Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 6:10pm

I'm of the opinion that writing lyrics shouldn't be easy. It should be labor of love to find the exact words that perfectly express the sentiment being communicated. The quality of a person's lyrics reflects the depth of their knowledge, insight, and experience. Though I view these as my limitations when I write, I can at least take credit for what I regard as my better lyrical moments because there's no denying that those lyrics -- they came from me.

This is in stark contrast to my relationship to music.

While some people write music foremost with their conscious minds, others produce music using their intuition. For me, the intuition comes first, and consequently the music feels like it comes from outside of me. Some of the music that comes to me is incredibly simple and some of it is complex, but all of the music, whatever its nature, comes without me having to seek it out. If my conscious mind gets involved in the music-making at all, it is an afterthought in the vain pursuit of intellectual prowess.

Often I feel ashamed about not being more methodical and intellectual when composing music.

Other times I feel as if my musical process is magical, as if I'm channeling music into the world from some great divine source. I know many Intuitives have felt this way. The human mind is such an amazing mystery, even to its owners.

Given the different ways I approach lyrics and music, I guess it should serve as no surprise that my lyric-free compositions are those which strike me as the most powerful. When a melody communicates a sentiment that seems far too universal than to belong to just one story, I know my lyrical contribution would only weaken the message.

Yesterday I sent my sister a song I composed. She's due to have her first child this Saturday, and the melody came to me when I thought about my nephew's birth and the miracle of life. No lyrics, of course. Some things are just too big for words.

Listen to "Chase Mountain Lullaby."