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
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
If you ask a songwriter which is his favourite song, he may answer, “The new one.” . Guitar players often have a similar affection for their newest guitar. This is my most recently completed song, The Park. We live a block from a huge public park, and I wrote this song as a reflection of all the good times I have had at the park over the years.
I performed it on my newest guitar. The other day, I was at the Goodwill store with my family. On the counter there was a very battered and dirty guitar case and guitar. There was a greasepencil price of $40.04 on it. I tuned it up and even with old rusty strings, it sounded quite good so I bought it, even though I already have several acoustic guitars. There were unopened 20+ year old D’Addario strings in the case. My friend Brian put them on for me and it sounds great.
It is a late 60s or early 70s Yamaha FG-180 built in Japan. Apparently they are sought after by collectors. It may just have a few songs in it. I have one already 1/2 written. It was pretty dirty and mildewy when I got it but I have cleaned it up, so it looks and sounds great. It could probably use some maintenance and repairs on the neck and lower frets, but considering what I paid for it, it is doing remarkably well for a 40+ year old instrument.
Glen Reid is a veteran of the Canadian Music scene. He began to make a name for himself in the late 1960s, in the folk community in the Yorkville district in Toronto. Throughout tht 70’s he was a session musician and band member on several popular Canadian television shows including Singalong Jubilee, John Allan Cameron’s Let’s Have A Caleigh, The Ryan’s Fancy/Tommy Makem Show, The Harry Hibbs Show, and the George Hamilton IV Show.
In the 80s he moved to Burks Falls Ontario, where he worked as a cabinet maker, raises horses and became a well known luthier.
You can read more of his stories and purchase his albums at glenreid.com.
Next weekend is the 51st annual edition of the Mariposa Folk Festival, and I still find I have 3 shows from last year to release. Last summer, I finally got the chance to interview Suzie Vinnick. I first became aware of Suzie and her amazing voice in the late 80s when I was attending university in Saskatoon. Suzie was a featured performer on a local radio station, C95’s compilation of local musicians, Cityworks 88. Over the years I have seen her perform at numerous festivals, but this is the first time I had a chance to chat with her. You may also recognize her voice from the “Always Tim Horton’s” jingles. Enjoy.