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  • Apr 22

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Songwriters do crazy stuff sometimes! If you haven't heard, there's an effort each year called February Album Writing Month (FAWM) that involves writing 28 songs in 28 days. It's a marathon of creativity, with networking and charitable aspects. Here in Madison, Paul Otteson released a CD this week that was written during FAWM.

In a concurrent project with FAWM called The Song Bomb, my friend and fellow Brave Records artist Tim Riordan and I used this snippet from Rumi as the prompt for our tandem songwriting today:

"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul to heal..."

The song I ended up writing is called "Dream Vessel."

First, I collected some thoughts that I keep on scraps of paper for my songwriting projects:


Then with Rumi in mind, I mined my imagination and my daily Morning Pages for ideas to launch a song.


Using some of Rumi's words and taking from the alliteration in "lamp/lifeboat/ladder," I began playing a few guitar chords that had been waiting to join a song. I moved from pen and notebook to computer.


After practicing a few times, my friend Nick Venturella agreed to help me record it at his home studio.




After a few rough takes, we mixed it quickly and added a few silly vocal harmonies.

Listen to "Dream Vessel" here or at The Song Bomb along with Tim's song for today, "Help Someone." There are tons of other songs there; half by Tim and half by other artists. It's quite a listen!


consider yourself
kissed goodnight
imagine me there
holding you tight

i'm the lamp in your lighthouse
you can ride in my lifeboat
let me throw you a ladder
c'mon climb on board
this moonlit dream vessel
dream vessel, dream vessel
my dream vessel

you want a failsafe fortune
you want to bask in your bliss
but now consider yourself
if you believe they exist

let me rattle your reason
let me shatter your cage
let's rehearse a disaster
c'mon climb on board
this moonlit dream vessel
dream vessel, dream vessel
my dream vessel

let your bygones be bygones
be bygones be bygones be
bygones be

if you can shine in the shadows
you can burn with belief
if you can deal with duality
baby you can climb on board
this moonlit dream vessel
dream vessel, dream vessel
my dream vessel

consider yourself kissed goodnight

(c) 2011 Keith Hampton

What is/was your latest inspiration? Have you ever made art or invented something "just because?" How can we be lamps, lifeboats, and ladders for each other?

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