As some of you will already know, we are running two song writing
competitions this year into next. For those who don’t know
www.young-songwriters.co.uk and www.oldiecomposers.com are the websites.
These competitions are not to make people rich or famous, they are all about creativity and what music can do for each and every one of us, enhancing your life through enlightened eyes.
I was taught to play the recorder and read music, and that is as far as it went. My daughter on the other hand, plays guitar, saxophone, piano, writes songs, sings and performs in folk clubs and even ventured into a studio once. Norman grew up in the Isle of Skye, his father played the fiddle and was very much steeped in folk music. All of us have a very deep love of music. I don’t think I am happy unless music is on in the background, especially when I am working, I am forever singing along to songs, and I’m sure I drive Norman mad in the car, because I sing a lot there, and I don’t think I am the most tuneful singer. I love Karaoke nights at the Togs convention because we have such a mixture of TOGs who get up and sing, some better than others, but all singing with enthusiasm and a big smile on their faces, that is was music should do.
I tend to be a lyrics person, who listens to the words and can be deeply moved to joy or sadness in a very short amount of time. My favourite song of all time is “I will” by the Beatles. The lyrics so touched me as a young girl just starting to think about love and how it would feel.
Having said that there are a few instrumental songs that can lift you from within yourself to a different place…” Bolero” is one song that always takes me to the edge of tears, it evokes such a strong emotion, another instrumental is” Albatross” by Fleetwood Mac, which is one of the few songs I can sit back with my eyes closed and soar with the music, and a new song that Norman introduced me to is “Paddy’s ramble through the park” by Dezi Donnelly. This beautifully haunting song just lifts my spirits.
Our song writing competition is to encourage creativity, to show young people how much music can affect your life. If you can find a melody that is creating a mood and then add the lyrics that just adds to that mood, whether it be happy or sad or thought provoking.
Take Gretchen Peters, an American singer songwriter, who has a wonderful knack of doing just that, her album “Burnt toast and offerings” takes you through a certain part of her life, and you feel like you are living it with her, through the good and the bad. That is what good songwriters should do.
There is a song that I was singing the other day which shows how things can change “ You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey, you never know dear, how much I love you”….. and then the killer blow, “please don’t take my sunshine away”, it starts really well and lifts your spirits, but then comes the doubt.
We are hoping the song writing competitions and workshops for all who want to get involved will show them that music can influence you to feel happy or sad, can bring out emotion you didn’t know was there and to make your life feel more fulfilled. Imagine, writing a song and sharing it with people, showing them how you feel through music and perhaps sharing with them across distance the mutual feelings these songs provoke.
So no, we are probably not going to make you rich or famous but hopefully we will help open up your ability to be creative which will enrich your life forever!