Each January, about 40 friends rent Wildfire Outdoor Education Centre in Wyevale Ontario for a DIY musicians getaway weekend of great food, music, and workshops presented by the participants. Here is my DIY workshop on how February Album Writing Month and Nanowrimo changed my creative process.
Premise: Write a novel in 30 days from Nov 1 to Nov 30.
Supposed to be a new novel project– not one in progress 1667 words a day– 50000 words minimum. You will not write a novel in 30 days, but if you succeed you will have a very good start on a first draft.
I finished nanowrimo as did my daughter and niece.
Culture of Nanowrimo: Local events and write-ins, online chatrooms and forums,
Word wars– timed writing against others.
Culture of not sharing writing in progress. Would be too time consuming– interfere with people’s ability to write 1667 words daily.
Saturday Songwriters at the MCC. Third Saturday morning of the month at 11am in the Roxy Cafe at the Midland Cultural Centre. For FAWM we will meet Jan 18 then every Saturday in February 1,8,15,22 and March 1.
Time to Write: Song Skirmish Title: Polar Vortex, Snow Day,Do It Yourself
We had 4 writers in the group and here is our finished song.
Do It Yourself
(DIY 2014 Jan 11, 2014) (c) Mary Marcolin, Ed Winacott, Sean McGaughey, Chris Johnston
July 24-28, I attended FAWMSTOCK, a gathering for songwriters from around the world who have participated in February Album Writing Month. About 30 musicians from Canada, the United States and Europe gathered at the Emlenton Mill in Emlenton, PA for 3 days of music and merriment. This show features some of the music from FAWMSTOCK along with some of my reflections about the event.
As always, the music is copyright its respective authors.
This Friday, May 24, 2013, The Orillia Folk Society closes out it’s Fridayfolk Season with a special 10th anniversary showcase of 10 performers from the Barrie and District Association for Singer/Songwriters (aka BADAS/S).
Leacock Museum’s Swanmore Terrace
50 Museum Drive, Orillia
7:30 pm (doors opens at 6:45)
Tickets are $15 and can be reserved at the Mariposa Office (in person at 10 Peter Street or reserve by phone for ticket pick up at the door 705-326-3655). (cash or cheque only)
Last December, out of our 25+ members, we drew 10 names out of a hat to perform 2 songs at this showcase. I was not initially selected to perform, but we had a last minute cancellation from one of the performers today, so I’m thrilled that I get to be a part of this evening of great music. I joined BADAS/S in April or May of 2003, so I have been a member for almost all of it’s 10 + year run.
The evening will be a songwriters in the round format with 3 sets of performers. Each musician will play 2 songs and it will be interspersed with lot’s of stories and laughter in between.
Over the past seven years, I have featured most of these musicians on my show and I have recorded live concerts with many of them. Tonight, I produced a podcast featuring songs I have recorded of each of Friday night’s performers. I have never recorded John Lemme, so I used another one of his songs. Enjoy this sampling of ten Ontario songwriters, and if you are able, come out to the show on Friday night.
I have enjoyed sharing my journey as I joined February Album Writing Month and attempted to write 14 songs in 28 days. On February 16, I posted my 14th song. I am going to continue throughout February, but I am a little astounded that I could write that consistently and quickly. Let me share what I posted in the fawm.org forums after I finished my 14th song.
Now What?: This afternoon I posted song #14. I guess that makes me a winner. (Although I think anyone who participates in fawm is a winner).Now what?Of course, as long as the songs are flowing, I’ll keep writing, and busting zongs, and trying some collabs, and stretching myself.But what do I do with this collection of new songs?I could book studio time and do the full production treatment on them and the best of the 10 year’s catalogue I have since my last album, but I have no desire to go to that time and expense right now. I could finally get around to learning how to use my gear to produce good multi track recordings myself.I spent the autumn renovating our basement and building my family a nice rec room. I will likely invite friends and family to a little End of FAWM concert in my wreck room. I may even get a couple of no-rehearsal calibre side musicians to help me sound good.
How about you all. Now what?
I got some good feedback from others on the forums and one of the outcomes is that I am trying out new recording software to see if it makes it easier for me to self-produce multitrack recordings. I love Audacity. I have used it daily for 6 years, so I am really good with it, but I find it a little cumbersome for doing multitracking.
I checked out a number of different free and inexpensive DAW software packages and decided to try out Reaper. I’ve known about Reaper for years. It was developed by Justin Frankel, the same guy who wrote Winamp, Kazaa, and made a killing selling winamp to AOL before he was 20. After one song recording and this podcast, I am very impressed. Recording a 30 min podcast took less than 1/2 the time it would take me in audacity, as editing mistakes or adding new tracks can be done on the fly. It is not free software, but they have an uncrippled version you can download and try for 60 days. After that it is a very reasonable $60 for noncommercial or small business and $240 for a pro license. If I keep using it, I see a $60 purchase in my future.
Songs in this episode (All of these are unreleased demos posted on the fawm.org site. All songs and recordings are copyright their respective authors).
1) Theme Music: For the Sake of the Song (c) Sean McGaughey
Tom Slatter is a London, UK based songwriter and podcaster. He produces the Songwright blog. He was a guest on the For the Sake of the Song in 2008. On January 31, he posted that he was participating in February Album Writing Month, taking on the challenge to write 14 songs in the 28 days of February. I decided to take the plunge, keeping in mind that at my most prolific, I wrote 14 songs in 9 months, and last year I wrote 6 songs. Fast forward 10 days and I have written 8 songs and begun to get to know a ton of great songwriters on the Fawm.org website.
Today, I’m going to talk songwriting, FAWM and play a few tracks by FAWM songwriters.
Corin Raymond has been one of my most frequent guests on For the Sake of the Song, appearing as a solo singer-songwriter, as 1/2 of the Undesirables and with his frequent touring partner, Jonathan Byrd. About 18 months ago, Corin co-wrote a silly country song with Rob Vaarmeyer from Winnepeg which features Canadian Tire money. The song struck a chord with his audiences and soon he found people giving him Canadian Tire Money at his performances. THEN, he discovered that his record producer accepts Canadian Tire money and the Great Canadian Tire Caper of 2012 was on. Corin set out to pay for the production costs of his live album, Paper Nickels, entirely with Canadian Tire money.
Corin’s quixotic quest caught the imagination of Canadians and of the media around the world. To date, he has collected over $6200 in Canadian Tire money– over 32,000 bills. And he has collected the stories about Canadian Tire money that people have shared with him during this crazy caper. On January 22 and 23, 2013, Corin Raymond and the Sundowners will officially release Paper Nickels. Then they are setting out on a Canadian tour in throughout January and February. Dates and details of the tour can be found on Corin’s site, dontspendithoney.com.
Paper Nickels is a compilation of Corin’s favorite songs written across Canada (and the USA) by some of the best songwriters you may never have heard of (but thankfully Corin has). The Sundowners are on fire on this record. It is what country and folk music should be, soulful, hurting and haunting. Included with the CD is a beautiful 144 page book wherein Corin recounts the crazy journey to gather his hoard of CT$$ and shares the stories he has gathered along the way. All in all, it is a talisman of Canadiana containing songs and stories from across our vast nation.
Corin is still collecting Canadian Tire Money. His production costs for Paper Nickels are about 7333 and he has currently amassed about $6200 in CT$. You can help out Corin by searching for Canadian Tire Money in your closets and sock drawers, and sending it to:
Corin Raymond 39 Oxford St., Toronto, ON M5T 1N8
You can also head on over to his website, dontspendithoney.com for great stories, tour information, and to purchase Corin’s albums, or concert tickets.
One bit of sad news. Above is a picture of Hutch (David Hutchings), a popular sound man in our area, taken in 2006 at the Mundys Bay Folk Society. Hutch loved live music, and always made everyone sound fantastic. Sadly, he passed away this week. Hutch was all about live music, so in the memory of Hutch and to support indepenent Canadian music, , I am paying Corin and extra ten bucks above the $30 cost of paper nickels.
If you knew Hutch, and wish to help his wife Dorthea in this time of need, there has been a bank account set up for donations. The account is at the National Bank in Midland, account number 3156695. The
account was set up in the name of Carol Brady, in trust for Dorothea Herron. Carol Brady is Dorothea’s niece. There is also talk of a celebration of Hutch’s life on February 24, but I have no further details.
Finally: In January 2012, right at the beginning of the Canadian Tire Caper, I recorded a cover of Don`t Spend it Honey at my songwriter`s DIY getaway weekend, which Corin acknowledged as the first cover of the song. Enjoy.