Inspiring and educational experience: Learning to use new tools (not the household kind)

Two weekends ago, I had a fantastic, soul enriching and inspiring weekend.  I went to a live performance by Amelia Curran and Ryan Boldt (from the Deep Dark Woods).  I had never heard either of them before and they were both great!  The following day I attended two workshops: the first was a songwriting workshop with Amelia Curran and the second was a Looping Pedal workshop with spoken word artist and musician Moe Clark.  All 3 of these events had the artist in me grinning (a Julia Roberts grin) and inspired me to try some new things with my songwriting.

More on Workshop 1:  
Amelia Curran is well-known for her descriptive lyrics, full of imagery and metaphor.  Seeing her perform before attending the workshop was very rewarding for me as I got a sense of how she applies metaphors and images to her songs (and how well they work!).  At the workshop, it was great to hear more about her writing process, how she finds inspiration and what writing methods she uses.  The interactive form of the workshop also gave us all a chance to learn little tips and tricks from one another.  Songwriting is such an individual thing, everyone writes differently and there is no one right way to do it; so I have always found it very rewarding to hear how different songwriters write.  It gives me new ideas of things to try in my own writing process.  I like to challenge myself and try new ways of writing to see what comes out, discover new sounds and continue growing as an artist.

More on Workshop 2:
In the workshop with Moe Clark, we explored the looping pedal from an interactive perspective - we all had to be spontaneous and create a group piece using our voices and the various instruments Moe had brought along.  She introduced new methods of experimenting with the writing process using the looping pedal and it was a very soul-enriching experience to interact with other artists in such a way.
Then there was the technical side of the workshop, learning how the Looping Pedal works and what it can do.  Moe has a nice fancy one and I absolutely want to get one for myself.  Alas (that's right, alas), there is this little thing called money the people at the store want in exchange for the product... so I don't own one yet.  I am not the most technologically skilled person, so it was great to learn about the pedal and see it action in the workshop.  I had only ever seen them in use on stage before and for whatever reason the people don't stop their performance to explain to you how it all works.  (Weird, right?)  I feel like a looping pedal would add another great experimental aspect to my songwriting process and possibly to my stage show (I look forward to playing around with one and discovering how I want to use it).

The Result:
All of those experiences combined to inspire a new song over the following week, written with some different techniques/ideas than previous songs I've written.  The song is not completely done by any means, there are still so many fun things to explore, but I have the basic form, melody and lyrics and I'm quite happy with it!  I was so inspired to try out some of the new techniques and apply them to my own songwriting... so I did! It was fun, and I look forward to having a wider array of tools in my songwriting toolkit going forward!  The only problem is that now I'm quite jealous of anyone with a looping pedal... I didn't know what I was missing out on until Moe's workshop.  I'm no longer blissfully ignorant when it comes to looping pedals and I'll be saving up so I can afford one of my own.  (In the meantime, if I see you with a looping pedal, I will probably be staring at it, drooling enviously.  Don't mind me.)

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