Friday, August 9, 2013

Lunenburg Folk Harbour's First Songwriting Camp

It's been an intense few days. Wow.

Co-facilitating the first ever Folk Harbour Songwriting Camp with Kev Corbett was a full-on three days of heart and craft. In trying to teach some young folks how to find out what they had to say and how to say it well in a song, I learned a ton. I learned a ton from our participants. I also learned a ton from Kev, who's a stellar musician.

We went over structure and lyric-writing technique. We listened to songs by masters of the craft. We worked on figuring out guitars and PAs and our voices. We were lucky enough to have visits from David Myles and Rose Cousins, who shared some of their songwriting secrets and gave feedback on some of our participants' tunes.

And we wrote. It was a jam-packed few days.

I think the most poignant moment for me was toward the end of the third day, when I shared this quote with the camp:

“Singers and Musicians are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, they face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they’ll never work again. Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. With every note, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life – the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because musicians and singers are willing to give their entire lives to a moment – to that melody, that lyric, that chord, or that interpretation that will stir the audience’s soul. Singers and Musicians are beings who have tasted life’s nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another’s heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.”
– David Ackert, LA Times

That's why we do what we do. It was an honour to help our young participants more fully join the ranks of the world's brave songwriters.

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