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The Synchronicity Wavelength

We Are Striving

We are StrivingEcho Cain
00:00 / 03:14

Genre:
Surfer Rock Jazz

Instruments Used:

Vocals

Midi Drums

Electric Organ

Bass Guitar

Electric Guitar (Rhythm and Lead)

Alto Saxophone

Lyrics:

Yeah!

[Organ and Electric Guitars introduce the piece]

 

Behind the hill of fools,

We all feel so miniscule; living in a world that’s left us in the dust.

We’re tapped into the wavelength, of synchronicity!

 

Well you know it’s here!

Sun is shining, flowers blooming: it’s right here.

We are striving! We are striving!

I am here and you are here: together we keep movin’ on!

 

We knew the minute we came

That we wouldn’t stay the same,

Well it’s changed us now and we can’t turn it off.

Well the land is in our souls like a foxglove burgeoning from the ground.

It’s so different now. It’s so different now.

It’s so different now.

It’s so different now.

 

It’s so different now.

Everything is changing: it’s so different now.

Synchronicity is losing its own way

And I can’t stay the same!

Moving on…

 

[Alto Saxophone Solo]

[Sax Solo ends and organ drops out, allowing for guitars and bass to become the dominant sound]

[Reversed Audio of Electric Guitar is used as an outro and transition into the next song]

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Analysis:

    

       I remember the making of this piece fondly. I used a potent combination of midi drums, thick rhythm guitar, organ, multiple vocal takes, alto saxophone played in a light rock style towards the end, and a surfer-aesthetic to the lead guitar to create the song. “We Are Striving” is predominantly a 1—b3—4 progression, using John Coltrane’s progression of notes in A Love Supreme pt. 1 as a literal progression of major chords instead of as a repeating motif in different keys. (e.g. this song is written in the major key of G: G—Bb—C)

       The song has a driving beat that draws the audience along; the bass drum plays regularly while the bass guitar has a pulling quality during the choruses that brings to mind a sailor pulling a rope steadily down in a harsh storm. This pulling quality was also talked about by Coltrane, who saw the progression as cyclical and never-ending, revealing our own cyclicity through its ability to morph and always sound the same.

       My music represents a small blip in the universe of beautiful music at our disposal on an everyday basis. I, like all humans, blend things to create new things. I feel as though this may be a fundamental trait of the human race, as we all seem to be obsessed with the formation of newness in our everyday, mundane lives. We make sacred a few moments where we diverged and became unique: but for what? To look back at only a few happy memories? I choose to make sacred my whole life: radically. A song composed of three chords is equitable to one composed of 23 or 7 or even 0. I choose to revel in making the music that I unequivocally want to make, whether that be surfer rock, experimental noise music, highly improvisational jazz, or calm folk music; I choose to enjoy the making of all music! That is what this song is about musically: though its construction seems small; it is strong. The mix layers many tracks and is evocative of both absolute calm and intense energy.

       The lyrics of “We Are Striving” are mainly about my experience of college as a queer person, finding community within a hostile environment, and how working together betters our mental health and generally helps everybody’s outcomes in their individual/collective situations. In college at Denison University, there was a significant class gap between my middle-class existence from Ohio and the rich kids from all over, which created a rift between me and the campus. I moved to a sustainable community at the beginning of my sophomore year named the Homestead. The first lines of the song refer to the large hill on which all the frats and sororities and big-partiers hung out. While they reveled in bacchanalia I was embarking on an artistic journey in a wilderness space. Plenty of people were bothered by the Het-, Cis-, white men who dominated the spaces so regularly about the entire campus; those who were most perturbed ended up at the Homestead where we created a separate community of people who cared about everything the frats neglected. This was and is a primarily queer and femme community (inclusive of everyone who is not violent or a violent communicator, of course).

       The second half of the lyrics are about how my perceptions and mentality had changed from my experience of a supportive, loving community. The line concerning foxgloves refers to the land being within me, which I see as the limited awareness I attained of the land upon which I lived for the duration of 2 and a half years. As an ecology-focused biologist, I see our role as humans as a mission to find a harmony with the natural world. Or as best we can in this climate change addled, fossil fuel pumping world. This was a thought process that was frighteningly absent in even my Conservation Biology Class. That experience was one that pushed me to believe that the issue of climate change and conservation of the environment has a hell of a lot less to do with science and more to do with public opinion, collective storytelling, and sociology.

        The last line, “And I can’t stay the same! Moving on…”, demonstrates how our lives are in constant flux, our gender is in constant flux, our worldview should be in more consistent flux than it is for many people. We should be open to the world, so get ready to breathe in deeply…

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