In a brilliant example of showing your work, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters shared his process for writing the songs on the album Sonic Highway which included having conversations with random people in various cities, copying and pasting snippets into a song outline, and reflecting on the experiences. I admire this transparency, an example of the real learning that Charles Jennings speaks of; experience, practice, conversation and reflection.
This song in particular, the last track titled “I Am a River”, caught my attention. The lyrics, “the channel’s changing, the heart is racing, from voices on a wire” gave me great pause as I thought of technology today and the very important human component within. Here Dave shares details about writing the song of which he says:
I thought it was a beautiful idea that there’s something natural and prehistoric (Minetta Creek) that runs underneath something as monolithic and futuristic as New York City. And maybe we’re all connected by something like that.
The fact this river is covered, out of sight, and is continually being built upon is an interesting metaphor for us, our human story today. We are natural and prehistoric, a great connected river of humanity being buried under increasingly changing technology; the voices on the wire.
“Is that what you want? Is that what you really want?” – Dave Grohl.