moved me to tears multiple times. I specially loved the way the book combined lyrics and autobiographical story. At the start of each chapter, a song was laid out in lyric form and I could bring my full attention to it and take it in like a poem. Then through reading the chapter, I'd learn about the place the song came from and straightforward examples of songcraft. Because I didn't know any of Mary's music before reading the book, at the end of each chapter, I'd look the song up on youtube and listen to a version of her playing it live. I got to experience the aesthetics of moving between worlds of different artforms and ended end up feeling transformed and filled with gratitude. I wonder if I had known Mary's songs previously, if reading and listening in this way would have touched me the same. Hehehehe... I guess that's one bonus of being an unknown songwriter!