Entries Tagged as 'Artist Interviews'

Interview with Lilac Writer User Al Oomens

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Al Oomens is a songwriter, guitarist and Lilac Writer user. We recently took the opportunity to talk to Al about his music and his approach to songwriting. This is an excerpt. Read the full interview online at LilacWriter.com.

Lilac Writer (LW): How did you get started with music and songwriting?

Al Oomens (Al): My mother got me started playing guitar. When I was about 10 or 12, she suddenly announced that she was going to learn to play guitar, and bought an acoustic guitar. Now that I think of it, I don't remember her ever actually playing it though. She left it around the house in conspicuous places, and eventually I picked it up and started playing with it and then started taking lessons. She never said so, and passed away several years ago, but looking back I'm pretty sure that's what she had in mind all along.

LW: Tell me about your songwriting process. How does a song go from the idea stage to become a finished recording?

Al: For songs with lyrics, I almost always complete the lyrics before even thinking about any music. To me the lyrics are the most important part of the song. I want the lyrics to be able to stand on their own. If I can create lyrics that have a "rhythm" and "melody" in themselves, then it will be that much stronger when put to music. I am also always writing pieces of music. When I have completed lyrics, sometimes I find that they work well with some music that I have already written. Other times I write the music to fit the lyrics. Once I'm satisfied with the song and the arrangement, I start recording.

LW: How does Lilac Writer fit into your songwriting process?

Al: I have bits and pieces of lyrics and ideas around all the time. With Lilac Writer I can just jot down an idea or part of a lyric wherever I am. I can log in anywhere I can get an internet connection. I don't have to worry about copying files, or syncing or anything like that. Everything is in one place. I find myself doing things online (in the cloud, so to speak) more and more these days, and have been using a Google ChromeOS Laptop (which is completely web based) which allows me to access the internet from anywhere. Lilac Writer is perfect for this, being a web based app.

Read the full interview with Al here:

Listen to samples of Al Oomens' music at http://www.aloomens.com.

Artist Interview with Country Songwriter Eric Edstrom

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This is an interview with country songwriter Eric Edstrom. I talked to him about his songwriting process and how he uses Lilac Writer along with several generations of recorded demos to complete songs from idea to finished Nashville demo.


Tam Lin Interview

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We are happy to present our third artist interview - Tam Lin. This is an excerpt from the interview. Read the excerpt or click here for the full interview!

Tam LinNew York musician, Tam Lin, is not just a regular performer around the city but also a prolific and experienced songwriter.

LW. You are not just a writer but also a live performer. How does this impact your songwriting. Do you your songs evolve from live performance and audience reaction?

Performing for me is both the hardest and most rewarding aspect of playing music. It's hard because when I perform I see right away that there are ideas and words that I'm going to have to let go of because I can't perform them. I might really like a line I've written, but if I can't feel it on stage, well, it has to go. On the other hand, when I perform I get to let go of my own ego as a writer, which is very freeing. I can let the song be separate from me, and just focus on being the voice, the vessel, that lets it come through me and into the world. That's when I love the music most sincerely.

LW. Tell me a little about how you write. Do you have a process or do you wait for inspiration?

I never wait for inspiration, because the only inspiration I've ever experienced has come to me two-thirds of the way into writing a song! If I waited for it I'm sure I'd never write anything. I like to start by building lists of images and emotional statements -- things that feel true, yet unexpected. I'll generally cultivate and grow this list for a while -- sort of like gardening -- and at the same time, I'll start working on some chords and a melody. Then, when the music starts to gel, I'll try to sing through my list till the words sound like music. If I feel like I have a verse and chorus, then I'll start thinking about the story-line too. It's sort of like when a carpenter screws in a piece of wood: he can't screw in any one side too tightly or the other sides won't fit, so he screws each side in a little at a time. I try to do that with melody, rhythm, and story.

LW. Recently, you have started using Lilac Writer. How has this impacted your songwriting? What potential do you think it has for songwriters as it becomes more widely used?

I like the fact that Lilac Writer is structured in more or less the same way as I've always intuitively written: juxtaposing lists of words and rhymes. I like to write by long-hand, but keeping track of what I do in my journal can be cumbersome, so being able to arrange my best ideas online is very helpful. It's a really great service you provide for songwriters to help them stay organized, and I think it will help many people to get over their fears of not being inspired -- not to mention that it will help make collaborations easier.

Read the the rest of the interview for more on Tam Lin!

Megan Wolery Interview

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Megan Wolery (18) has been involved in music from an early age. A singer and multi-instrumentalist, Megan recently became serious about developing her songwriting skills.

You have been using Lilac Writer for a while now. What role does Lilac Writer play in your songwriting process?

Lilac Writer plays a very important role in my songwriting process. I have notebooks full of ideas that I've quickly scribbled down. With Lilac Writer, I can start a song, throw some ideas in there, have a rhyming dictionary (which is one of my favorite part about the program!) and finish a song very quickly. Everything is organized and it's so easy to use. I love it!

You obviously have talent and experience as a singer, but what got you interested in songwriting?

I started writing songs when I was in 7th grade, just for fun, and most of them made no sense at all! It wasn't until the start of this year that I picked up the pen and started writing more mature songs (that actually made sense!). I never thought I was very good at it, but the more I wrote, the better I got, and the more my friends started to like them. I think it was making that transition to college that sparked some new song ideas.

Do your songs go through phases of re-writes?

Definitely! I have never had a song that was complete in one draft. I think that it's good to go through a song once or twice to make some changes. I usually play my second or third draft to my friends and hear what they have to say.

What makes a song great?

The ones that are extremely personal grab my attention. Making sure that your song can reach out to people is so important! One thing I do when writing songs is talking to people - find out what's on their mind. There is a song I'm almost done with that is about things that make people sad like not finding love or losing a family member.  It's okay to be sad and someone out there cares about them, so everything will be alright in the end. It comes from stories and lives of my close friends, and so far, it seems to be one of the best songs I've written!

Read the full interview with Megan! 

Phil Bearce Interview

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Singer/songwriter Phil Bearce has been performing and writing in the Bay Area for many years. Phil recently started using Lilac Writer. He graciously agreed to an interview about his music and his approach to songwriting.

Phil, you have been involved with songwriting and performing for a few decades now. What is it about the music that keeps you engaged in the process?

I love everything about songwriting. I’ve always been fascinated by people who can write, novelists in particular. It always amazes me that someone can expound for endless paragraphs on one subject. I just can’t do it. I suppose that’s why I write songs, there’s an economy of words. You have to be a little craftier to get your point across in fewer words.

You have just started using Lilac Writer. How do you see it helping your songwriting?

The best part (so far) is that I don’t have to keep my songs and parts of songs in my little flash drive anymore. Napkins were replaced by the flash drive and Lilac Writer will replace the flash drive. My lyrics are right there anywhere I go. I also really like that I can go back to earlier iterations. And although I haven’t used this functionality yet, I’d like to try out the collaborative bits as well.

Tell us a little bit about how you write songs. Do you have a process or routine, or do you wait for inspiration to strike?

I have a couple ways of writing, both start with an idea or a clever line/title. These ideas come to me while driving back and forth to work. I try to flesh out the story or idea by writing (in long hand) as much of the story or idea as I can, with no thought of rhyme or meter. The only thing I worry about here is, “is it a complete story with a beginning, middle and end?” And, "Is it interesting?" Then it starts taking shape and I rewrite it as many times as I need to before I think it’s a song. This is the part I love, the crafting and honing until it's perfect. I almost always write the words first – then make music to fit the words.

For more about Phil and his music read the full interview.

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