javascript is required for popup windows and image manipulation




Welcome Guest

ExploreMusic - Music Information Service Online
Home iKnow FARNE AIRS Local History What's On
Search ExploreMusic

Help


21 December 2007

:: Discuss Music Online :: ExploreMusic




About ExploreMusic




Site Membership




Our resources




Local Music Database




What's On Listings




Submit your Event




Ask a music question




North East Music News




Discuss Music Online




ExploreMusic Forums




ExploreMusic




FARNE




Gateshead Libraries discussion




FAQs




KidZone




Downloading




The Sage Gateshead




Login
Music Links Directory
Folkworks Communities
Gateshead Council
Library Catalogue
Sound Gallery




ExploreMusic Forums : Forums

ExploreMusic > exposed: Songwriting > Beccy Owen Songwriting Blog
 Moderated By: ExploreMusic ExploreMusic
[Post Reply]
3   Posts
Answer by  Beccy Owen Sun Feb 25, 2007 19:57
Last week's workshop was great! Lots of people turned up, each with bundles of creativity and ideas. This is how it went:

1) Browsed the lyric wall whilst people arrived and made mental notes of anything we liked or were struck by.

2) Did some silly warm ups to get people's inhibitions lowered, start some left-brain-right-brain thinking and generally enter a phase of denial about it being 10am (!) on a saturday (!) morning without the comforting cover of darkness or the lubricating effects of alcohol.

3) Got stuck in. Did some collaborative writing exercises to explore and demystify how we, as humans, make meaning out of nowhere, and how we can then run with this idea for a more stuctured song. We randomly created very short stories from names, adjectives and well known songs. "Jessica bludgens strangers in the night", etc. I find it fascinating that even a name can bring about a certain image - a Jessica is very different to a Vera in our mind's eye for instance. I guess you could perceive this as an inverse kind of prejudice, and it contradicts the whole 'a rose with any other name' argument, but I can't help thinking that roses and humans are different. Sometimes you meet people who 'look like' their name and sometimes you meet people who don't seem to 'fit' their name. Why's that? Anyway... I digress.

4) Each person in the group then took a lyric from the wall as a starting point for a 4 line verse (could be longer, could rhyme/not rhyme, etc., so this framework could be bent)

5) Shared these mini-poems with the rest of the group and discussed the process so far, how they had made people feel and what people thought.

6) Decided on a poem to work with to put music to. Began to talk about mood, rhythm, feel, key, development. Kept this discussion brief in favour of me improvising some choices. Mostly we focussed on the shape of the melody to match the words and people were pretty clear about this shape. Not everyone agreed, which brought up an interesting point about democracy in creativity - is it possible? Rather than try and keep everyone's idea, we didn't compromise and agreed on one persons.

7) Rehearsed and recorded mini-song.

8) Discussed ideas for development.

All you really need is a starting point, an initial aim, some trust in your own instincts and the will to develop your ideas into something recognisable and reproducable.

As always I learned loads and got a real buzz from working with new people and hope everyone enjoyed themselves as much as I did!

Beccy Owen

Author Thread  

Beccy Owen Member

Thu Jan 18, 2007 18:41
Rating: 3

This is the exclusive songwriting blog of the artist Beccy Owen
 

Beccy Owen Member

Thu Jan 18, 2007 18:45
Rating: 3

I've spent a lot of time on public transport over the festive period
and this is always a good chance for a sit back. It's when I'm most
relaxed and inert that my creative fruits sneak up on me to make a
smoothie.

Oh yeah! – I was on fire on Sunday night! I wrote a set of lyrics on
the train home from seeing my fella in Scotland that started out with
some words I really liked 'I have tried to take the storm in my
stride, ________ with a reptile hide'...of course originally there was
no gap and there were about three verses and a chorus complete with
jotted down tempo and stylistic ideas, but I wrote it on my mobile
phone and then accidentally deleted the message before committing it
to memory. The perils of technology! Drat! PAPER WINS EVERY TIME.

A lesson learned, and ONWARD> round to Adam's house last night to have
a chat and a jam. Invariably, Adam has a new set of musical ideas
every time I see him, and if it's been a few weeks between sessions,
I've built up a bank of bits and bobs – sometimes whole lyrical
structures, sometimes just a titbit that we can work from. Also, it
feels like a very good time for us to continue writing together, given
how much we enjoyed the Sage Gig in December. There seems to be very
clear 'sound' we've been developing, so I say let's ride that wave of
momentum for as long as it's breaking.

Last night we played around with a song that I've had a short poem for
a while. I think it's about female infertility and my biggest fear –
not being able to spawn brats for some reason - but it may evolve into
something else and I'm not even sure it's autobiographical at the
moment. Still. There are phrases that move me and feel true 'should've
been a better daughter' and I guess that means it must be to some
extent.

It all started off at about 9pm in a nice conventional 4/4 style with
the usual trial and error leading to a smattering of rib-poking that
always helps to forge what becomes the song i.e. 'hehehe, that sounds
like Sade! Are we going 80's on this?', but by 11pm we had sections in
7, some in 8, and were starting to reach a point of departure from the
original groove…

The embryonic stage is often the most exciting and liberating of all
because you just try stuff, and nothing is out of the question because
everything is still to be anchored down. I guess we've built quite a
lot of trust between us which helps, having made songs up together for
over a year now, and we know instinctively when to give each other
space and little nudges.

As ever, we recorded the whole session – including the yawns and burps
– predominantly because we don't have the recall or the presence of
mind when improvising to be able to regurgitate the details we liked,
so this means we can look back and cut and paste. This has been my way
since I first started putting words to music a few years ago and I'd
recommend it – even if it's just an old tape recorder left to run.
It's really worth spending the time listening back, as it can give you
a new perspective and mean that objectivity can return – it's easy for
that to disappear, which is fine, but you've always got to be able to
step back again…STEP AWAY FROM THE SONG AND NOBODY GET'S HURT.

Hey I just realise, the hook we wrote is still lodged in my head 24
hours later - always a good sign! I wonder where this one will end up
- death metal? 80's ballad? Steve Reich homage? Who knows! It's good
making stuff up init?
x
--

 

Beccy Owen Member

Sun Feb 25, 2007 19:57
Rating: 3

Last week's workshop was great! Lots of people turned up, each with bundles of creativity and ideas. This is how it went:

1) Browsed the lyric wall whilst people arrived and made mental notes of anything we liked or were struck by.

2) Did some silly warm ups to get people's inhibitions lowered, start some left-brain-right-brain thinking and generally enter a phase of denial about it being 10am (!) on a saturday (!) morning without the comforting cover of darkness or the lubricating effects of alcohol.

3) Got stuck in. Did some collaborative writing exercises to explore and demystify how we, as humans, make meaning out of nowhere, and how we can then run with this idea for a more stuctured song. We randomly created very short stories from names, adjectives and well known songs. "Jessica bludgens strangers in the night", etc. I find it fascinating that even a name can bring about a certain image - a Jessica is very different to a Vera in our mind's eye for instance. I guess you could perceive this as an inverse kind of prejudice, and it contradicts the whole 'a rose with any other name' argument, but I can't help thinking that roses and humans are different. Sometimes you meet people who 'look like' their name and sometimes you meet people who don't seem to 'fit' their name. Why's that? Anyway... I digress.

4) Each person in the group then took a lyric from the wall as a starting point for a 4 line verse (could be longer, could rhyme/not rhyme, etc., so this framework could be bent)

5) Shared these mini-poems with the rest of the group and discussed the process so far, how they had made people feel and what people thought.

6) Decided on a poem to work with to put music to. Began to talk about mood, rhythm, feel, key, development. Kept this discussion brief in favour of me improvising some choices. Mostly we focussed on the shape of the melody to match the words and people were pretty clear about this shape. Not everyone agreed, which brought up an interesting point about democracy in creativity - is it possible? Rather than try and keep everyone's idea, we didn't compromise and agreed on one persons.

7) Rehearsed and recorded mini-song.

8) Discussed ideas for development.

All you really need is a starting point, an initial aim, some trust in your own instincts and the will to develop your ideas into something recognisable and reproducable.

As always I learned loads and got a real buzz from working with new people and hope everyone enjoyed themselves as much as I did!

Beccy Owen

 
[Post Reply]
 





Did you know?





Downloading music
Downloading music
Find out how to download music and where to do it...






tel :: 0191 443 4630 text :: 07624 804 064 email :: [email protected]
Back Return to Top


Privacy | Disclaimer | House Rules | © Gateshead Council 2004
ExploreMusic, Gateshead Libraries