There is a special magic that comes from the combination of lyrics and melody that emerges as song. The best songs are formed in the explosion collision we call creativity and take on a life of their own. They become anchored in the harbour of memory and remain there long after the mind has sailed to other shores.
If you are one of those who enjoys creating music and lyrics then take note; On Saturday September 28, as part of the Whanganui Literary Festival, there will be an opportunity for local songwriters to sharpen their skills in a songwriting workshop.
This will be led by talented Taranaki singer/songwriter Juliet McLean and will provide a format for developing lyrical and melody ideas into song.
The workshop is for anyone of any age or skill level, for those who can play an instrument or don't play but have lyrical ideas that need a home. if you are interested register your name by emailing email@example.com or contact Sarah Williams at the workshop venue Space Studio and Gallery on Taupo Quay. Numbers will be limited to a group of 12. The workshop fee is $10 and will run from 2- 4pm.
There will be a songwriters gig that evening in the same venue featuring local singer/songwriters performing and talking about their own work and about the songwriters who have influenced them. The evening sound session will feature performances by Juliet McLean, Terry Sarten, John Scudder on bass and songs from Elise Goodge and Lizzie de Vegt.
Hopefully both these events will inspire others to create their own compositions.
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The Whanganui Literary Festival has adopted songwriting into the literary family recognising that it has shared creative roots. In 2017 Bob Dylan was given the Nobel prize for literature and with it came greater recognition for songwriting as a specific art form and we do all have songs that have taken up permanent residence in our memories.
In my case some have overstayed their welcome. For example the songs of Neil Diamond moved into a spare room in my memory even though I regarded them as unwanted tenants. I know the words and the tunes despite them not being a favourite. On the plus side are the other residents in what Leonard Cohen called the Tower of Song. In other rooms I have stored memories of songs by Joni Mitchell, the Beatles, Paul Kelly, Neil Finn, David Bowie, a bit of Ry Cooder and lots of Blues.
I once sat down to work out how many songs I can actually play, including my own, and got to around 200 before giving up. I may have to delete a few to create more space for new songs but that is easier said than done as some simply refuse to move out.
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Terry Sarten is a writer, musician and wordsmith. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org.