I joined the Songwriters Association of Canada, so I could participate in the S.A.C. Summer Songwriting and Blogging Challenge: 4 songs in 4 weeks.
This forced me to take my songs out of my basement, and out in front of other songwriters, professionals, mentors, family and friends. I loved the stress of writing to a specific theme, and to a fixed deadline.
To the four challengers...Murray Daigle, Bryan Potvin, Michael Perlmutter, and Emma-Lee thank you for pushing us, and recognizing the subtle things that encourage growth and better songs.
To the two Challenge Facilitator/Moderator/Mentors North Easton, and Rosanne Baker Thornley...I say WOW. You listened to my demos, my worries, and anxieties in putting myself out there. The support and constructive c...
This weeks challenge is to connect with one of the other challengers, and write a song
together. Kristine St. Pierre is singer songwriter from Ottawa, so I popped the question to her with a disclaimer... I am only available a few evenings up to Thursday. I am in a murder mystery play, I work full time, my wife and I organize a music festival every August...so there is work to be done with that, I am going to be away at a music festival from Friday to Sunday and then there is the challenge. Kristine was also jammed for time with work contracts, performances, policy meetings, a 16 month old little girl...and the challenge. So we met Tuesday to talk about what our song should be about. Guy on a train, passing little towns outside his train window...nah. Guy who lost his wife and gets up goes to work a...
OK, so I don't really write story songs...my stuff is more random words, and personal phrases. But this time I need a story, a conflict, and a resolution.
So, I had an idea about high and low... two different characters with similar flaws, both looking for something.
I wrote this in the middle of the night like a poem, and then massaged into something I could sing. What I love about this 4 x 4 challenge is how its forcing me to think differently about lyrics, and do they make sense. The imposed deadline is actually pretty cool...it kicks the daylights out of procrastination. You gotta get to work, get writing and recording.
So here is my Challenge II song; Trade Places.
Trade places – words and music David Shackleton 2016
I have submitted my song & blog to a 4 week challenge with the Songwriter’s Association of Canada. The challenge is to write, record, and blog about your song with different challenges that we are surprised with at the beginning of each week. I have never joined a songwriting challenge before, so I was nervous and excited. This first week our challenge is to write a 2 chord song, or a song with a repetitive vocal riff. Since a lot of my songs only have 3 chords, I thought this will be a breeze. WRONG. This was one the most difficult, inspiring, emotional things I have ever done as a musician. My version took 7 rewrites, many variations of melody, strumming, picking, and singing. I don't read music...so my songs are about what I feel, and I play notes, or chords that I don't kn...
This is the real job, the one I get paid for is my hobby. How many of us wish that this was the case? I have huge proposal due to a major customer, but it will have to wait...I am on the 4th rewrite of my 1st song of the 4 x 4 songwriting challenge. I have never rewritten so much or thought so much about lyrics, and what the say, and how I say it, and how I sing them, and are they too weird, too smart...too random.
Back to the proposal for my "hobby". It sits and waits. The song was rewritten at 11:30PM Tuesday night, and again on my phone lying in bed at 4:00AM, once more at 8:30AM before I had to leave to do my hobby. I left my hobby early yesterday to play guitar and record, and think, and fine tune. Today I have half a draft of my opening statement...