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Untrained Melodies
By Trevor Krueger - 03/28/2008 - 09:53 AM EDT

Inspiration comes from everywhere. But it usually takes a recognised route in terms of a song writer’s direction. So many songs have been written as a result of inspiration drawn from a good book or maybe the resulting movie we have lazily watched instead of reading the real thing, often sacrificing some of the colour of the original story. However and regardless, they inspire us to write songs anyway and that in itself is no bad thing.

Chris High is an English writer who found stimulation in a different way. Instead of writing songs suggested by stories, he has written 12 stories conceived from the tales entwined within the rhythm of songs.  The songs of international star Chris DeBurgh.

The two Chris’s met by chance as a result of Chris High’s friend wining a competition to meet Deburgh. Though a fan of the music already, the meeting culminated in an idea to transfer the images some of the songs had conjured up within the alternative creative wordsmiths mind, into stories in their own right.

There was a second motivation behind this task, which was to raise money. Not for either Chris I must point out quickly, but for the visually impaired in association with Henshaws Society for Blind People. The result is a fascinating interactive CD Rom featuring Chris High’s interpretations allowing us to read, print or listen to the stories and the conjured visions that inspired him to write them.

Chris’s style is compulsive and captivating and dare I say, very British. I feel sure you will love what Chris High has to offer and suggest a visit to his website well worthy of your time.

For my self, what was most interesting was to discover how close Chris High’s stories were to what I had thought the composer was actually trying to say through his songs. Apparently some interpretations were very close to the original thought and others more abstract. All the same each was appreciated by Chris Deburgh and as a result he fully endorsed the project.

As songwriters we would do well to think twice about how our lyrics will be received. What is obvious to us during the romance of the song writing process, by which I mean the message we are trying to convey, may not be so obvious to the listener. Will our audience entirely understand what we are trying to say or will they misinterpret our words and find their own message? Some may say that does not matter, what is important is that they find something for themselves to relate to while enjoying what is after all, an entertainment.

Chris High’s project turned the tables on a highly successful song writer who, no doubt, prior to this arrangement had felt entirely comfortable that his “message” was getting through. Of course, every listener may interpret things differently, shaped by their own viewpoints on life, so who is to say that this writer’s view is one we would each have arrived at. All the same I know I now think a little more carefully about what I am trying to say and try to ensure my message or story is clear for the listener. Our songs, we hope, will become an important part of their listeners’ lives. It is only right therefore that they actually understand what we are trying to say.

Through his personal search for inspiration Chris High completed a very unique and special project to the benefit of many. Proof that as writers we have the ability to achieve great things with the most precious of tools – words.

You can find out more about this project and writer, Chis High, at:

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