For about four years now, I have been steadily maintaining a list of things people say. They could be really brilliant things or really nonsensical things. But when I hear something that catches my attention, I jot it down.
I have been using this list as my repository for working song titles. I make music in my spare time, and when inspiration strikes and I quickly record something to capture the idea, I use the latest addition to the list as the working song title.
This has worked out exceptionally well, especially since most of my music is instrumental.
Sometimes the music is actually evocative of the title, like this one:
But most of the time, they are musical non sequiturs. Lovely random juxtapositions. Like this one:
The Song Title List is my collection of life snippets. They remind me of people, places and moments. I have a terrible memory, yet a lot of these still stir scenes in my mind. Each one kicks up a little dust to remind me of someone somewhere.
Last month, I was in Singapore with my IDEO friends and I overheard a particularly interesting turn of phrase. I fired up my iPhone Notepad (where I have kept the same list going this whole time) and POOF.
It was gone.
The whole list. Gone.
SHIT DID I JUST DELETE IT?
I actually had to sit down. How could be so STUPID? Why didn’t I back it up? Wait didn’t I back it up? It’s got to be up somewhere in the cloud, right? RIGHT?
Ran back to my hotel room to check if my Mac Notepad had preserved a backup. Turns out it was more like Dropbox: if it’s not on my phone, it’s not on my Mac. It’s in sync. So no Song Title list.
I panicked for about five minutes, drank a glass of wine then Googled for apps which could recover deleted backups from Notepad. There was one I straight up bought for $80 and was lucky enough to recover the last backup of the Song Title list. I’d lost about a month of work, but it was worth it. From the looks of it, I broke Notepad with the thousands-long list I'd created. The file was corrupted.
So yes, I’ve started backing it up in multiple places. Evernote is my new favorite thing.
And I’m also going start posting them up here, for you to enjoy.
I've added a section called Song Titles that will be my running list of musical non-sequiturs, starting with the ones I capture in Tokyo. Will also be linking ones that I actually record.
Check it out, and stay tuned for more!