• WHAT WERE YOU HOPING TO GET OUT OF THE RETREAT?
By attending the retreat I wanted to become a better songwriter. Now, what does that mean exactly? For me, to gain insight into other people’s process, to be mentored by professionals and to see into that world. To get new songwriting tools, and by that I mean new ways of thinking. Also, I attended with my long-time friend and songwriting partner Peter Hawkin, so there was the added bonus of a shared experience of a road trip, creative holiday and the Knoydart Brewery beer!
• WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST TAKE AWAY?
My biggest takeaway was learning about the narrative songwriting process from Jon Boden our artist in residence. The level of analysis and thought that goes into his songwriting was astounding. Very thoughtful, analytical and intelligent. I took lots of notes to refer to later. Also, the song reviews by Jon, both during the songwriting and when the songs were presented to the group gave me a real insight into his thinking and methods.
These insights were ideal for me, as 95% of the time I come up with lyrics first which usually arrive as a stream of consciousness, and I have to mould them into the song structure once the music comes along. Now I have a structure and questions to help analyse what I am doing. For example, is this song voice that of the unreliable narrator? What are the song characters thinking now and why, what is their back story? What am I trying to say in the song? I started using these techniques on the course.
• WHAT WAS YOUR HIGHLIGHT?
So many to choose from! Our Doune Bay set at the last night concert in Knoydart Community Hall was my highlight. Picture this. New songs written the day before in the stunning setting of Doune Bay, arranged and rehearsed the next day and then presented on stage that evening with us all supporting each other in thought and deed, everyone joining in and enhancing the performance. It was my first time back on stage since lockdown started and there I was, performing my new song with the most wonderful harmony backing of all attendees on stage and with Jon adding melody lines on violin. A great sense of achievement, companionship, creativity and fun. So great to be a part of it and see everyone performing so well. A peak experience, in the unique environment that is the stage.
• WHAT THREE WORDS SUM UP YOUR TIME AT THE RETREAT?
Fun • Creativity • Knoydart-Time (if I’m allowed a hyphen)
TO HEAR TIM'S MUSIC CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING ICONS ...
ATTENDED : Jon Boden's retreat
DATE: Sept 2021