Song writer’s workshop to help improve lyrical content

by: - July 12, 2018
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Ian Jackson (right) receiving a Golden Drum Award from former president, Eluid Williams in 2013 for having penned numerous songs in a wide variety of music genres and earning 21 titles, the most by any Dominican to date (file photo)

A one week workshop geared at improving song writing skills among Dominican composers is scheduled to take place from 23 July 2018.

Ian Jackson, who has been composing songs for over thirty years, is organizing this workshop in collaboration with the Division of Culture and the Association of Music Professionals (AMP).

He told Dominica Vibes on Wednesday 11 July 2018 that the workshop is geared towards music bands, calypsonians and others with interests in composing songs as “there has been a lot of complains about the lyrical content of our music now a days”.

It will be held from the 23rd to 28th of July 2018 at the Old Mill Cultural Centre in Canefield. Registration costs one hundred dollars ($100. 00) per person.

Interested persons are encouraged to call 1 (767) 276-6766 or 295 2633 to communicate their intent to participate in the workshop.

“There are many Calypsonians who can already write but they do not think they are proficient enough, and that might be a good opportunity to engage themselves in a song writing workshop,” Jackson said.

“It’s going to be from 6PM in the evening so after you leave work you can come in to the event and it goes on to 8PM,” he added.

Jackson informed that there will be presentations on song writing, melody, and how to develop melody, among other topics.

Jackson, who has been a song writer for over thirty years and has won many competitions and awards, thinks this workshop is one of the ways that “I can give back to persons instead of just criticizing lyrical content”.

“You can also bring your songs and have them work shopped right here at the workshop and come and do something real good,” Jackson indicated.

“If you are a Calypsonian trying to sing for next year, or you in the process of putting out a Bouyon album, a reggae album and you want to tighten your lyrics, here’s an opportunity for you to come to the workshop and learn some skills as far as song writing is concerned,” he added.

The organizers are inviting at least two members from every band in Dominica to attend.

“Even though you think that you can write very well, it might just be a sharing situation, you will always know something that probably I don’t know or the other tutors don’t know and you could always share that information and improve our song writing stock in Dominica,” Mr. Jackson said.

He said while there has been a cry in Dominica for an improvement in lyrics there is a need for more writers, especially in the calypso art form.

“For instance you have about four-five persons Pat Aaron, myself, or the late Freddy Mends and a few others who has been consistently writing many songs for one year, when I think there are Calypsonians who have the potential to write, and if you feel you are one of those then this workshop basically is for you,” Jackson said.