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The Soundtrack of a Home

There’s almost always a guitar sitting around in our living room and dining room. Everyone in the house spends a little time with it. Since I write music for a living, that little guitar in the living room serves as an escape for me. I can simply plunk away on it, without having any expectations about creating music for a certain purpose. It’s simply there for making sounds. But sometimes, songs do come out of it, in a very natural way. Without intending to, I’ve written several pieces on that little guitar. “KT” is one of those songs.

I found myself strumming the chord sequence, while watching everyday events unfold in the house. It’s pretty easy to see every room from one chair, so I took up residence there and messed about with the chords and melody for a few days, here and there. I was watching people cooking, cleaning, growing up. All of that feels contained in this instrumental tune.

I recorded the song in a single day, and it nearly played itself into the microphones, Starting with the guitar and a little whistle melody, I played all the parts, one at a time, and before I knew it, the recording was finished. I think of it as an audio snapshot of a certain time in my home. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to it, but it brought me back to that time instantly. I can even recognize the sound of that little guitar — I brought it into the studio for a day played it on the recording. But now that guitar is back where it belongs: leaning against the wall and waiting for somebody to pick it up.

Chris Beaty will join Sowah Mensah and Marc Anderson at On Being on Loring Park for a live event, Mapped by Music, on November 19.

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