It’s Canadian National Day of Podcasting so I did a bit of a ramblecast/rant about my current thoughts on podcasting and on my creative life in general. I also plug my new podcast audiobook, Time for the Fair. Please check it out. I close out with a recording of This Ain’t My Hat, a song I wrote inspired by a children’s book This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
Happy CNDOP. Maybe next year it will be a statutory holiday.
As a lifelong science fiction fan and a folk musician, I have been aware of the existence of Filk music for decades but I had never really investigated it. I was quite comfortable in my place as a slightly geeky singing schoolteacher and songwriter who told stories about family, faith, childhood, duct tape, and some geeky stuff.
Over the past year, I have come to know a number of Ontario Filkers through February Album Writing Month and Nanowrimo. Our family even went to Toronto to our first House Filk this fall and we were very warmly welcomed. Through these online communities and our one house filk, I feel that I have come to know several people in the Filk community, and I am excited to get to know them better.
But this weekend will still be Ductape Family’s first encounter with the FilkOntario conference. My daughter is armed with a couple killer acapella songs from the Doubleclicks and Jane Eggers. I have been polishing a few of my most geeky– jam friendly, chorus laden songs from 15 years of writing. My wife is eager to meet new people and listen to some great music. I have been reading about the event from other attendees, particularly Debs & Errol’s post on What is Filk?
As a virtual introduction to my music, here I am singing my Ballad of Chris Hadfield.
We cannot arrive until Saturday evening, so I’m hoping that someone will email me the topic for the penguin songwriting challenge on Friday or Saturday, because I would love to participate in it. What other advice do you have for relative newbie first- timers to a Filk Conference?
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