Tuesday, June 10, 2008
What a lovely way to spend a weekend! We were all there in a hotel by the side of Lake Coniston, with a mountain out the back window, and the lake down the bottom of the garden, eighteen potential songwriters and three tutors (Scott Macdonald, Martin Stephenson and myself), sitting on wooden chairs in the sunshine and green-green-green, with words, music, and singing all flying out of us all over the place. Saturday was spent inventing, workshopping, passing ideas around, talking, joking and eating; on Saturday evening in the bar there was a lovely unplugged concert, featuring songs from the three different groups. Ours was best, 'Sparks Will Fly', because we had the best harmonies, though for some unfathomable reason, Martin's group won the Conistonvision contest with 'Too Taboo For Us To Do'.
Stars of the evening were Maria, who bravely kicked the show off with her beautiful song, Mike with his first ever song, Andrew with his hot-off-the-press work in progress, and Robson, who showed us all the value of the guitarless song and brought the house down. Oh yes! And Tim, who actually knew most of the words of 'Freight Train', so we sang that together. But everybody was really good, not just as performers but as audience members too: they had so much respect for each other.
It was a combination of exciting (hearing all the new songs) and relaxing (it felt like it had worked!), very satisfying and good-humoured. On Sunday, everybody got up late and we sat in the wooden chairs again, playing some group songs and talking until it was time to go home.
It was a completely unique experience; a psychologist would have found it fascinating to hear how everyone articulated themselves in words and music.
I'm so glad I am not one!
From time to time, you could wander down to the jetty and look at the little dark fish in the water and the sailboats in the distance, and listen to the total silence.
SIlence and music- the perfect weekend!