Deciphering Songs Part 1: Lyrics First — Recap

Full house!

Full house for the first installment of the Deciphering Songs discussion series!

On August 2, the Albany Music Coalition held its first discussion event at Fuzz Records on Lark Street, with a full house for a lively conversation about the process of writing lyrics and putting them to music.  The first installment of the “Deciphering Songs” discussion series focused on “Lyrics First” and featured panelists Eric Margan of the Red Lions and Eric Krans and Jen O’Connor of The Parlor.  Albany Music Coalition co-founder (and musician and songwriter) Katie Hammon moderated the panel.

Eric, Eric and Jen started off by discussing their personal experiences with songwriting and how their approaches have developed over time, and eased into what became a more informal conversation with the audience, who also had many thoughtful questions and contributions.  In addition to sharing their thoughts on technical issues like song structure, the panelists were also incredibly candid about their writing processes, capturing and maintaining the emotion that inspired a song, their successful and less-successful experiences and their approaches to revision and collaboration.  They also touched on miscellaneous issues including concept albums, the RPM Challenge, and even their preferences for writing on a computer versus longhand — with Eric Margan saying that he might reconsider his tendency to draft lyrics electronically after hearing about Jen and Eric’s commitment to pen and paper, with what they described as hundreds of notebooks and single sheets of lyrics populating their home.

The panelists also provided some of their lyrics as examples in handouts for the audience, and discussed their development and meaning in detail. Jen and Eric’s discussion of their song “O Albany We Hope” took the audience on a sometimes emotional journey through their personal lives and their travels, and made for some memorable moments.

The Coalition is so grateful to Eric, Eric and Jen for being so extraordinarily generous with the time and energy they put into the discussion, and the great audience participation really made the event a success.  We received some thoughtful feedback and we’re already working to make the next workshop even better — the next discussion, “Instrumentals First,” will take place on August 23, again at Fuzz Records (the awesome new record shop on Lark Street, which has been kind enough to host the entire series).

Thank you, Fuzz Records!

Thanks again to Fuzz Records for hosting the series!


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2 comments on “Deciphering Songs Part 1: Lyrics First — Recap

  1. Pingback: Albany Music Coalition’s ‘Lyrics First’ Workshop | Keep Albany Boring

  2. Andrew Gregory on said:

    I see what seems to be a video cam off to the left. Will a video of the discussion be put up so musicians that couldn’t be there but interested can see what they missed?

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