SAC Challenge Week 3

This week’s challenge was centered on collaboration. Collaboration is a strange thing – it could go great or could go really badly. I haven’t collaborated much over the years, partly because the few collaborations I have done haven’t been…how should I put it…fulfilling? What I mean by that is that even if a song would come out of the collaborative session, I was often left feeling like I hadn’t contributed much or at all and like the song wasn’t really ‘mine’ or ‘ours’. 
  
But, strangely enough, this collaboration made me realize a few things about my collaborative style and how I can better work with others in the future. 
  
I knew what my weakness as a collaborator was – when I’m working on lyrics, I need to concentrate and very often it is very hard for me to come up with complete lines while someone else is also trying to do the same. So what ends up happening is that my collaborator comes up with the entire lyrics while I’ve yet to think of the first line. It's not necessarily a bad thing...I call it being meticulous or precise! But when trying to collaborate, it can be a bit difficult.
  
So when David Shackleton and I first sat down, I was very conscious of what could happen. David is very generous in his blog post about this week's challenge, but I should clarify that to his credit, he came up with the majority of the lyrics. Sure, these may not have come out had we not been discussing different themes and playing around with different riffs, but he was much more prolific at putting words together and rhymes just seemed to roll off his tongue! 
  
While I felt a little discouraged with myself, something else happened throughout our collaboration. I found my strengths: in identifying the story itself and in keeping us tied to that main idea and in working out different parts of the melody like the chorus and the bridge. Finally, I felt like I was contributing something! It’s actually really rewarding to realize the strengths that you can bring to a collaboration. 
  
I’m really thankful for having had the chance to work with David, who also provided the space for me to experiment and try different ideas. We were definitely pressed for time, but I’m quite happy with the final result! 
  
Our song is called Family Gardener. It’s about the love, nurture and letting go that is involved in raising a child and family, just like a beautiful garden.





Family Gardener
Words and music Kristine St-Pierre & David Shackleton (2016) 

Plant a seed in the ground, and let it grow 
Give it love, sun and rain, something’s bound to show 
Keep an eye on the weather, cause you never know 
When it’s going to turn, and tear up what you’ve sewn 

Chorus 
I’m the family gardener 
I watch everything grow 
I’m the family gardener 
It’s what I know 

Covered you, to keep you warm 
Let you dance in the morning dew 
Where ever you end up 
It’s now up to you 

Chorus 

Bridge 
Seasons always change 
Wind always blows 
Carry you around 
Anywhere you want to go 

I’m the family gardener 
I watch everything grow 
I’m the family gardener 
It’s what I know 

I’m the family gardener 
I watch everything grow 
I’m the family gardener 
It’s what I know

 

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