time signature

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 …

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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. The …

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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. Her …

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Neel, Ritah, Adi, Mike, Ahmed, and Phil

Beige Shelter: How To Write Within A Band

Beige Shelter is an ambitious and eclectic five piece band from Toronto that brings fire, passion and a political conscience to their music. Through electrifying live performances, the band showcases both original songs and interesting twists on cover songs. Beige Shelter is currently working on their 2nd EP release. Lead singer and vocalist Adi Aman …

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Neel, Michael, Steve, and Phil

Steve Koven – Play Piano, See The World

This week, SongTalk welcomed jazz pianist and teacher Steve Koven. Steve is a composer, performer, producer and educator. He has one of the longest standing trios in Canada, performing, touring and recording together for over 26 year. Aside from performing and recording with his trio – Steve Koven Trio – Steve also has other recording …

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Matthew Reid: Music Composition – Live, recorded and improvisational

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 …

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Phil, Michael, Patrick, Vanessa, Linda, and Neel

Patrick Ballantyne: An album of longing

This week Song Talk welcomed Patrick Ballantyne back to our studio. Patrick is a veteran songwriter and musician who has worked with many top-selling artists such as The Trews, Meredith Shaw and Big Sugar. On this episode, Patrick brought in a few songs from his upcoming new release so our Song Talk audience got to …

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Vanessa, Bruce, Frank, Phil, and Michael

Frank Horvat and music for Human Rights Defenders

Award-winning and critically-acclaimed composer, songwriter, pianist, music educator and frequent Song Talk Radio guest, Frank Horvat returned to the show to talk about his latest project, The Thailand HRDs. Frank wrote 35 two-minute compositions for string quartet, where each movement was written for a Human Rights Defender in Thailand as part of photographer Luke Duggleby’s compelling …

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Neel, Bruce, Patrick, Phil, Vanessa, and Anthony

Patrick Ballantyne’s Canadian song picks

Popular guest co-host and guest on Song Talk Radio, Patrick Ballantyne dropped by the studio to share two of his favourite Canadian songs. “Help Me” by Joni Mitchell is a great example of her unique combination of melody, structure, and lyrics to evoke a casual conversational tone. Includes a great instrumental hook. Patrick’s other pick was …

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Bruce, Hema, Neel, Frank, and Phil

Exploring non-standard time signatures & EDM with Neel Modi

Our very own Neel talks about creating non-standard time-signature based EDM music. Past guest and composer Frank Horvat co-hosted while Neel’s better half, Hema handled the social media. Some stuff we talked about: Dave Brubeck Goldie – Timeless Writing Better Lyrics – Pat Patison Frank’s webpage Dave Brubeck’s Take 5 One of a Mind lyrics No …

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Neel, Etain, Vanessa, Phil, Patrick, Alon and Ivan posing

Electronic music creation with Audio Insurgency

Toronto-based virtuoso electronic music duo Audio Insurgency joined us for a second time to talk about their latest projects, including an album of inventive video game music covers. Audio Insurgency is made up of Alon Rodovinsky and Ivan Popov. The guys previously appeared on Song Talk Radio in early 2016. Patrick Ballantyne filled in for Bruce …

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Neel, Phil, Jacob, Bruce, Nicole, and Janice

Jacob Moon a song writing star

With 10 albums over a 20-year career, Canadian singer/songwriter/guitarist Jacob Moon dropped into the studio to share a wealth of helpful tips and clear insights. “Live a Little” is a truly exceptional tune, a perfect marriage of lyrics, melody, theme and variation.  “Is That All You Got” is a gutsy rocker that looks at calamity with defiance …

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OITC with the team

Get loaded on songwriting ammo with One in the Chamber

One in the Chamber (Mike Baise – vocals, rhythm guitar, Cecil Eugene – lead guitar, vocals, Christian Dotto – bass, Gerrod Harris – percussion) join us to discuss their songwriting process as a band.  We talked about: bringing a song to the band to be fleshed out singing lead vocals with lyrics written by a bandmate …

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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 …

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Jeff with the team

He sang us good songs, he’s the piano man – Jeff Alan Greenway

Jeff Alan Greenway, backed by Cheryl Beatty on guitar and vocals, rocked our little studio with some powerful piano chops and heartfelt sounds. With a background in piano, jazz improvisation, cover and original bands, Jeff draws on his relationships to inspire his song writing. Whether it’s a call for closeness (Open These Doors), an on-again, off-again affair …

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Melanie with the Song Talk Radio team

Melanie Peterson, aka Mary Poppins with a broken heart

Melanie treats the team to two live performances, talks about duality and contradictions in her songs, and asks the ultimate Facebook quiz question, “Is your guy good on paper?” We also talked about: Pat Pattison’s songwriting seminar on youTube writing from a title crowdfunding for your album on indiegogo

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Chris Birkett: Finding and Freeing Your Creative Flow

Producer extraordinaire (Sinead O’Connor, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Alison Moyet, Dexys Midnight Runners, Talking Heads, The Pogues, Bob Geldof, Mel Brooks, Siedah Garrett, Steve Earle, Ali Amran, Alain Chamfort, René Lacaille, Talitha Mac Kenzie, etc) and songwriter guitarist Chris Birkett talks about his searching for the ins and outs of the creative process.  

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