This past week I’ve also been along to a couple of inspiring music workshops and masterclasses. During August, music & arts charity Musical Keys, who work with people with complex &/or additional needs, ran Creative Connections, free music and arts workshops for young people. I managed to get along to a session at Create Norwich in Trowse, a really impressive rehearsal, recording and teaching space. The session was run by musician and music tutor Pete Murdoch and we looked at various apps for making music with the iPad. These included Soundrop, Musyk and MadPad.
We watched various fun demos and saw how you can change the sounds, visuals, speed and also record yourself. The combination of art and music make this a great way of engaging young people with music through technology. We also looked at how to create a song with Garageband, using the loops and instrument tracks. This is something I’ve been doing a lot more of and I really enjoy creating songs on my laptop, many of which are at SoundCloud.com/lisaredford
The next day I went to The Garage in Norwich and their Take Note Music Summer School. All week they were running a series of music workshops to develop the creative and music skills of young musicians and also provide them with an opportunity to collaborate with other young musicians and learn from musicians in the industry. In the morning Pete Murdoch ran a songwriting workshop where the group were given topics to create pieces that would be performed at the end of the week. With guidance also from tutor and musician Carl Cole they learnt how a song was put together, layered and arranged. I caught the end of the workshop and it was so impressive seeing what ideas the groups had come up with in just 20 minutes.
Port Isla and Nadine Shah had already shared their knowledge and experiences with the group and following the songwriting workshop I attended a music expert session with Chris and Steph from the band Kill it Kid who performed two excellent acoustic songs and answered questions about their career. They discussed music publishing, their songwriting process, touring experiences and much more. Singer and guitarist Chris Turpin, who hails from Norwich, shared his passion for early blues and what inspires him to write and also advised how bands should carve their own niche. He also talked about his early gigging days playing in Norwich and how important those early performances in the city were in helping him hone his craft. All really inspiring advice for the young musicians.
Looking ahead to this month and there’s lots coming up. This Sunday 6th September between 1-5pm Musical Keys are celebrating their 25th anniversary at the lovely Bishop’s Garden in Norwich. Admission is £3 and the afternoon will include drop-in sessions: traditional/early years, animation, sensory and songwriting technology for children, young people and adults. They will also have a pop-up shop from ReTune, selling musical instruments restored by people with learning disabilities, and music from Hemblington Harmony Choir. There’s more information at www.musicalkeys.org.uk
Friday September 18th sees one of my favourite songwriters, Boo Hewerdine perform at The Octagon Chapel in Colegate for Dreams Music Promotions who have been putting on some lovely gigs by respected artists within the worlds of folk and Americana. I’ve followed Boo’s career since his band The Bible and performed a couple of his songs at an evening celebrating his songwriting at the Assembly House. I’ve also had the pleasure of singing with him at his recent Bicycle Shop gig and he really is one of the countries finest songwriters.
Live Boo Hewerdine cover of 'The Birds are Leaving' at The Assembly House:
I love playing the ukulele, there’s something inherently happy about its sound. I’ve taught ukulele for beginners and also performed a number of songs on it. September 19th sees the second year of Uke East at Norwich Arts Centre. Doors are open at 12pm and the festival will feature workshops, an open mic, jams, as well as performances by the most renowned contemporary ukulele players from around the country. Uke East will again be raising money for Musical Keys and I’m really looking forward to it. More details are here: www.uke-east.co.uk
Me playing ukulele on my song 'You Will Know' at House Cafe, Norwich:
The Refectory at Norwich Cathedral have been celebrating talent from the local music scene and on September 11th talented Norwich singer-songwriter Jess Morgan will be performing solo and with her trio who I saw a lovely set by recently in The Rose. Jess is inspired by British and American folk as well as country, blues and world music and is currently promoting her latest release ‘The Bournemouth EP’.
I’m really looking forward to be supporting the renowned Eliza Carthy and The Wayward Band at OPEN Norwich on October 14th. For all my upcoming gigs, music videos and teaching information, please take a look at www.lisaredford.com
Images courtesy of Claudia Taveira Photography