Welcome To The Overdrive Sessions

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  This is a brand new venture and we would very much appreciate your participation.


The Overdrive Sessions, gigs with a difference, have these three objectives:


-          to showcase new songs, instrumentals and compositions covering all genres of music;

-          to encourage collaboration between musicians;

-          to promote songwriting talent.


Let me say a little about each objective.


Under the aegis of Phoenix Performing Arts, the Overdrive Sessions will be compered by a team from the Phoenix drama group. Young musicians and composers who have attended music courses will showcase their work, interspersed  with other more experienced musicians, who will also ideally be performing new material.


The first session will take place on Tuesday October 2nd at The Phoenix, Bark Road, Bolton, starting at 7.30.p.m. which is why I am giving you advance notice so that you may have time to write something new by then, or at least by the November session.


Further sessions will also include collaborations, either formal and rehearsed or informal and improvised, between musicians/composers. It is hoped that new work will still be the predominant feature of these collaborations, but there will also be the opportunity to revamp standards and covers on a new cooperative basis.


Overdrive will also maintain links with songwriting organisations such as the International Songwriters Association  and will organise lyrics competitions hopefully involving local writers’ groups such as Write Out Loud,

Bank Street etc


To ensure that the three objectives are met, notice of various ‘challenges’ will be given in advance. Like, now.


Session 1 October Challenge.


Obviously, the challenge here is simply to perform something new or recently composed.


Session 2 November Challenges.


Composition: A new solo ballad (maximum three verses plus chorus)


Collaboration: A duet - vocals or instrumental or both (new or cover version).


Lyrics: three 8 line verses plus a 4 line chorus in any style or genre.


No one song or composition should last longer than 4.30 at the very most and most should be under 4 minutes in length.


Performances will rotate one number one act at a time. Depending on demand I hope to fit everyone in twice but if there is a huge response we may only rotate once. Note that for the first October Session you may not have any new compositions ready. If this is the case your material should still be written by yourself (ideally not years ago!)


While this may be a departure from your usual musical activity, I hope you will enter into the spirit of the Overdrive Sessions and have a go at composing something new by early October or, failing that, aim for one of the November challenges.


 Please feel free to email me or phone on 07879405092 with any reactions or comments and let me know if you will be there: all spots will be prebooked.


Looking forward to seeing you on October 2nd !


Very best wishes


James Hartnell  

◄ Poetry & Creations Workshop

Helen Shay's Edinburgh Review 1 ►


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