For the next five songs in my portfolio, I moved away from songs in the vein of American Standards and instead focused on works that are more contemporary in sound and lyrics. The five original songs I notated this week are Teardrop, Change My Mind, I Already Know, Diesel, and Teenage Soul. While these songs are easier to play and notate harmonically, the new challenge of translating parts I play on the guitar and bass guitar arose. Rearranging was not without its benefits; transcribing songs in different instruments than they were originally written allowed me to take an important critical look at the first round of writing I had done in the past. With this extra step of translation, I was able to revise chord progressions and even lyrics to create ultimately a stronger song.
The other challenge with these five songs will come when I finally post the complete portfolio. As these five songs are more contemporary pieces and find influence from music I have been listening to my whole life, they are also the songs that spoke most to me when they were originally written. These songs are deeply personal, and they deal with issues that I have been struggling to accept as I’ve grown up. There were multiple times during their transcription process when I wanted to stop and instead add another to my portfolio, but as I wrote these songs for catharsis and self-expression, I ultimately feel that keeping them hidden would be detrimental. I chose these ten songs for my portfolio not because I necessarily believe they are my musical best, but because I feel that they have the most to say.
I plan to spend some extra time compiling them into a portfolio and recording a few samples to go along with the piano-vocal sheets.