Bill Henderson offers some musical advice at last year’s Songwriters’ Workshop at the George Ryga Centre.

Songwriters to perform

It will be a celebration of musical creativity later this month as songwriters gather for the 15th annual Songwriters’ Workshop at the George Ryga Centre.

The workshop, led by B.C. musicians Bill Henderson and Roy Forbes, will take place on April 16 and 17, with a showcase concert on April 15.

The concert at Centre Stage Theatre will feature Henderson and Forbes, along with three of the participants from the weekend concert. 

The three emerging songwriters will perform in the first half, while Henderson and Forbes will play together in the second half. 

This is the only concert where Henderson and Forbes will perform as a duo.

Henderson, whose musical career began in the 1960s, said the quality of the song submissions is strong this year.

“It’s been gradually getting better over the 15 years we’ve been doing it,” he said. 

During the songwriting workshop, participants will learn from each other as they explore the elements which make a good song.

Henderson describes a hit song as “something that is absolutely right for the moment.”

He said part of the creative process is about letting things happen rather than trying to force the song.

“There’s a magic thing that happens,” Henderson said.

Because recording technology is easily accessible today, Henderson said some of the barriers for songwriters have been eliminated.

“I think technology has made a big difference,” he said. 

“It allows more people to make recordings.”

He compares the current explosion in contemporary music to the Common Practice period during the baroque era in the 18th century, when many more people began creating music.

While the recording is more accessible, he said promoting a new song still is expensive and difficult.

Henderson said those who are able to write a good song which connects with listeners will be able to overcome the obstacles.

 

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