Friday, February 03, 2012

strings of memories

True confession: Fact. I did a bit of songwriting as a teen. At fifteen, I fell in love with my sister's guitar. We just connected in ways I cannot explain. Three years later, when I was old enough to apply for credit, it was my very first big ticket item. I had some very poignant moments with my guitar (which I called John, don't ask :P) --- more meaningful than any relationship I had had at that time. I can't say I was very good, but I taught myself how to play out of passion. My calloused fingers, pages and pages of words I had intended to use in songs, and my overworked guitar were proof.

I told myself it didn't matter that I was never very good at it and the only thing that mattered was that it was a form of self-expression. It was a way to pour out my most intimate feelings and emotions. I think the reason we've spent so much time together was because unlike a real person who could be harsh and judgmental, John sat with me through it all -- good or bad, happy or sad. I was very insecure and protective about my songs. I protected it much like a diary, with no witnesses but my tape recorder.

As the era of social networking marched in, I got involved with a creative group of people who were very much interested in getting their voice (and talents) heard. I was very hesitant at first in sharing with the world my most intimate thoughts and feelings. I resisted their invitations at first as I needed first to convince myself that it was okay for me to share what I had written in privacy. When I was finally able put myself out there, wore my heart on a sleeve so to speak, I was overwhelmed by the reception (and I can't deny being patronized sometimes, because for me, it still wasn't good enough). Don't get me wrong, it was a great experience. In fact, knowing I will somehow share them with someone made me want to play the guitar better, write better.

I met an amazing group of talented people whose passion for music and the arts were comparable to mine. This amazing group of people were the same ones that led me to Mr. Pearls. The long nights, that time of coffee houses and acoustic sets were a significant part of my life. (If you're ever interested in looking them up, check out MStudio)

A good friend had told me that one of my songs was played at the end of a TV production aimed for a local television show. It's a multicultural network so I don't actually expect you to find it in circulation and I never saw it myself, so I can't really vouch for it. It sounds promising in retrospect, although I was told that no credits were written or given to me. It saddens me because I know my song was not the greatest hit or what have you, but I don't understand how anyone can just use it without even asking for permission, or giving me a little bit of credit. Truth be told, I didn't even want to have that song released because first of all, I wrote that song in my teens, when I was on the verge of my first heartbreak. I had one foot out the door, and undecided about the outcome of what turned out to be a disastrous relationship. I didn't like the final edit because it wasn't how I had written it originally. A refrain was added which in my opinion didn't really go with how I wanted the song to be. But anyway, after all that it's out there and apparently being used without my knowledge. No, I'm not gonna tell you the title of the song, because it is out there and I'd be embarrassed to have to explain my mindset when it was written. Part of me is relieved because the song being used without credit to me will not automatically link it back to me, but at the same time, I hold on to this song just like a treasured memory I preferred to have kept in the pages of my diary.

This reminded me of The Meantime Girl article I wrote that became a popular forwarded message without my knowledge. I still think about it from time to time because it is a memory that meant a great deal to me and is now just being randomly passed around without care. Oh well. I guess a lesson in giving credit when credit is due is wayyy overdue. 

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Thanks August Empress for the cool background!