creativity

Mike, Neel, Phil, and Bradley

From Classical to Personal with Bradley McCaw.

Bradley McCaw is an award-winning singer/songwriter. His career started with him singing classical music and touring internationally with the group THE TEN TENORS. A native of Australia, Bradley spent fifteen long years making good in every job a musician and writer could possibly have, ending his day with a stack of old vinyls by his bed and a dream to create music like his heroes.…

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Neel, Mike, and Phil

Hit Songs with Unconventional Structures

 

People think that pop songs have a standard structure – verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus –  and many do. Mostly because that familiarity works. But some hit songs challenge convention, they chart their own path to great success. So this episode we thought we would find some recent songs that go against the grain and still manage to be popular.…

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Mike, Phil, and Neel

How we became the songwriters that we are

This week it was just the family, as hosts Mike, Neel, and Phil each posed a question to reveal how they became the songwriters they are today, and give out songwriting tips in the process.

We talked about:

 …

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Neel, Mike, Phil, and Christopher

How To Write A #1 Hit with Christopher Ward

Very excited to have the Juno-award winning songwriter, author of an international #1 hit song and the very first MuchMusic VJ join us on SongTalk. Christopher Ward has done all that and more. In our recent interview, Chris talked about his new release Same River Twice, its unique recording process and why he wanted to include his version of his song Black Velvet on the album.…

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Neel, Mike, Phil, Nabil, and Michael Massaro

Electro Jazz with Nabil Durzi & Michael Massaro and recording your library of songs

Nabil Durzi & Michael Massaro stopped by to talk about adding jazz to electro.

We talked about:

  • Phil’s Drumset update
  • The drumset
  • How do you record all your songs? How “finished” are they?
  • Using a spreadsheet to keep tabs of your songs in progress
  • Cakewalk gets left off of VST integrations

 

Nabil, is a pro bassist, music producer, recording artist, collaborator, and founder of Grooves Audio Production in 2004, also a band member of the groovy funky band Jellyfish Interrupted with Paul Vos, Sherry Jacoby, and of course Neel Modi.…

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Neel, Mike, Phil, and Matt

Challenging the Tyranny of 440 hz

This week SongTalk resolved the controversy over standardized tuning to 440 hz!

Okay maybe we didn’t resolve anything. But we did invite our good friend and frequent guest Matthew Reid to discuss the origins of the standard tuning setting plus the pros and cons of having a standardized tuning set at 440 hz rather than the more “organic” 432 hz.…

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Mike, Don, Phil, and Neel

Home Recording and Digital Audio Workstations – Part 1

This week SongTalk dives into how to best use DAWs or Digital Audio workstations.

Home recording is booming and it’s not just because of Covid. Musicians have long been using different software at home to do what used to cost thousands of dollars in a professional recording studio.…

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Phil, Neel, Mike, and John

Tomato Tomato and How Writing Simple Songs Can Be Complicated

This week SongTalk welcomed John from Tomato Tomato to our virtual studio.

They just might be Atlantic Canada’s most entertaining musical duo. The New Brunswick based pair – John and Lisa McLaggan – have built a reputation on a live show that is as much about their on-stage charisma as their musical multi-tasking and vocal excellence.…

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Mike, Phil, Neel, Brendan, and Adrian

New Life to Old Songs with The Fugitives

This week SongTalk welcomed Brendan and Adrian from The Fugitives to our studio.

The Fugitives are a folk collective headed by songwriters Adrian Glynn and Brendan McLeod. They’re joined by banjo player Chris Suen (Viper Central) and violinist Carly Frey (The Coal Porters).…

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Neel, Mike, Phil, and Jay

Making Your Influences Your Own with Jay Gordon Wright

This week SongTalk welcomed Jay Gordon Wright to our show.

Jay a multi-instrumentalist songwriter and performer who has entertained audiences around the world. He is classically trained on violin, and has expanded his musical toolshed to include just about every instrument he can get his hands on.…

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Neel, Phil, and Mark

Writing Songs For A Living with Mark Cawley

This week SongTalk welcomed Mark Cawley to our (virtual) studio.

Mark Cawley is a hit songwriter, best selling author, in demand speaker, songwriting coach, and popular blogger. As a songwriter his songs have been on more than 16 million records to date – with a long list of cuts with legendary artists ranging from Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Chaka Khan, and Diana Ross to Wynonna Judd, Kathy Mattea, Paul Carrack, Billie Piper, Pop Idol winners, and The Spice Girls just to name a few.…

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Neel, Phil, Mike, and Melanie

Writing From The Heart with Melanie Peterson

BBC Radio has called Melanie, “Mary Poppins with a broken heart” and that is just part of her appeal. Besides her beautiful voice, Melanie is a terrific songwriter with lots of great songs to prove it. Her tune “Christmas Breaks My Heart” was a finalist in the Great American Songwriting Contest.…

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Mike, Neel, Phil, and Dokter Nomi

How To Write Songs (if you don’t play an instrument)

This week SongTalk welcomed Doktor Nomi to our studio.

Admittedly Nomi is not a real doctor but he does have a unique and interesting way of creating music. As a topliner and lyricist, Nomi frequently works with other collaborators to create his music.…

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Neel, Phil, and Mike

Our Listeners’ Songs – what you are writing

This week SongTalk featured a few songs from our listeners. And it was loads of fun.

We chose three of our listeners’ songs to take a closer listen to.

Stuart Cook – near Manchester, England penned a delightful song inspired by the view from a hill near his home.…

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We don’t need no stinkin’ coherent lyrics – with Neel Modi

Neel plays a track off his latest EP with special guest Lexie Jay from local TO Duo, Featurette.

Ace Symmetry is Neel Modi’s experimental EP of progressive electro-pop. Odd time signatures and nonsensical lyrics are combined with inventive beats, cool synth sounds, and catchy keyboard solos to create a unique and fun sonic experience.…

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Gilbert, Phil, Neel, and Mike

Creating a Concept Album with Gilbert Neal

This week Song Talk Radio welcomed Gilbert Neal to our studio.

A master song craftsman, Gilbert Neal – on his latest release Mistakes of Memory shows the depth and diversity of his influences: Leonard Cohen, Pink Floyd, ELO, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Stephen Sondheim.…

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Michael Johnson, Phil, Mike, and Neel

How to improvise in a band with Michael Johnson and Little Rambunctious

Actor, playwright, filmmaker, and musician, Michael Louis Johnson shares his experiences with his improvisation bands Rambunctious and Little Rambunctious, 13-member and 5-member brass bands, respectively.

We talked about:

  • Michael’s approach to improvising a lyric for a song title suggested by an audience member
  • How to create lyrics based on who’s in the audience
  • The value of a band that only exists “in the moment”
  • How to get the audience dancing

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Neel, Mike, Vanessa, and Phil

Remembering John Prine

On this episode we are talking about the great John Prine. This American treasure, perhaps a modern day Mark Twain, a peerless songwriter and chronicler of the lives of regular folk sadly passed away recently – one of the many victims of the Covid 19 pandemic.…

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Blair, Neel, Phil, and Mike

Collecting Your Songs – How To Build An Album with Blair Packham

Song Talk Radio is happy to welcome our good friend Blair Packham to the studio. This episode, Blair is talking about his songwriting and the latest songs that he is working on. In fact, he will preview one of the songs he is considering for his new collection/album.…

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Neel, Mike, Blair, and Phil

Be Better At Performing – Tips from Blair Packham

One of our favourite guests drops by to give practical advice on performing. Blair Packham – songwriter, teacher, performer and 80’s hitmaker – talks about the best practices to entertain and present your songs to an audience, live or on-line.

Blair also shows off his dulcimer, which is very impressive.…

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Neel, Mike, and Phil

The Best Songs Have Only 3 chords

This week on SongTalk we look at a simple songwriting technique that may be more complicated than you think – songs with one chord progression.

That’s right, no guest this week just the SongTalk team – Phil, Neel and Mike – talking about the ways songs with just one series of chords repeated over and over have become huge hits.…

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Don, Neel, Donna, Matt, and Phil

Donna Linklater: Songwriting and Composition, What’s The Difference?

This week SongTalk welcomed Donna Linklater to our studio.

Soprano and composer/songwriter Donna Linklater studied opera with Sylvia Richardson at Brandon University. Toward the end of her studies, she began to focus on new music and was especially taken with the aleatoric music of John Cage which gave her greater freedom of creative expression.…

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Neel, Mike, Blair, Don, and Phil

Keeping It Real with Blair Packham

This week SongTalk welcomed our old friend Blair Packham to our studio.

The Toronto-based artist, first gained attention for his work with ’80’s power pop band The Jitters. He is now an acclaimed solo artist and musician. Blair released two strongly-reviewed solo albums before shifting his focus to composing music for TV and films, teaching songwriting at the post-secondary level and in numerous special event workshops, and co-hosting a long-running major market weekly radio show about music (“In the Studio” on the BellMedia talk radio network).…

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