Songwriting Workshops

I promised you a post about my busy week in Norway, and here it is!

Songwriting workshops
Like I said, the main reason for going home so close to starting the new year at LIPA, was that I had been asked to do 2 songwriting workshops in my home town, as part of a music video project the local Culture School is putting up. I was honored that they asked me in the first place, and I’m very glad to have been a part of this awesome project. I WISH they had done stuff like this when I was in high school! I did two workshops over two nights, and it was a great success. 12 people turned up on the first night (among them a 13 year old boy I used to babysit for when he was 1 – man, I’m getting old..!), and we had a fun time talking about songwriting, listening to examples and working on ideas for a song. By the end of it, we had a pretty good idea for a theme and a story, and they had all written down a few lines of lyrics. I took it all home and worked a bit on it until the next day. A special thanks to Susanne and Christina for turning up the next day and finishing the lyrics with me! It was great fun!

The song is being recorded in a studio in Hønefoss these days (after some changes by the music team), and in October/November the music video will be made. The final result is showing at the local cinema in the beginning of December, and hopefully I’ll be able to attend. If not, I’m sure I’ll get to see it on Youtube! =)

The rest of the week
Man, what a week…! The original plan was to head straight to my girl Milena on the day I arrived. She had just gotten back from holiday, just made some cool changes to her apartment I had yet to see, and we had lots of catching up to do. Besides, she lives en route to my home, and very close to another friend of ours, whos awesome boy Miguel turned SIX that week! I didn’t have a lot of free time on my hands at all, but the little window of time I did have I wanted to spend hugging the birthday boy. Sadly, that all fell through as I was headhunted for a teaching job the next day, and I had to go straight there.
And what a journey it was! Through a series of random events and stupid decisions on my end, I ended up traveling for about 11 hours, missing so many buses and walking around in the middle of nowhere, in the rain, dragging a suitcase after me. I was SO pissed off. At the end of the line though, I got to sit down on a couch and talk to my sister for a couple of hours, which I don’t get to do very often, so it was all worth while. =) I enjoyed being back in Bjoneroa, and teaching was a lot of fun, as always. Plus, the priceless bonus of being in Bjoneroa is of course that I get to hang out with a couple of the best kids in the world; My niece and nephew.

Wednesday and Thursday were pretty much absorbed by the songwriting workshops, but I did manage to squeeze in a lovely lunch with one of my favourite people in the world between all the work;

Friday and Saturday I spend on a glass stand with my dad, engraving names on his awesome glass. I had fun, and even started on a new hat! ;-P

We sat there for about ten hours straight on the Friday and about 8 on Saturday… It was nice, but cold, and a walk to the shopping center to buy warm socks (My feet were freezing in my Nikes after 2 hours) resulted in brand new boots;

From now on, I shall forever be known as (pause for effect) The Girl With The Red Boots… ;-P

And that’s literally where my week went. There were plenty of people I didn’t get to see and things I didn’t get to do this time, but whatchagonnado. I literally barely had time to piss.

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Until next time guys, remember to Subscribe to this blog (top right corner), follow my Tweets and Like me on Facebook, and I shall dream a little dream of you. Promise.

Take care! ❤

xxx

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News from Audrey-land! =)

Just a little update (waaay over due) from your favorite Audrey!

Woop Woop! I’m back in the UK, and one step closer to normal – i.e. LIPA, my piano and the new flat. It’s been nice to be home, to travel, and to relax, but to be honest, this holiday has been way too long already and I just want to get on with my second year already (or third, technically)…! Right now I am however in York, for my Lovely’s Birthday party tonight, and we are staying here until we can take over the flats in Liverpool in two weeks time. I. Can’t. WAIT!!

Another thing I’m really excited about, is that two of my all time favorite girlies are on their way here RIGHT NOW to join the party! Becky is in a car, half an hour away, and Dolly is in York, waiting for us to pick her up (which we can’t do till Becky gets here). I’m so excited to see them both – it’s been too long! ❤

Aaanyway – to the NEWS! 😉

Summer News:

I’ve mainly been in Norway this summer, but I’ve also had some time in the UK and South France, as you know. I haven’t been giving my music anywhere near as much time as I should have, but I’ve done plenty of other, exciting things.

Singing lessons…
Over the summer I have had two singing students, and they have both been absolute stars, and a joy to teach. I have had an overwhelming support from the local Culture School, who among other things let me use the dance room to teach in – look how huuuge it is!

Epiphany…
I also found (to my great joy) that teaching vocal technique actually makes me a better (technical) singer – I have crossed so many barriers over the last couple of months, and I am absolutely thrilled to start lessons with Ian again in September.

I am a business…
I have (finally) registered Audrey Wilsen Music as a business, and can now proudly call myself self-employed and independent. I do invoices and everything, it’s well good! 😀 So much to learn though, and I’m hoping I won’t screw up – ending up having to pay twice my income in taxes or something stupid like that…! I’m sure it will be fine, and I’m doing the only thing I can do – learning as I go along.

Songwriting workshops…
Another piece of exciting news, is that I’m going back to Norway for a few days in September, to – get this – do two songwriting workshops for local high school kids! I am so excited, and very very honored to even be considered for the job. I’m not sure how I’m gonna do it yet, because I’ve pretty much been given the freedom to set it up entirely as I wish, which is a massive (and wildly appreciated) sign of trust from the arrangers side. The workshops are gonna be a part of a music video project the Culture School in my home town are setting up, and my job will basically be to “light a spark” in these kids, and help them get creative and start writing some lyrics, which they will later down the line get help to make music for, record in a studio and in the end make a music video. Amazing! Man, I wish they had done stuff like this when I was in high school!!

Next Year News:

I have pretty much decided what next year might look like, if I get my way (which I will). My wish is to put together:

  1. A full band, consisting of the usual: Drums, bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keys, backing vocals and maybe a bit of ‘synthage’ and some strings for special occasions.
  2. An acoustic mini band consisting of an acoustic guitar, a cajon and backing vocals – and probably keys as well.

Live…
Basically, I will rehearse pretty much the same set list with both bands, and play live as often as I can – with either of them. My main reason for having two bands is that I would definitely like to start gigging with a full band, but I would also very much like to do more smaller acoustic gigs in cafés and stuff, like the one I did at Café Sør in April. There is such a great mood in places like that, and it seems like people are generally more interested in chilling out and listening to the music, rather than getting drunk and talking loudly which is often the case with bigger concerts.

E.P Release…
I have pretty much decided to do the EP acoustically as well. Both because it will be easier (less people to depend on to make it happen, more flexibility with recording locations etc.), and because it will suit my music very well. The EP will probably be out around christmas time, and I will do a release concert at the Culture School’s youth café in Jevnaker in early-mid January. It’s gonna be schweet!

I should go see if I’m needed in the party preparation department – there’s a lot to do! Until next time, TAKE CARE! ❤

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Until next time, please remember to subscribe to my blog (top right corner of this page), “be-fan” me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, and I will make sure to keep you up to date on what’s going on with me and my music. And please keep commenting, I love hearing from you! =) 

Take care & keep Shining! I love you!

xxx,

Audrey

Charlotte Olivia – Just A Dream

Today’s post is dedicated to this charming young lady:

One of the best... Her name is Charlie, or Charlotte Olivia, and she is definitely one of my favorite people that I met during my first year in Liverpool, both as a person and as an artist. She has an incredible voice that you can recognize anywhere, and her songwriting is equally amazing. After a long while of silence she finally released a new song yesterday, and I recommend you all to go here and have a listen! You can download it for free from that same link, if you put your name down for the Charlotte Olivia mailing list. Also, you can visit (and subscribe to) her blog here. She’s awesome!

"Just A Dream" art work, by Giles Hinchcliff and Sara Graham

Let’s act like this isn’t real… The song is called Just A Dream, and it is truly mesmerizing. To be completely honest, I didn’t quite get a hold of it the first time through, but it is growing on me with every listen now and I absolutely love it! I love the wailing guitar, her characteristic ‘vocal wanking’ and the tasty harmonies. I love how she manages to get the mysterious dreaminess across both in the lyrics and the music, and how they both reflect each other perfectly. It kind of reminds me of a female Jeff Buckley, and that can’t be bad. I don’t even know how many times I’ve listened to this song now, and I don’t care. I can listen to it all night. I can only hope my dreams tonight will be as beautiful as this (Just A) dream of a song!

Now listening to it through my awesome Beats By Dre headphones to get the whole experience, because good headphones make all music sound better – even when it’s as good as this to begin with.

Seriously, if you are at all serious about listening to music you should invest in a decent pair of headphones. I tried to listen to something through my iPhone headphones the other day, but it was so crap now that I’m used to these ones. The only thing I would say is that they are pretty bass heavy, and a bit uncomfortable if I use them for more than an hour straight. But all in all they have definitely enhanced my music listening experience by like a million prosent, so thank you Milena for one of the best christmas pressies ever! You’re CRAZY!

Aaalways… A bit of a sidetrack there, but whatever. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, headphones would be it. So go get them. Going to sleep now, and hopefully I’ll continue the part of my dream from last night where I could fly. Seriously, it was such a let-down to wake up. Grr…And then, tomorrow night, I’m proudly seeing my guilty pleasure band Bon Jovi in Oslo with my two big sisters, and I can’t wait! Sigh… Bon Joviiii… ❤

Take care, enjoy Charlie and please keep checking in, commenting and subscribing to my blog. I love hearing from you! 

Good night from meeee! 

Lots of luuuuv’,

Audrey

Oh, and PS: Sorry for the pic Charlie. You know I love your funnyface! ;-P

Cover songs & the Soundtrack to our lives

The songs I cannot write… Of course, writing and performing my own songs is what I’m in this game for, what it’s all about. But now and then, I stumble upon a song by another artist that hits me so hard it sort of becomes my own, and that’s when I decide to put a cover song on the set list. Some artists just have a way of writing the songs that I can’t, and sometimes it feels like they were written for me. “Won’t Go Near You Again” by Unni Wilhelmsen is just one of those songs, and that is not the only song Unni, or other artists, have written “for me.”

The Soundtrack to your life… I think this is one of the things that makes music so huge, and so important to so many people. You get a soundtrack to your life, your journeys, your relationships, songs that you can relate to, that describe your very own feelings. They become “Your songs.” And then of course there are the songs that are “yours” because of all the memories attached to them, like this one is to me; “Ageing Superhero” by Newton Faulkner.

You can find the original Ageing Superhero here. Now if Dan and I have “a song,” it would be this one, and it definitely has a special place in my heart. 

What about you? Do you have a song that is “yours?” 

When lightning strikes

…creativity flows.

Wow… I didn’t realize how much I depended on the internet before I lost it. Lightning struck at my parents’ house Monday night (iiiik…!!) and took out the internet, the water (!) and my poor dvd player… Needless to say, Tuesday was an extremely boring day… I had already gone the whole weekend without the internet, and had a ton of things lined up on my to-do-list – pretty much all requiring the internet – and I felt completely lost. All I could do was think about all that I couldn’t do: E-mails to send, people to talk to, parties to arrange, and a student loan waiting for confirmation. Crap. So today I’m camping out at my sister’s house, flirting with my nephew and mooching off their internet, trying to make that list a bit shorter!

Summer tiiime… One of the things on the list, of course, is rambling on to you guys. By far one of the more pleasant things to do, and I feel the mood rising already! Of course, it also helps that the sun came back today, and I’m actually blogging outside in a bikini right now, with an awesome coffee mocha by my side. I don’t know how hot it is, but in the shade it’s TWENTYSEVEN degrees Celsius (which is 80,6 F)!!! Holy cow…

Sunny side of Oslo… The “master-class” at the school in Bjoneroa on Friday went great, and I had a lot of fun doing some choir stuff and talking to the kids. Great kids! Hopefully I will see some of them again for a singing lesson or two this summer. After that I had to rush straight to Oslo to meet Dolly, who flew in from Liverpool that morning and was waiting patiently at the bus terminal. I had a great weekend in Oslo with my guuurl, and enjoyed showing her Oslo from it’s best side – the sunny one! 😉 We stayed at the Winther’s (always a pleasure), and had some nice boat rides (and walks!) between the lovely Bygdøy and town. The walk took us over an hour each of the 3 times we did it! Boy, did we feel sporty!

My gurls... Most of my peeps came out to hang some time during the weekend as well, and we had some lovely summer days and nights with good friends! Melissa had a very acceptable excuse for not making it though – poor thing was admitted to the hospital this weekend! (nothing serious, but still, poor baby!)

At Peppe's Pizza

Dolly-time… It was great having Dolly over, and I hope (and think) she enjoyed her stay as well. She even had the balls to try the Ultimate Norwegian Experience – brown cheese!

Thanks for the visit, Sweety! =)

Back on songwriting duty… Now, I have to get on with the rest of my to-do’s, and then I’m picking up Dida’s piano so I can get on with some more songwriting. I can feel a whole bunch of songs fighting to get out at the moment, and I hope I can catch them before I loose them. Last night I picked up a song I started writing a while back, and it’s not an easy one… Some songs are just harder to write than others, but like my sister pointed out, those are the songs that need to be written. Even though writing them involves being reminded of things you’d rather forget, and facing ghosts you thought you had crossed over long ago. It will take a while, but I’m hoping it will be worth it when the song is finished. For now, I will leave you with a promise of something new in either audio- or video form very soon. Ish. 😉

Keep checking in and leaving comments guys, I love hearing from you! Take care, I hope you are having a great week!

I love you!

xxx, **Audrey**