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Song Series (Op. 1): Venomous

October 8, 2018


Ah, venomous. This was an early step of my trek into the songwriting world--the larva phase if you will. I was around sixteen years old when I wrote it, and I was so excited because it was the first time I had written two songs in one day (Roller Coaster came just before). I was equally happy with both songs as they were complete opposite relationship metaphors--Roller Coaster an excited, optimistic pop bop and Venomous a bluesy harmony-based ballad about toxic lust. Being able to tinker with both of these mindsets at one time encouraged the dynamic storyteller in me. Or maybe it just fueled my bipolar teenage hormones... lol hmmm. Moving on, I should also mention that the idea for the metaphor of snake's venom came as an effect of a show I was in the previous summer called Children of Eden. The musical describes the first few chapters of the first book of the Bible, Genesis, in an array of dance and genius composition by Stephen Schwartz (composer of Wicked !!). It was a junior camp production, so I was blessed enough to be able to play the part of Eve. Not only did that role open my eyes to the storytelling capacity of music, but it was the first time that I felt aware of the audience's attention and that I had something important to tell them, or rather, to sing to them. Anyway, there's a great song performed by the snake that tempts Eve called "Pursuit of Excellence" that inspired the general jazzy vibe of Venomous. In essence, it's my tribute to that incredible cast and extraordinary experience.



Initially, I hadn't written a piano part for Venomous, so I went about becoming familiar with GarageBand on my dinky iPad. I added a higher and lower harmony, and once I had felt goosebumps a number of times, I decided it was time to play it for the master himself--Dad. I pushed play and closed my eyes as we sat in the music room, nervous desire for parental approval buzzing through me. At the end, he asked me for a lyric sheet and over the course of the next few days, he wrote out the chords for me. His extensive professional and playful perspective on guitar added so much to the bite of the song, and he asked if I'd like to record it on his little home system. Of course, I was elated. He liked the song enough to want a memory of it! 

So we set about tracking, harmonizing, overdubbing, et cetera, et cetera. Having Dad there to take charge, provide the rhythm and beat, and show me the ropes, helped me not get too frustrated and impatient. Many times now when I'm recording my own home demos, I hear his calming tone in my head, "Nah that's fine. We'll just do it again. I'll punch ya in right here, ready, 1, 2.." He made me want to absorb everything he said and did. 


Once I was satisfied with my vocals, he worked for weeks and weeks on his guitar, bass, and rhythm parts. He created the arrangement of the very track available on the website, and it serves as a reminder to me of his support and love and passion. I hope I can carry on this legacy--uplifting other's music in the same manner. I love you, Dad.


Thanks for listening <3

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