Thursday 4 June 2020

Songwriting Workshop at Falkland

A very cold and frosty Sunday in December 2018 saw a group of shivering songwriting talents arrive at the workshop space in Falkland's Centre for Stewardship. It was truly chilly outside but we soon had a roaring fire going and things began to warm up in no time. 

After the obligatory round of coffee, welcomes and introductions I presented the group with a bespoke PowerPoint presentation on songwriters and their words of wisdom covering everyone from Jimmy Webb to Carol King and beyond.

Next, I introduced the 'seven stories' concept and some of the basic ideas behind narrative songwriting techniques. To demonstrate this I showed how I had come to create the Dundee Back Stories Songbook using a year of local newspaper headlines and I went into some detail on the the creation of one of the resulting songs - Deadline Carriageway the terrifying tale of an errant gritter wagon at rush hour!

After lunch everyone proceeded to find a quiet(ish) space to hone or write their own songs and some very worthy collaborations took root at that point. Amazingly, in the space of one day everyone was able to present an original song at the showcase event that evening. Mulled wine and mince pies were served to the frozen arrivals who duly took to their seats for the evening's entertainment. 

I have to say I think everyone rose spectacularly to the occasion and I was deeply impressed by the songs I heard - not to mention the bravery and goodwill that was present in that room. To the audience, performers and staff at the centre,


We are hosting another event in March 2019 at the Centre for Stewardship and this time I'll be focusing on site specific songwriting, looking at some classic examples and then setting out on some song crafting of our own - can't wait!