Shows

Vanessa, Michael, Ritha, Taylor, Phil, Micah, and Neel

Making the most of your voice with Taylor Abrahamse

This week, professional singer/songwriter, voice actor & co-founder of Silverthorn Studios recording, Taylor Abrahamse joined us in the studio at SongTalk World Headquarters.  Taylor was a Top 40 finalist on Canadian Idol, has performed on stages across Ontario, has also written & produced musicals, and music for animated series and viral internet music through Corus, DHX & Super Planet Dolan.

Taylor is on the verge of a breakout moment in a promising career. After creating a spontaneous performance opportunity on the conference floor of Canadian Music Week, Taylor was contacted by Grammy-winning producer and engineer Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Carly Simon, David Bowie, Michelle Branch & many more), who wanted to produce & develop Taylor. Now close to the release of his debut record of original songs, Eddie describes Taylor as ‘A true artist, and songwriting genius’.

We were very excited to have Taylor drop by so we could catch up and hear  his talent for ourselves.

 

Writing Better Lyrics – Pat Pattison

FangBone cartoon. theme song by Taylor

Todd and The Shadows on YouTube

Nick Lowe – Cruel To Be Kind

 

Michael, Ritah, Eugene, Stark, Neel, Phil, and Micah

Stark Naked and the Fleshtones: classic punk rock band

Stark Naked and Eugene Ripper of Stark Naked and the Fleshtones joined us to talk about their heyday in the early 80s as an awesome live band in Toronto.

We talked about:

  • how songs are shaped by band dynamics
  • working with the “right” producer
  • the punk music attitude
  • live vs. recorded music

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Neel, Michael, Ritah, Matthew, Phil, and Micah

Favourite Movie Soundtracks!

This week SongTalk welcomed our pal Matthew Reid to our studio to talk about movie soundtracks.

We chose our favourites and talked about why they made the cut and what were the runners up.

 

We talked about:

  • what are the criteria of soundtracks – are they a collection of songs from other sources, are they custom music made specifically for the film project or is there a grey area in between?
  • how soundtracks are created
  • the avant guarde composers used in soundtracks
  • Here are our selections and other items we discussed

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/nine-minutes-that-changed-the-world-1.4138404

 

 

Michael, Neel, Catherine, Ritah, Frank, Micah, and Phil

How to write a Musical – it takes longer than you’d think! with Frank Horvat and Catherine Frid

Long-time friend of the show, songwriter and composer Frank Horvat brought in his musical writing partner Catherine Frid to explain all the steps it took to write and produce their Toronto Fringe hit Spend Your Kids Inheritance.

Listen to the show:

 

What we talked about:

Neel, Ritah, Michael, and Phil

Songs without a chorus

This week we talked about songs which have no chorus. First, we had to be clear about what does make a chorus. Then we deep dove on three songs we think don’t have one. What do you think? Leave a comment with your pick for a song without a chorus.

We also talked about:

  • focussed listening to songs
  • our show about Songwriting Apps
  • our other theme shows about song structure, like Bridges and Pre-Choruses
  • the differences between a chorus and a refrain
  • maybe story or lyric-driven songs with lots of words don’t necessarily have a chorus
  • it’s a chorus if people can easily sing along
  • kitchen sink dramas

Listen to the show

Our selections

Download the lyrics:

Underwhelmed

Up the Junction

88 Lines About 44 Women

Phil, Micah, Jeff, Ritah, Michael, and Neel

Creating Soundtracks with Jeff Alan Greenway

This week SongTalk welcomed Jeff Alan Greenway to our studio.

Greenway is a film composer, singer/songwriter and pianist from Pickering, Ontario. He has written music for film, worked as a session player, orchestrator and arranger, released his own original album “Great Expectations” and wrote the score to the international documentary The Secret Life Of Frogs, which won a Nature award at the Cannes Media and TV festival.

We talked with Jeff about:

  • his evolution from singer/songwriter to film composer
  • how to work with directors and producers
  • the workflow for creating soundtracks for other people’s projects
  • how he creates “to order”
  • how his songwriting process has changed

FB: http://www.facebook.com/jeffalangreenwaymusic
YT: http://www.youtube.com/jeffalangreenway
TW: http://www.twitter.com/jeffalangreen
SC: http://www.soundcloud.com/jeffalangreenway
Website: http://www.jeffalangreenway.com

Gigging on trains with Sarah Hiltz

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Sarah Hiltz is a contemporary folk artist based in Toronto. Her current project has her researching the ways Canadians experience, express and suppress anger in modern society, especially women, and creating a song cycle in response.

Sarah’s last album, Beauty In The Blue, compiled songs and stories culled from her multiple journeys across Canada as a travelling musician on VIARail’s passenger train, “The Canadian”. Beauty in the Blue features lush, nuanced vocals and jazz-influenced songwriting.

Sarah has independently released three full-length albums and two EPs since 2009. Her work over the last decade as a talented singer-songwriter has landed her opening slots for Canadian icons Gordon Lightfoot and Ron Hynes, Top 3 placement in a nation-wide music competition (She’s The One), a Best Folk Album nomination (Toronto Independent Music Awards) and earned her an invitation to give a TEDx talk in 2014.

What we talked about:

Neel, Ritah, Robert, Michael, and Micah

Robert Cross: Leading With Lyrics

This week SongTalk welcomed Robert Cross to our studio.

Robert Cross was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He started playing guitar at 14, just so he could learn how to write songs. Cross is the singer and guitarist of the original rock band Satin, who released their first album Drop Dead Gorgeous in 2019. Cross has branched out into other musical genres as well, having written songs for other southern California acts such as the pop-punk band Aim for the Heart and Country-rock artist David Bucci.

We talked with Robert about:

  • starting a song with the title
  • writing in your car
  • making the most of your “orphans” – leftover song fragments
  • how to communicate your musical ideas to your backing band
  • how the sound of words can lead to creating melodies

https://twitter.com/Satin_band

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV9r0g5z7XBu2OrCqF7taJw

www.instagram.com/satin_sounds/

Michael, Ritah, Vel, and Phil

Music Royalties with Vel Omasic

Vel Omazic of Canada’s Music Incubator explains the ins and outs of Music Royalties and how to make sure you are getting what you should as a songwriter and/or a performer in Canada. Put simply, if someone is making money or conducting business based on your work, you’re entitled to a royalty. There’s tons of info in this episode – be sure to take notes!

We talked about:

  • how Canadian Music Incubator supports the professional development of artists
  • understanding the different royalties for
    • public performance (radio, streaming, live)
    • mechanical royalties (CDs, downloads), and
    • sync licensing (syncing with video including movies and TV)
  • how you should know your rights to receiving royalties
  • what SOCAN does for you as a songwriter
  • how to get royalties for your live performances
  • what royalties mean in the digital world of streaming and social media performances

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Neel, Michael, Matt, Vanessa, Phil, and Micah

Rocketman: The Elton John biopic movie review

The Song Talk Radio Team discussed the latest biopic about Elton John in the movie Rocketman. Composer and Second City writer Matthew Reid joined us.

We talked about:

  • The framing of the story around Elton John’s addiction and therapy
  • The depiction of Elton John as a musical child prodigy
  • Similarities and differences between Rocketman and the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, which we reviewed in January
  • Taron Egerton, who played the role of Elton John
  • The friendship and collaboration between Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin (spoiler alert: this is the best thing about the movie)

Listen to the show: