Song Stories | Art of Conversation

The Family Table
May 17 · 3 min read

You know how sometimes you have a conversation with someone and you just seem to go around in circles? You try to reword what you’re saying, you try to communicate clearly and explain in a way that you hope they understand, but they just don’t. Isn’t it weird how we have relationships where we can communicate without words, yet we have relationships where we just cross wires, the whole time.

The Art of Conversation came out of one such conversation. I came home utterly frustrated, annoyed, upset — a whole myriad of emotions. I did my best, re-explained myself so many times, but the other person just didn’t get it — or wasn’t listening.

I’ve heard it said that the true art of listening is often lost — we tend to spend the moments that the other person is speaking, planning what we’re going to say next rather than truly listening to what they’re saying. I guess life would slow down a bit if we actually did stop and listen?

Back to my frustrating conversation… I paced the house, made a cup of tea (in true British style) and still felt the same. Music is my go to in these times. I picked up my guitar and The Art of Conversation just happened. Sometimes we write songs that we grapple with for months — get stuck on, re-write, walk away and go back to. This one was written on a scrap of paper, from start to finish in fifteen minutes.

Once in the studio, we knew that we wanted to create a conversation between the instruments — that’s where the Flute and Violin come in with some extreme panning. One of my favourite things about this song is the juxtaposition of the lyrics being a rant about a frustrating day, yet on the surface, it is a lilty gentle folk tune. We chose to continue this with an end as it starts.

In trying to find the right drum sounds, we resorted to drumming on a cardboard waste paper basket with socks tied around some drum sticks. Oh yes, all very glam in our studio. Everything else came together quite smoothly. We began with lots of rich harmonies which were lovely, but we decided that in the shape of the E.P, it would work well to keep this one really simple, so stripped it out again. We want the song to sound like we’re sitting next to you singing it — not overly produced, or processed, just a very natural, authentic folk sound.

I have two teenage children, and work with many more — our home regularly becomes a teenagers hangout. The constant challenge to put down technology and to talk — face to face isn’t going anywhere. If anything, it will continue to grow. But the Art of Conversation is too precious to lose. Why don’t you start a conversation today — a real conversation, and listen, really listen. Who knows where it might take you….

You can download or stream ‘Art of Conversation’ on our new E.P. ‘Conversations Around The Family Table’ from your favourite site. Here’s some quick links:

Download on iTunes:

Download on Amazon:

Download on Google Play:

Stream on Spotify:

~Sarah Ballard
A creative agency, rooted in family values.
We tell better stories.

The Family Table

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A creative agency rooted in family values. We tell better stories.

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