Interview #2 – On Writing Lyrics

Julie Flanders

Julie Flanders of October Project

JULIE: Language is my instrument. I’ve always loved words. My idea of a really great birthday gift is if someone gave me a dictionary of homonyms or a thesaurus….

I get beset by words. They move through me. I could be walking, I could be somewhere, and a phrase will start to have an almost physical sensation in my body, it will start to play and it will start to change itself, shapeshift, and I’ll have a tremendous sense of urgency at that moment to write that down. I prefer to write things down with a pen; if it’s necessary I’ll write it on anything. Most of my songs are written on napkins or my thigh, or whatever’s available as it begins. Then, I need lots and lots of paper when I’m finishing a song because, again, it’s like a puzzle, so there’s a lot of detail work and a lot of options before I finally choose the distilled version of words.

MARINA: Julie is our storyteller. She has great stories to introduce the inspiration behind the songs. Her introduction of the song is like a song in itself…For example, the story she tells before “Changing Light of Love” is a very deep story of the song’s inspiration. They are set pieces within the evening’s entertainment. That’s something I always look forward to.

Changing Light of Love

Performing “Changing Light of Love”

JULIE: I love playing with words. I like the way they sound, I like the way they move in the mouth, and I especially love the way that words change depending on the way you sit one next to the other. If you change the seating order of the words, you change everything. That’s my most fun in the world, making a Rubik’s cube of words.

One song in particular that I feel has a very strong example of that is a song where a phrase ends in the word ‘broken,’ and you think that the thought ends with the word ‘broken,’ and the meaning ends with the word ‘broken,’ and the next word is ‘open.’ So instead of something being broken, it’s broken open, which I think is what a lot of my songs are about – how experiences of loss, difficulty and challenge are actually a wonderful way to excite us into new ways of being, and learning and emotional maturity. So, that would be an example. That song is “Changing Light of Love.”

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About octoberprojectmusic

Julie Flanders Marina Belica Emil Adler
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