Songwriting Workshops: Catch & Release
Cris Williamson is "about the best writer and interpretive singer around," said Bonnie Raitt. I love teaching! I come away from my workshops exhausted and happy, all a sign that I've worked hard and given everything. I teach Songwriting, and the class is called Catch and Release, for that's what a songwriter does: we catch ideas, we catch melodies, we hunt and search and put everything found in our writing books so as not to lose them. When a song is done, baked like a cake in the oven, we release it to the world and it begins to have a life of its own.
Songs are made things. I liken it to the making of a cake because we will be following a recipe – in my case, writing words, then putting them to music. I can write the other way, i.e. music –to-words, but I my natural bent is the other way round. But I encourage my students to try everything, anything to help the song get born and sing.
So we try a lot of different things. A lot of writing is involved as we make our way toward a finished song. We write to show ourselves the freedom of boundaries; we write to set our system-bound minds free. We write every day and/or every session. Some sessions are an evening for a couple of hours, some take up an entire weekend, and some, like Esalen, are 5 days long.
You do not have to be a musician or a writer. You do have to be a seeker. We will undergo a passage together, using individual and group exercises, searching for our own authentic voices. We will emphasize lyrics and lyrical writing, factual and abstract, wild and structured. We will leave feeling more confident and expressive. We will leave as songwriters.