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
For several years I have discussed and procrastinated the idea of forming a songwriter’s group in the Midland-Penetanguishene area. I have never felt an urgency to do so because my needs to belong to a community of fellow songwriters are well met through my membership the Barrie and District Association for Singer Songwriters (BADASS) and online through February Album Writing Month and the Fifty-Ninety Songwriting challenge. But the idea of having a collective of writers supporting each other and building opportunities within our communities of Midland, Penetanguishene, Tiny, and Tay remains.
I would like to gather with like minded songwriters to form GrUMPS or GUMPS (or another less cutesy acronym) GRownUp Midland Penetang Songwriters
GrU= Grownup = This would be a group for adult writers to get together and share and hone their craft. We would not turn away talented exceptional young adults (in fact welcome them), but young musicians are already being served in our area by several groups notably Stellula.
MP– Midland-Penetanguisene (and Tiny and Tay) The four townships define the general boundaries of our community. We would not turn away songwriters from Coldwater, Barrie, or even Saskatoon, but we want to keep the focus on our community.
S– Songwriters. The GBMA and HFA serve the needs of many musicians and artists. Songwriters have a need to gather as peers, share our songs, hone our craft, collaborate, create opportunities for songwriters to showcase their music.
Who? I personally know a bunch of area songwriters who may be interested in such a group. If you are reading this, I likely sent it your way via facebook or email. Please share this idea with your musician-songwriter friends.
When? Where? The songwriting group I currently belong to meets once a month at one of the members homes. We have a core group of about 25 members scattered over the North of GTA area from Newmarket and Tottenham, to Barrie, Orillia and Midland.
We could use this model of meeting in member homes or perhaps use a public use room at
one of the libraries. (I’m looking at you Scott).
Why: To promote collaboration and community among the songwriters in our community, to hone our craft, …
How? Good Question. Let’s dive in and figure out what kind of a group we want. We could have meetings to co-write, share songwriting tips, we could organize showcases, we could use social media and websites to promote local songwriters…
I am launching a new format for this podcast. Think of it like the director’s commentary on a DVD movie but for albums. I will have a conversation with musicians while we listen to one of their albums. The conversation will last for the duration of the album. Enjoy.
Christopher Thompson is a young fingerstyle guitarist from Orillia. He recently released his second EP, La-La on Sleeper Records. Sleeper records was founded by Aaron Howes as a way to promote young Orillia area musicians. You can download it on Bandcamp or find it on iTunes. We are joined on the podcast by Chris’ Sleeper Records labelmate, Aaron Mangoff.
I first saw the Breakmen performing at a little stage behind the booths in the middle of the midway at the Edmonton Capital City Exhibition in 2006. Their tight harmonies and obvious respect for bluegrass, country and roots music delighted me from the first song. It was my pleasure to interview Ben, Matt and Lee at the Mariposa Folk Festival last summer.
I only captured a part of the Breakmen and Deep Dark Wood’s powerful rendition of Belong to that Band at Mariposa 2010. Fortunately someone else got it on video and they posted it on their youtube channel.
Jake Hill is still in his teens but he is an accomplished performer and songwriter. I know him as a regular performer at Good Vibes Coffee House. He was not very talkative during the interview, but his songs speak for themselves.
This show I have no guest. Instead I’m looking back on past episodes, forward to future shows, and I play the newest song that I’ve written. I was inspired to write after over a year by Stevie Z’s monthly songwriting challenge at badlybent.ca.
Songwriting Clubs in Schools: www.stellulamusic.com
Bringing Music to the children and youth of Simcoe County.
Student Songwriting Clubs
Spring Week of Music in Schools
Spring Community Concert
Artemis Chartier and Dale Russell are the founders of the School Alliance for Student Songwriters (SASS), a group which facilitates songwriting clubs in schools and arranges songwriting showcases and contests for students in the Durham County region of Ontario and in British Columbia. Dale and Artemis are my guests on the next episode of For the Sake of the Song.
Tom Slatter is a London, UK based songwriter and podcaster. He is half of the acoustic pop duo We’ll Write and produces the wonderful Songwright blog and podcast where he explores music theory to get inside the structure and process of crafting a song. He has recently released a free Ebook of Songwriting Worksheets for the Songwriting Guitarist as an incentive for people to sign up for his mailing list. In it, he includes, For the Sake of the Song on a list of online songwriting resources. Check out my feature interview with Tom: For the Sake of the Song with Tom Slatter
followthatsong is a recently launched blog by my friend Paul Court, the founder of BADASS– The Barrie and District Association for Singer-Songwriters. I interviewed Paul about a year ago on For the Sake of the Song, while he was in the process of writing his newly released CD, Blood and Fire: The Donelley Project. For the Sake of the Song with guest Paul Court
Send me your favorite songwriting resources or other feedback by leaving comments on the blog, send me an email to ductapeguy at hotmail dot com, send me a voice feedback at 206-337-0611, or join the For The Sake of the Song Podcast group on Facebook.