I’ve posted here before about my desire to work more closely with the other songwriters in Midway Fair on songs in the future. As part of this, I recently sent them a song that needed a second verse that I’ve been unable to complete for nearly two years. Slate.com ran this article today about a … Taylor Swift song.
These two sentences sum up my current feelings about songwriting — and music making in general.
The unfortunate reality is that she’s operating in a world that’s oddly averse to celebrating the virtues of collaboration and division of labor when it comes to music. In other domains, however, we take it for granted. People produce more and better stuff when they specialize and part of being good at what you do is being smart about who you collaborate with.
I made decent music on my own and wrote decent lyrics. I made much better music once I had a band to work with. I made what I think was really, really good music when I let other people really add their own ideas to those songs.