Saturday, October 18, 2014

Community Songwriting

It's been a long time since I've posted here. I've been taking a sabbatical this summer, concentrating on community events, the Pennybrook Festival, setting up my tiny house, and writing about that and other life experiences on my personal blog.

It's been good to have a break. And then, this week, I had a noteworthy songwriting experience that I feel like sharing.

A few weeks ago, I was invited by my friend, Leif Helmer, to sing a song at the launch of the Petite Riviere Community Park. Petite Riviere is just five minutes down the road from West Dublin, where I live. There are a number of songs that I've written about our area that I could have sung at this event.

But, about two days ago, I had the idea that I should write a song specifically for this event, a song about the Petite River and about the park and the community there.

I felt that I didn't know enough to write that song, so, I went on Facebook and invited people to share their stories about the river. I was given a bounty of experiences, memories and perceptions. I felt very blessed to be trusted with people's thoughts and feelings about their home. Several people said, the river is my backyard.

I did my best to capture many of the ways that people interact with the river and the animals who live in and around it. Of course, I had to leave out a bunch of things! The amount of information I received would have filled a 45-minute saga! I felt it was better to go for a more typical four-to-five minute song.

It was a little nerve-wracking to perform such a new song, but I was pleased with the way it had turned out and felt honoured to have the chance to share it. And I was very pleased to hear from many of the people at the opening ceremonies that they were moved to tears and laughter. That's my favourite part of being a songwriter and it was an additional pleasure today to help celebrate the hard work of all the people who helped to create a new park in our community.

Bravo, everyone! Thank you for inviting me to help mark this event!

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