Maybe you’ve never wondered how I come up with song titles, but there is a thread on Ambient Online about that question, and reading it today coincided with an update from one of my favorite sources of name inspiration.
I’m sure I’ll write plenty later about my process(es) for creating music, but this is what happens after. Or during. Or before!
Sometimes, songs name themselves. I’ll be finishing it up and stop to listen through, about to record, and some impression will strike me and lead to a name. Or not, and I might just pick a temporary name so I can save the project file, and get around to a real name later.
Sometimes I have a theme in mind for the album, and that helps me choose a name. Although in the case of Nereus, I already had most of the album done when the theme struck me, and I wound up renaming several songs (some of them, several times.) I had to keep a chart for a while so I wouldn’t lose track.
When all else fails, I consult my list. Whenever I invent or find a turn of phrase that I think has a remote chance of working — or when my spouse suggests it — I put it on my “Song Names” note in Simplenote. Most of the things on this list will never be used, and sometimes I cull the least interesting and least likely. But sometimes going over the list and finding these goofy phrases will trigger a better idea.
Also contributing to this list: the neural network antics featured on AI Weirdness. During my period of prolific exploration in 2016-2017, I leaned on it quite heavily, giving such fantastic titles as “Zuby Glong,” “Crab Water,” and “Corcaunitiol.” I haven’t used it so much on my album releases, but again, sometimes those random strings trigger some ideas.
Here are some great bits from today’s blog post over there:
lower blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob dragon right , screamed . , as sneak pet ruined a whatever their sole elven found chief of their kind , at which involving died other bastard dwarven blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob concern
he was a wizard, and explained that he was in a small town of stars.
a rat in the darkness
in the blood of curious
How could one fail to be inspired by such poetry?
(I really like “Zuby Glong” though.)
Another great source of names, phrases, and inspiration is Botnik Predictive Writer. Being both themed and somewhat human-directed, it tends to make actual coherent phrases.
With Salt On Your Arms Of This Debris is a World Built A Small Change of Wavelength
(I may actually use one or all of these.)
Really though, coming up with names is not the hard part. I feel like, if you’re creative enough to do all of the other stuff then you should have no trouble with…
I’m starting up a new blog here because I’m finally breaking ranks with Facebook. I’ve been unsettled by their ethics and business model for a while, but finding out they were trying to deflect criticism with the old “paid protesters funded by George Soros” while somehow simultaneously calling criticism anti-Semitic, and pretending to care about the state of democracy and the validity of news sources, was the last straw.
After dabbling a little with journaling on a Commodore 64, I started more seriously writing in the early 90s on a DOS machine. I kept that going sporadically until the web became a real thing. I may still have a copy of that kicking around somewhere. Then I blogged with hand-coded HTML for a while. Then there was LiveJournal, which was nice for a while.
But somehow we all jumped ship for Facebook and Twitter (and then LJ kind of imploded anyway, bought by a Russian company that was decidedly anti-LGBTQIA+ among other things). And with the rise of social media as such… well, you know how that went.
So this blog is something of a way to rewind to before social media was a thing, as such, and give me an outlet where I can write actual paragraphs.
Because unlike Facebook, some of my readers won’t already know me and will find this via my main site or stumble into it via Google, my next post will probably be a proper introduction.