Wednesday, June 29, 2016

TAKING NOTES AT THE 2016 PHILPOP SONGWRITING WORKSHOP W/ THE MAESTRO

PHILPOP 2016 RYAN CAYABYAB

TAKING NOTES AT THE 2016 PHILPOP SONGWRITING WORKSHOP W/ THE MAESTRO

It probably started when I was around 10 or 11 years old, I would write poems about love, dogs, and tooth fairies. When I was in High School I remembered recording line per line the lyrics and melody I would come up with as I lay down in bed trying to make myself sleep at the same time. It was somewhat a passion that didn't fully spark, or has been forgotten for other interests. Until early this year when I had this goal to focus on discovering my potential in music; going back to learning the guitar, writing songs, and singing to mention the least.


PHILPOP MINT COLLEGE
MINT College's cool hallway
Last week I had the opportunity to cover and attend the first leg of PhilPop's "Songwriting Workshop with the Maestro 2016" held at MINT College in McKinley Hill. Admittedly I was a bit hesitant going to Taguig in the afternoon (I live in Manila), but for the love of learning something new, and from no less than Mr. Ryan Cayabyab - go push! Haha :) 

The workshop is nothing too formal, I even decided to sit on the floor and have my things prepared for the lecture. Feeling estudyante indeed!

PHILPOP 2016 RYAN CAYABYAB

And for the readers who would like to also learn a thing or two about songwriting, I got here some of the key points I was able to jot down during the workshop. Get your songwriting 101 exclusively from Faudible:

THE FIVE MAIN PARTS OF SONGWRITING

ACTIVATE CREATIVE PROCESS: Doing something musical, like playing an instrument. You have to be a part of the physicality of music. By doodling at your instrument you may be able to activate the storehouse in your brain, a chance to rise to the surface.

ASSOCIATE: It talks about association of words. When writing lyrics and you want to write about change for example, what are the words to put that will link to your chosen theme? 

INCUBATE: You don't rush a creative process: you meditate on it, you walk around with it, you imagine, you become the character. You feel what the singer is feeling. Lastly, you sleep on it, the outcome will be more thought out.

SEPARATE: Separating imagination / inspiration to evaluation. Differentiation of ideas and knowing how to write the words, from what words to write.

DISCRIMINATE: The essential of most art - making the fine distinction and determining what part to remove. Detect the flaws, revise, and seek clarity. Unify the timeframe, voice and tone.

Joining Mr. Ryan Cayabyab at the workshop are some of PhilPop's past finalists such as Jungee Marcelo, Yumi Lacsamana, Davey Langit, Lara Maigue, Mike Villegas, Toto Sorioso, etc. who also shared their knowledge and process in songwriting.

When starting an idea some of them check the news, some of them also starts with a song followed by the title. They also reiterate that it makes a big difference if you know an instrument and the chord progression.

PHILPOP DAVEY LANGIT YUMI LACSAMANA
Davey Langit and Yumi Lacsamana

TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
They were generous on sharing some tips for beginners like moi! 

-> Experience is important, dapat may hugot.
-> If you lack experience, observation can help. Observe how people react and talk.
-> Let others hear it, although don't entirely rely on other people's opinion.
-> When starting, it is best to write about what you already know.
-> Since you're new, know your activation concept. Start with an idea, or riff from instrument, an observation, or story of your friends. Soon you'll discover your activation.
-> Start with smart people, those worth your time. Although Maestro Ryan disagreed and said surrounding yourself with stupid people can also be helpful.
-> Make your song a stepping stone, think of your flaws to know your directions.
-> Inspiration and mood is important.
-> If you think your melody or song is bland just keep focusing on it and repeating it. Sometimes it may sound bland to us but not to others, so let it grow on you. But don't force it.

WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO SAY THAT THE SONG IS FINAL ALREADY, NO REVISIONS ANYMORE?

-> Jungee Marcelo lets his wife listen to his songs, considering her his eyeglasses to his compositions.
-> If it's a commercial jingle, they quipped: "Pag okay sa client, okay na yun!" =D
-> Yumi Lacsamana: "Pag nakwento mo na, basahin mo, ulitin mo. Pag nakwento mo na, tapos na yun."
-> First stage: slowed down. Second stage: make others hear it, although the maestro said it's not necessary anymore. Third stage: Let go.

The maestro gave an advice which is not just applicable to the question above, but to your failed relationship as well, haha!

"When you do something, you have to put a stop and let go."

HOW TO AVOID OVER PRODUCING A SONG?

-> Know the directions of the song.
-> Less is more.

PHILPOP 2016 RYAN CAYABYAB

THE DIFFERENCE OF MUSIC BEFORE AND AT PRESENT, WHY SONGS OF TODAY DON'T LAST THAT LONG ANYMORE.

Mike Villegas gave a spot on answer - Internet. It's easy to listen to music now considering all the music streaming sites and app today. Unlike before, there's the "imprisonment" in music where because of the limited resources, you are accustomed to listen to a song over and over again. Today almost everybody has an album, a song, which you can conveniently listen to considering the digital age in music.

He made it clear though that there are still a lot of great compositions today, only that the internet has democratize music listening. We don't seem to have an anthem anymore, we have become individualistic to music.

PHILPOP 2016 RYAN CAYABYAB

After the lecture and question and answer, they initiated some activities making the workshop more interactive.

Below is a video showing how to create a song melody out of humming a riff. I am completely in awe with Mr. Ryan Cayabyab, he truly deserves the title Maestro! The second part of the video are some of the composers' answers when I asked them to think of a story out of my given title "One For The Road" :)



Before ending the workshop, we were able to get treat performances from two of PhilPop's past finalists!
SA'YO NA LANG AKO - LARA MAIGUE

PARATINGIN MO NA SIYA - DAVEY LANGIT


PhilPop 2016's Finals Night will be on July 23, 2016 6PM at the KIA Araneta Theatre.
Buy your tickets at TicketNet Online!

PHILPOP 2016 RYAN CAYABYAB










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