Twice upon a time there was a man. Who? everyone, no-one. His heart was brimming with dozens, scores of songs clamoring to get out. But he was a silly man, and he despaired that the songs would never be sung.
Then, one day, after years of expensive therapy, he began to sing. Every day. Songs of hope, of joy. Deeply meaningful songs. Songs of high emotion, of complex emotion, of weird feelings. Songs for every occasion he could imagine: walking, driving, makin’ sweet sweet potatoes, sleeping, waking, hurting, healing. His therapist was furious.
Then, one other day, his heart was no longer brimming, and the songs were no longer clamoring. Being in the habit of singing anyway, he made a noise. It was a strange one, this noise, but he kept at it. Freed from the weight of expressing such serious matters all the dang time, he sang it and worked it until it was fully sung out, no matter how silly or off-kilter it got. And lo, it was pretty groovy.
The end, not. (never not ever, except once, but way not yet, #octothorpe)
Your Prompt: Stop making sense. For once, and just for fun, sing something totally weird (to you). Then, however it is that you develop ideas, stick with that weird idea and develop it using all the tools that you would use on the other stuff we’ve asked you to sing. See if you can make it “work” (whatever that means to you), howsoever meaningless or ridiculous it is. Let’s play. Why so serious?
It’s good to have options. Here are ways to perhaps make the prompt a bit easier, or ways to go a bit further with it.
Option A: Simply Silly – Know who’s good with working with meaninglessness? Kids. They seem untroubled by it. They have the ability to play for play’s sake. So let’s take the nuance out of the concept of absurdity and say: just play, like you were a kid again, or like you were playing with kids. Make a silly song that’s about nothing more than the silliness of the song.
Option B: “…extremes of incongruous juxtaposition…” – Know who’s troubled by meaninglessness? Lots of folks. Absurdity, and the question of whether life intrinsically has any meaning or purpose beyond what we arbitrarily impose upon it, is Srs Bsns. If you believe this. So grapple with it. Express the concept of absurdity (whatever that means to you) as fully and extremely as you can.
The steps are as follows:
- Step 0: Sign up for a free SoundCloud account here. Join the SSS group.
- Step 1: Record yourself singing your absurd ditty.
- Step 2: Upload to SoundCloud and post the track to the SSS group.
- Step 3: Listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow singers. (Play nice!)
Deadline: Your tracks should be uploaded by midnight wherever you are on Monday, November 02, 2015.
Length: The length of your finished work should be about 2 to 5 minutes, or however long you need to sing something absurd.
Description: It would be awesome to include a short description of where and when you sang your piece—and how it felt.
Title/Tag: When uploading to SoundCloud, put “[sss-absurd]” in the title of your track. Also include the term “sss-absurd” as a tag. This will help us find it.
Group: Once the track is uploaded, click on the “Add to group” button below the waveform and make sure to select the Society for Spontaneous Singing group. (This option will only appear if you have already joined the group! So do that now.)
Linking: You are welcome to include this info in your description:
This track is a reply to “Prompt 40: Absurdity!” More on the Society for Spontaneous Singing at http://singthis.org. You can join the SSS at https://soundcloud.com/groups/society-for-spontaneous-singing
Thank you, sweet singers!