Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

“The scene is scored—now you have to put in the dialogue…”

with 2 comments

Joni Mitchell

Sometimes the words come first, and then it’s easier, because you know exactly what melodic inflection is needed. Given the melody first, you can say, for instance, “OK, in the A section, I can get away with narrative, descriptive. In the B, I can only speak directly, because of the way the chords are moving. I have to make a direct statement. And in the C section, the chords are so sincere and heartrending that what I have to say has to be kind of profound, even to myself.” Theatrically speaking, the scene is scored—now you have to put in the dialogue.

Joni Mitchell

Written by nevalalee

August 2, 2014 at 9:00 am

Posted in Quote of the Day

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2 Responses

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  1. Joni may be my favorite lyricist of all time. Every song is a magnificent poem! This quote really illuminates the craft and brains behind the beautiful lyrics. Thanks for sharing.

    Sean

    August 2, 2014 at 11:55 am

  2. I aspire to write lyrics like Joni’s. The way she tells a story is unique. There are so many of her songs that stand out

    emmajayashton

    August 2, 2014 at 4:48 pm


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