Minnesota Public Radio
There's something magical about a great song, whether it's Stravinsky or Springsteen. But where do great songs come from? How do they go from words and melodies to something more? To find out, we gave three local bands -- The Owls, The Roe Family Singers, and Matt Wilson -- two weeks to take one set of lyrics and put it to music. Songs From Scratch follows all their scribbling, singing, strumming, and doubting to get a first-hand look at how a song unfolds.
What's this all about?
MPR's Cathy Wurzer talked with Larissa Anderson and Sanden Totten, two of the people who created the Songs from Scratch project.
Meet the lyricist
Stephen Burt, our poet turned lyricist, once had dreams of being a rock star.
The bands get their first look at the lyrics
The three bands get the lyrics from writer Stephen Burt, and begin shaping his words into songs.
Songwriting begins in earnest
We check in with our three bands as they try to turn the words into songs.
The bands record their Afternoon Songs
We invited our musicians to come in and record the songs they've written.
What does the lyricist think of the songs?
It's time for Stephen Burt to hear what his words sound like in the hands of the musicians.