I never ‘invent’ a melody – it’s already there, waiting. It’s like tugging at the end of an airborne ribbon among hundreds of ribbons of different colours and lengths... all I have to do is pull one at random and see what happens. I never know how long it’s going to be, how it will move or what patterns it will form as it floats and dances through the air. When I use a looping pedal, I can weave a vocal polyphony with quite a few of them. Maybe the variety of ribbons on offer depends on where I’m at – my timing, mood, openness... I don’t know. I suspect there are an infinite number in every colour and hue I could imagine (and some that I can’t).
Sometimes these ribbons have words – for example, Yew and Me began with both the harp melody and the words and melody-line “I eat the berries red and sweet” and Star I’m On began as “Speak to me in mead kisses” – and the rest of the words follow from there, the scene (and the melody) already having been set. Mostly a song initially begins with vowel sounds and rhythms – the syllables and words follow. Lyrics are simply poetry to be sung. I think you’ll find that most poetry can be sung, but rarely are lyrics written to be spoken or read.
There’s a big difference between singing something and speaking it. For me, singing words is far easier than speaking them. The Singer and The Spoken even sound different. When I sing, I am that sound – the prima materia necessary for the transmutation; my core self, frequency and resonance, into music. It is nothing less than magick.