Misc. circles

Local songwriter circle presents workshop at the WECC

Songwriting is not an easy process. Obtaining the necessary levels of musicality, rhythm, and sincerity in a song requires patience. This often leads to tedious and frustrating trial and error. In hopes of alleviating part of the struggle of the musical process, the Manitoba Independent Songwriters Circle (MISC) will be putting on a songwriting workshop at the West End Cultural Centre (WECC) on May 5.

The Songwriters Circle was founded in 2001 and consists of budding songwriters who wish to improve their craft through interaction with like-minded peers.

Founding member and workshop facilitator Chris Freeman credits the circle with assisting his own writing.

“Before I started working with the circle, I wasn’t writing that strongly. It’s an indication of how the circle has helped me,” Freeman explained to the Manitoban.

Meeting the first Wednesday of every month, the circle is open to anyone who writes songs and is looking for constructive criticism. Comments vary based on what is brought to the table by each songwriter.

“The meetings consist of everyone bringing a song and some lyrics, performing the song, and then getting feedback from the group about how to make it stronger, better,” said Freeman.

“Sometimes people give general comments and sometimes a person might ask for specific feedback on a certain area like melody, or lyrics, or structure.”

The songwriting circle partnered up with the WECC for the May 5 workshop. This is not the first time MISC has held sponsored workshops. Freeman cited workshops where established songwriters such as James Keelaghan, Vance Gilbert, and Manitoba Hal have assisted in the learning process.

Freeman sees this songwriting workshop as another opportunity to gain greater insight for writers from their peers.

“The workshop we will be doing at the WECC this time is an idea I’ve had for a while. As a songwriter, I often find myself studying songs even when I am listening at parties, on the road, etc. and I learn a lot from paying attention to what others are doing in that way,” said Freeman.

“Also, as writers, sometimes we encounter writer’s block and we are trying to finish something but the ideas aren’t flowing.”

The workshop will be split into three parts. Writers will first have a chance to share one of their favourite songs with the group. After listening to the songs, the writers will have a chance to sit and work on a song idea or partially completed song. Finally, the songs created through the influence and ideas generated will be shared with the group.

“People can expect to learn some of the various approaches and techniques to writing a song from other songwriters, and as a group we will study the techniques used by various famous songwriters,” MISC board member Ian Chadsey told the Manitoban.

The songwriting workshop will take place on May 5 at the West End Cultural Centre from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Registration for the workshop is $20.00. To register, email Manitoba Independent Songwriters Circle at manitobasongcircle@gmail.com