August 2016

Danielle and Josh’s Cityscape Escape

Ah what a joyous occasion to see my old flatmate, Danielle and her beloved, Josh tie the knot over the weekend. All weddings and love stories are beautiful but this occasion was something truly special.

In the moments waiting for Danielle to arrive I reflected on the many laughs, words of encouragement, stories of resilience and fight and the bottomless glasses of wine we consumed in the 2 years or so of living together. The many nights of vampire baking (vampire baking; middle of the night baking when the house is still and the kitchen is available), the necessary reminders of whether Danielle had her passport as she jetted off to different parts of the world for work, the bleary eyed look of pre-coffee death and the immediate perk up after the consumption of caffeine, the celebratory bubbles turned truth serum as we shared our loves, lives and travesties – ah they were good times!

As soon as Danielle stepped foot into the church there was no doubt we were transported to a beautiful bubble of love and commitment shared between Danielle and Josh, it was no longer just the church in the middle of the city where a demonstration/ rent-a-crowd was going off outside the Town Hall. Josh beamed, Danielle sparked and I was just honoured to have been part of their day.

Danielle and Josh, may the adventure ahead as a married couple be ever blessed now and always. xox

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Pat Pattison; Songwriting Genius Extraordinaire

“The most important thing is to write in your own blood. I bare intimate feelings because people should know how other people feel.” Joni Mitchell, Time Magazine, December 1974.

I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember, even before I wrote songs. I wrote stories in school, have journaled endlessly and am hopelessly in love with the use of language to convey ideas, dreams, hopes, desires, loss, mourning, fear, anger and every other facet of human existence.

It was at uni that I started dabbling in songwriting and soon after I discovered Pat Pattison; songwriting genius extraordinaire, Berkley School of Music’s Professor of Lyric Writing and Poetry, the guy who taught John Mayer, Gillian Welch and many others to write songs – jackpot! And thus starting the snowballing desire to harness and sharpen my songwriting skills, ever striving to write songs that not only convey a message but really connect and even pull at the heart strings of my listeners.

It was a joy to be able to spend the last weekend in the presence of Pat (and many other budding songwriters), picking his brain and having him share his knowledge and experience in a workshop titled “How do I know when I’m done with a song?” … and Pat’s answer to the title? “When I’ve done and checked everything I know … so how much do I (we) know?”

Often what drives one to write is a feeling but as Pat pointed out, writing a song from what we feel never makes a song ‘better’ rather just makes a song ‘different’, due to the fact that our feelings change so regularly. So in light of this, Pat insisted to start with the BIG 3 QUESTIONS: 1. Who’s talking? 2. To Whom? 3. Why?

1/2. Who’s Talking? To Whom?
This describes the relationship between the singer and the world of the song, more specifically the point of view that is being used in the song. Am I (the singer) speaking to you (the person who broke my heart) or am I (the singer) speaking to you (the listener or the world) about a 3rd party he or she? Or am I (the singer) just telling you a story where the characters are seen through a looking glass or periscope? The closer the address (you and I) the more intimate the singer is with the listener.

3. Why?
What’s the moral of the story? Why am I (the singer) singing?

Pat challenged us to realise the answers to these questions were not discovered accidentally, rather they were very specific conscious decisions that each writer must ask themselves during the process of writing, as well as when they were checking to see whether they were ‘done’ with the song.

… and this was all just skimming the surface =p So back I go to the writing desk …

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