time signature

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:

Listen to the show

Famous songs with odd time signatures

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 for this show. Thanks Patrick!

We talked about:

  • song writing vs. music creation
  • orchestral-like arrangements
  • how you know when your song is done (hint: song structure is the key)
  • the roles between Alon as composer and Ivan as producer and sound engineer
  • using a melody note outside the chord to open up a section of the song
  • ways to come up with your title for an instrumental piece
  • whether or not to change your tonal center in a dance song
  • The 440Hz vs 432Hz tuning debate

Listen to the show:

 

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 and a “bring it on” attitude. The hour just flew by as we discussed –

  • live performance looping
  • putting cover songs on YouTube
  • social media
  • how to reharmonize your chords using the same melody
  • the influence on Jacob of songwriters Paul Simon, Ron Sexsmith, Joni Mitchell, and Jackson Brown
  • the benefits of writing a song using only a bass guitar (or the bass notes on piano)
  • open (alternate) tunings including the ever-popular DADGAD
  • how a great song requires hard work and lots of rewrites

Listen to the whole show

Check out Jacob Moon’s engaging and heartfelt performances

Talkin ’bout song structures

Bruce, Neel, Phil and Janice spent most of an hour on the subject of song structures with 4 different examples. We talked about:

  • the prologue verse (I Left my Heart in San Francisco)
  • writing for musical theatre (My Funny Valentine)
  • the connection between segment style and lyrical content (Band on the Run)
  • Sloan’s song with its many sections and its Beatles influence (Fading into Obscurity)

All in all, a fun and informative show. Thanks for the tweets Tony!

Further Reading:

Arranging Songs: How to Put the Parts Together

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
  • to be or not to be wordy
  • abstract lyrics
  • rock and roll

With influences streaming in from all eras of rock, One In The Chamber is a unique, modern rock outfit. Driven by roaring vocals, slinky guitar work, and fueled by driving bass lines and tight, deep grooves, One In The Chamber are able to bring together elements from the 60’s to present day into one tasteful flavour. Hailing from Mississauga, Markham, and Richmond Hill, One In The Chamber can proudly call Toronto and the surrounding cities home, and are excited to perform at your next big event. Be it Friday night in the club, a summer festival, or your block party. Drawing inspiration from the past, while keeping things fresh, One In The Chamber is your new favorite band.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oitcband/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/oitcband

Instagram: https://instagram.com/oneinthechamberofficial/

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

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 (No More Hellos), or a bitter missive to a friendship that always ends up in conflict (Eye for an Eye), Jeff’s songs grab you by the heart and won’t let go. Have a listen!

Website: http://www.jeffalangreenway.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jeffalangreenwaymusic

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/jeffalangreenway

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jeffalangreen

Soundcloud: http://www.soundcloud.com/jeffalangreenway

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/jeff-alan-greenway/id370523776

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

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.