I'm living in Kusatsu-shi, Shiga-ken for an undetermined amount of time and teaching English as a second language at a local high school. This journal is to document my experiences, thoughts, and to stay connected with others at home and abroad.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Another song and announcement of an album recording

In the 5th grade we began learning guitar at school with Beth, our music teacher (remember I went to a crazy 'hippie' school where the creativity flowed like wine and the wine flowed like spring Georgia pollen and insurrection was encouraged). Soon after I got my first guitar, and I've always enjoyed playing here and there, but I never tried seriously to pursue anything sort of path. Somehow or another, since coming to Japan I've written in the neighborhood of 20 songs.

Last week I played with a friend at his show in Kyoto (pictures to come). His name's Mike Bass and he's a crackerjack of a musician. He plays his guitar like a drum while he sings, somehow maintaining a pristine rhythm. Click on his name above for the link to his blog and info. We've been playing together for the last couple of months, and we're going to continuing doing shows together (more info to come).
And finally this winter (Jan-Feburary-ish) I'm going to go into a recording studio to lay down the tracks for my first demo. Mike of course will be joining me for a few numbers as well.

So take it from me: sometimes if you have enough heart and good intentions, you can do something wonderful without having amazing talent. Pay no mind to the mind-gobblers who say that you cannot be good enough unless you... or the voices inside that say it's to late to learn how to... I practiced sporadically for years where I never looked at a guitar, but this last year I have found a muse in that wooden box with 6 strings and I am going to pull the she-demon and and coax her with my resonating tones and sometimes sour melodies.

By the way, here's a new song I wrote about two Alexanders. 1) The Great of ancient Greece and 2) The Magnificent, Alexander Willard of Georgia (my cousin). It's a epic song, of which there are sadly not enough of these days. Because I'm telling a lyrical story this song lacks the rhyming and meter conventionalities.

Alexander’s Homecoming

Well Alexander never thought he’d find himself here again,
the place of too much sun and endless sand,
he took his army and won his women but not all went as planned,
although the flowers were nice, the flowers were nice.
Now a little voice, from a little man, in an unknown faraway land,
tells Alexander to go back there and fight,
the man puts a helmet on his head and a weapon in his hand,
but not like the glorious, heavy ones from millennia ago.
Alexander grabs the reigns of his modern steed,
a bulletproof humvee,
he tosses bombs on Babylon without seeing his enemy,
in olden days his nose would tingle at the smell of blood,
but burning oil and sulphur are nauseating.

Alexander knows the battlefield and has studied strategy,
but his new nation kills indifferently.
these hands were once a sculptor’s
and could halve a shielded man,
but now they only atrophy under mundane button pressing.

Where are you Zeus?
Why have you let mortals forget your brother Hades?
Their respect for the dead?
I need you Aristotle to guide me in truth,
where are you Hannibal, I crave a even match?

I hope that Harry Truman is weeping on his Promethian stone,
I hope our burning bush drowns in the rain,

I was lauded as a warrior,
I was crowned a Persian King,
and now I abjure the throne.


Blogger Rebecca said...

i like your song - i want to hear it when I finally get out there.
have you by any chance talked to alex? I'm just curious, I haven't heard much at all except that he graduated and deported sometime recently. It's amazing how fast that all happened.

11:48 PM

Blogger Linda said...

Happy Halloween Salem! We'd love to hear your music.
Arthur was wondering if they have people movers on the sidewalk in Japan like we have in airports here. Apparently he saw this on a Pokemon episode and wonders if it's true.

6:59 AM

Blogger Salem Willard said...

Yes, the movers are true. In fact, they actually have packers in the Tokyo subways that cram people onto trains during rush hour. You will never catch me in that mess!
Here's a Youtube link where people are getting crammed in:


5:32 PM

Blogger Bob said...

Poetic. Can you put it to music and get it on Youtube?

11:57 AM


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