ideas

New standards by Steven Taetz

Multi-talented singer songwriter Steven Taetz turned the Song Talk studio into a smoky nightclub with his perfect renditions of his own songs. Waiting for Wishes (co-written with Emma-Lee) had so many “hooks” we lost count (listen for pre-chorus one and two, and the first chorus!). Lately (co-written with Gavin Bradley) had us enraptured as Steven delivered the plaintive lyrics of a man who fears his lover may have strayed. Listen to the awesome bridge!

Listen to the entire show here!

Bob Guido serves up some ambient vibes

The awesomely talented former recording engineer Bob Guido shared some absolutely mesmerizing sounds with the Song Talk Radio audience. With his guitar and effects he played Letting Go, a dreamy instrumental which showcased Bob’s mastery of melody and form. His second tune Wake Up Call featured Bob’s vocals and lyrics in a haunting arrangement that called for more love in the world. Some of the topics that came up included:

www.bobguido.bandcamp.com

www.bobguido.com

Do you write songs from the heart or from the head?

Often on Song Talk Radio, this question arises.  Sometimes, it’s fun for the hosts to try and guess.  “Your song sounds very cerebral,” or “Your song sounds very intuitive.”  The guests themselves tell us how well considered every decision in their songwriting process is, or tell us “It just came to me.”  This question of process in creative endeavour is as old as the creative endeavours themselves. On Blair Packham’s show, he talked about his own journey on both the intuitive and the cerebral roads.

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Neel Modi and Sonja Seiler show us creative collaboration and more

Neel Modi is a multi-talented songwriter, drummer and keyboardist with an eclectic collection of recordings from the quirky to the imaginative. On this show, he presented “Depend on Me” – based on a challenge to write a song about a car accident from the brake pad’s point of view – it’s a “brake-up” song ;-), and “Nature’s Lullaby”, a collaboration with singer/songwriter Sonja Seiler, a touching poetic take on the interconnection between all things in the natural world. The third song was “I Never Write Her a Song”, a catchy response to a request from Neel’s spouse. She loves it!

Topics of discussion ranged from anthropomorphism to collaboration and descants,to the power of modulation to lift a song to a whole new level of energy.

We also talked about:

Eric Sorenson, Finding his Directions Home

Singer-songwriter and occasional co-host of Song Talk Radio, Eric Sorenson, returned to the show to showcase tunes from his upcoming EP, Directions Home, and a crowd-pleaser from his live shows.  Eric was joined by his bandmates Liz Jaremyn and Andrew Ages.

Stuff we talked about:

  • International Songwriting Competition (deadline extended to November 5)
  • IMSTA Festa Event  – October 17, 2015 at Ryerson University (say hi to Phil and Neel while you’re there!)
  • How to create a concept album
  • Is it a bridge or a pre-chorus? (Who cares? It sounds good!)
  • When your song may not need a chorus
  • When to consider a key change / modulation in your song

Be sure to support Eric’s indiegogo campaign to help him cover production expenses for his new album.

 

 

Christine with the team

Just Love with Christine Gaidies

With her unique voice, inventive phrasing, and heart-centred lyrics, Christine Gaidies filled our little studio with music and conversation about “love and life”. From endings (My Hear is in the West) to sexy middles (Love 101) and the frustrations of searching for love (All I Ever Really Wanted).her songs weave a spell. Listen to the sweet vocal harmonies and the powerhouse band and join the fan club!

Exploring the art-rock strangeness that could only be Frank Horvat

Frank dropped by Song Talk Radio again, this time with songs from his recent release, Strange Machine.  We talked about:

  • using wikiloops for free backing tracks
  • unconventional time signatures, and unusual uses of 4/4
  • the differences between art songs and pop songs
  • a modern twist on the protest song
  • Frank’s experimental writing process using Logic

Listen to the show:

About Frank Horvat

With a Broken Social Scene-like attitude, Toronto’s ambient-edged art rock band, The Frank Horvat Band, uses a colourful canvas to create songs for a dynamic and intoxicating aural experience. Their latest album, Strange Machine, was crafted more like a playlist than an album with 10 songs, 5 singers and 13 musicians taking part. But the constants were producer Jean Martin who was part of the team for Tanya Tagaq’s 2014 Polaris win, and songwriter and pianist, Frank Horvat, with his own brand of protest songs.

Frank’s links

John with the guys

Songwriting with “Puppets Who Kill” creator John Pattison

Script writer, puppeteer and occasional singer-songwriter John Pattison joined us, without puppets, to perform and talk about three of his songs.  Together we discussed:

  • the difference between abstract and narrative songs
  • John’s journey from script writer to song writer
  • How John wrote a song in the men’s room at Massey Hall after a Paul Simon concert
  • How open mics are a great way to get instant feedback on your songs
  • Puppets who kill

Stop by the Tranzac Club on their Monday night open mics and you might hear and see John there!

John also performed his songs live the studio: