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2019 Targetted Songwriting Retreat
King Lake Melbourne

Carter & Carter Targeted Songwriting Retreat

Held at King Lake, outside Melbourne, Victoria at The Cheeky Fox, this has got to be one of the best songwriting retreats to go to. In this rural location, sixteen (16) budding songwriters converged for an intensive weekend honing skills and preparing songs for upcoming projects, pitching to artists, publishers etc. ​David and Merelyn Carter together with guests Lyn Bowtell, Lee Bowman, Paula Bowman and Lachlan Bryan delivered workshops and provided one on one focus with songwriters over the weekend. Lots of amazing songs were written and shared each evening at the retreat.

Coming back to the retreat means connecting with like minded people all who want to write songs together. The following are outcomes from the weekend.

"Nothing Good Comes From Loving You"
Our first group session with David actively engaged a group of us in the writing of a song with a demonstrated process for writing together as a group.

"Don't Dance So Fast"
Kath Stewart and I set off with the challenge to write a song together. Kath had a lyrical idea that that we began working up further developing the message and intention of the song. A melody was created to support the song and the unity of its idea. Paula Bowman worked with us as we shifted and shaped the song to its structural form. Lee Bowman dropped in on this session with us also. Lee and Paula are from the band Jetty Road.

"Dancing Again"
Christine and I have been ongoing in our writing sessions since Australian Songwriter's Conference in 2018. At the retreat we were able to fine tune a song we had been working on in lead up to the retreat to showcase it at an evening session gaining further feedback for the song.

I learned something significant about Kaitlyn Thomas at this year's retreat. She is a major fan of Sheryl Crowe. Kaitlyn has listened to the songs of Sheryl Crow from a very young age and has been fully inspired by Sheryl as a performer and songwriter. Kaitlyn had an engaging chorus already underway when we got underway to writing this song for her. Joined by Lee Bowman, our process evolved through a contemplation of ideas with lyrical and melodic development shaping each step of the way. An interesting element to the song is the inclusion in a meaningful way of some song titles from the repertoire of Sherly Crow. Kaitlyn's delivery of the song is aa powerhouse performance.

At 2019 Carter and Carter Targetted Songwriting Retreat, this song shifted forward with adjustments and input from David Carter, Della Harris and Kath Stewart. The articulation of the song's message was massaged and in places reshaped to gain better clarity of the song. The developed of the bridge brought forth a more significant message for this part of the song.
Over the year, adjustments had been made to the song, reshaping - developing some areas and dropping some lyric not in unity with the song. Bringing the song back to this following year's retreat enabled more fine tuning and a now conclusive song.

With further connections made at the retreat, further song writes are evolving and waiting in the wings.

Some of the topics covered in workshops were:

    • Writing for a Reason - a focussed writing approach
    • The Rewrite - how to take a song from finished to amazing
    • Taking Aim - How to write songs that connect with your target market
    • How to improve the commerciality of your songwriting
    • The pathway through Writing, Arranging to Recording - bringing your song to life the way you hear it in your head
    • Effective brainstorming - ways to get into a creative space and overcome the doubts
    • Overcoming writing blocks
    • Co-Writing - an amazing networking experience
    • Rounding out your project - selecting songs for an album, finishing a book or achieving the goal of your creative project
    • How to pitch a song to artists

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