Soundpost Singing Weekend is no ordinary weekend. It is about a community of people of all ages and abilities who come together to explore the music up close and personal with some of the top folk musicians in the country.
Soundpost was started in 2011 by Fay Hield, Sam Sweeney, Andy Bell and Jon Boden to bring music, song and dance into people’s lives through participation and performance. Since then Soundpost has grown into quite a beast, running four sold-out weekends, day-long workshops study days, schools projects and supporting Royal Traditions. “At the heart of all our events remains a commitment to develop practical skills with thinking attached whilst firmly recognising the value of entertainment.”
They have just announced a new Soundpost Singing Weekend: Old Adam (June 16-18, 2017) an event which continues to explore the themes which inspired Fay Hield’s album of the same name released last year.
Join Fay Hield, Karine Polwart, Nancy Kerr, Ben Nicholls, Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne among others for a singing weekend that will explore songs and the stories behind them. There’s something for everyone at this weekend, whether you want to write your first song or want new ideas to add to your collection of self-penned works. Tutors will share ideas such as how to edit traditional songs, how to accompany yourself or others and more tricky issues such as ‘when is folk not folk’ or ‘how far can you go to make traditional material your own’. You can even learn some tricks of the trade to get the most out of your voice with voice specialists Kate Thompson and Harriet Johnson.
Outside the workshops, you’ll be able to take part in a myriad of events including sessions, discussions and mass sings. Tutors will be on hand all weekend to challenge your thinking, show you new ideas and inspire you in countless ways.
Watch this video from a 2013 Soundpost Singing Workshop to get an idea of what makes these weekends so great:
Soundpost Singing Weekend Workshops
See below for just a few of the workshops on offer:
Small Details, Big Stories – Karine Polwart
A hands-on songwriting workshop
As humans, we have an innate drive to make meaning and story out of what we witness in the world. And our own experiences, memories and interests shape what we find and create. Bring your own unique inner worlds to a practical, hands-on writing workshop that will pull big stories from small, everyday objects and still images. Writing experience is not necessary, but a willingness to share is.
Exploring Accompaniment – Cohen Braithwaite Kilcoyne
All folk musicians have their own approach to accompaniment, and in this session, Cohen will be exploring his. In the first half, Cohen will discuss and demonstrate his technique for accompanying songs, focusing on issues such as how to approach harmonisation and choose chords, what to do with instrumental fills, how to approach ‘word painting’ and how to achieve this without overshadowing the song. In the second half, you will be invited to share a song to be discussed by the group. Please bring a song and your instrument or voice.
Making your own kind of sense – Fay Hield
How do you approach a new song and make it your own?
This session explores what makes us connect with a song, and how we might need to shape it to make our rendition a unique chink in the chain of tradition. What elements do we need to consider to make a song our own? Fay considers how she approached character, moral message, context and vernacular language in songs included on Old Adam and explores how you might borrow those ideas. Bring your own song to work on in an interactive workshop where we discuss and explore own individual relationships to song.
Soundpost Singing Weekend: Old Adam (June 16-18, 2017)
Booking is now open. Just head to their website to download an application form: www.soundpost.org.uk/weekends