There are many benefits to your musicianship when you learn and master playing an instrument. You increase coordination, cognitive skills that include better memory, and create a higher level of social awareness.
The piano works as a wonderful starting point for most musicians, as it provides a good base in music theory, and it helps make identifying chords and key signatures a much easier task. But the guitar also provides an equally solid foundation for learning chords and is utilized just as frequently with songwriting. There are numerous advantages to learning and knowing how to play one of these instruments if you write songs. No matter which avenue you select, picking one of these classic instruments will undoubtedly assist and grow your songwriting abilities.
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
This week SongTalk welcomed Matthew Reid to our studio. Matthew is a critically acclaimed, award winning composer for film, television, games and theatre. His funny songs have delighted almost a million people during his tenure as composer for Toronto’s world famous Second City comedy theatre. His comedic musical, The Second City Guide to the Symphony was has been performed by top orchestras across North America since 2014.
As a film composer, he recently won several awards as a composer collaborating with Tim Burton’s producer, Derek Frey on the multiple award-winning film, Green Lake.
Currently he’s completing the score for the 9/11 feature doc, No Responders Left Behind, constantly creating production music tracks and finding a little time to compose classical chamber music.
This week SongTalk Radio has a special episode celebrating the 35th anniversary of the classic film, “This Is Spinal Tap”. And joining us in our trip down memory lane is one of our favourite guests on the show Blair Packham. We talk about where and when we first encountered this classic cult comedy and how true it was to our own experiences in the music business (hint: very!)
On this episode, Neel, Phil, Michael and Blair talk about:
how the film was made
what has made the movie so popular many decades later
Our own Michael Proudfoot proudly stepped into the world of cover songs. He uncovered a treasure trove of examples and ideas. Have a listen as the Song Talk Radio team plus Blair Packham (The Jitters) tackles:
when everything was a cover
the difference between 45, 78, and 33 1/3 rpm records
professional songwriters writing for professional singers
How The Beatles shifted pop culture by both writing and performing their own songs
Julian Taylor is a Canadian singer-songwriter formerly with the band Staggered Crossing. His songs have appeared in television series including Degrassi: The Next Generation. He now fronts the Julian Taylor Band. Julian dropped by the studio with his daughter Ella. We talked about:
Not specifically about modes, but BBC’s History of Music in 50 Pieces podcast is excellent to learn about the development of scales, thirds, and harmonies in Western music over the centuries, and a lot more!
Toronto singer/songwriter Michael Thorner dropped by the studio for a chat about his music. He brought two catchy tunes from his recent webcast/album release The ehMTee Show; Don’t Let it Go and Point Edward Fair. We talked about: