“I’ve tried to be a purveyor of melodic culture”, said Daniel Lanois in an interview I listened to while walking this morning. I recalled Joe Zawinul calling Santana “the melody man”, in an interview I read a long time ago.
Melody for life. I have always felt that I am a melody maker who happens to play guitar. Melodies are what I am after. Melody hunter, melody prospector. Mining for melodies. Melody farmer or gardener. A gathering of melodies. Melody first, guitar second.
I often went into the studio with a bunch of chord changes and a rhythm in mind, more of a mood than anything concrete, confident that I would be able to grab a melody out of the air, on the spot. Morning Arrival in Goa was one of many, many such songs. The piece was practically finished before I decided to sit down and wind a melody around those changes, like a river winds around higher ground. It never felt like I was gambling with the money it cost to record that much of the piece, the studio time, engineer, other musicians. It felt like it would be fun to put the cherry on top.
Purveyor of melodic culture – that’s nice. So is Melody Man. There is just something about a melody…