Tag Archives: listening room retreats songwriting

Listening Room w.Brett Perkins


This is me! The one and only time I have been singing in front of a live audience!
The man next to me is Troels Alsted, a musician living in Copenhagen.
He introduces our act, saying “This song is only a couple of hours old, so it´s brand new fresh!”

How it came to be?
Well, there is this wonderful American man, Brett Perkins. And he does something he calls Listening Room Retreats, all around the world. And we were lucky to get him to come hold a workshop with us here on Fanø, a weekend in January 2012.

We all arrived for the retreat on the Friday afternoon, Brett and his fellow musicians; Troels Alsted and Klaus Caprani. (You can find these people and the Listening Room on Facebook). And then we were 8 ordinary workshop participants.
After introducing ourselves, sitting in a circle listening to eachother, Brett lay down some basic rules about sharing rights etc (50-50) if a song would become commercially successful.
When everything was clear, we were divided into groups of two. Then we were to make a song the next couple of hours!
And so we just did!
I was together with Klaus, and we wrote a lyric that was pretty good I reckon. Then we made a melody for it. Mainly him, since he had the most experience, but I was heard too, and I learnt about the different pieces any song consists of, like verse, chorus, bridge, ” A and B pieces” (directly translated from Danish)… That evening we had actually made a song, Klaus and I. Truely amazing.

We finished the evening with having a couple of beers together, sitting on sofas in the front room, those who wanted to, played one of their songs for the rest of us. We also walked outside at one point, and had a gaze at the moon and stars in the quiet village garden of the house we were settled in.

Next morning we changed groups, and I was now to work with Troels. I had brought my book, and we decided to sift through it and search for poems we could use for lyrics. We found two poems, one that could be the verses, and an other that was perfect for the chorus. We found a melody and voila. It was born.

A couple of hours later, we held a workshop concert!! People came to “The House of Music”, as the house is called, where we held the workshop. Chairs were lined up in the front room, and microphones, and soon the room was full of people.
And that´s how it happened that I was “on stage” performing the song that Troels and I made together. Klaus and I performed our song as well, but it wasn´t filmed for some reason.

Here are the lyrics for my songs.
First, the one from my book, used in the song I made with Troels:

Let it Through

It´s down to you, down to me, down to All that may be,
Up and up and away, celebrating today

I have learnt to seek peace, I have learnt what I give out increase
I have learnt that the moment… is something to seize

I have learnt that I need to express, I have learnt that some dress to impress
I have learnt that it´s just not… healthy to stress

(It´s down to you…)Chorus

I have learnt that it´s good to let go, I´ve learnt that it´s wisest to follow the flow
I have learnt what I want is… to learn and to grow

(It´s down to you…)Chorus

I have learnt that the All´s here and now, I´ve learnt to choose with care… the who and the how
I have learnt that it is up… to me to allow

(It´s down to you, down to me, down to All that may be,
up and up and away, celebrating today…)

Here are the lyrics for the other song.
Shame I don´t have the melody here, but. Take it as a poem, here it comes:

Defeating the Snake (Improvized title, we didn´t make one back then)

1 (A)
White out of nothing – like stars in the night
Brighter and brighter – beautiful sight
Back to the blackness – low in the ground
Reach for the heavens – path is unfound

2 (B)
Love as in no competition
Still it´s remaining a vision

Facing nameless fear and blind confusion
Aiding nature´s parallell solution

Pawns of the war lords – lose every game
Collateral damage – always the same
Fates are decided – behind the closed doors
Hidden agendas – on cold marble floors

Making important decisions
Fooled by our vain superstitions

Facing nameless fear and blind confusion
Aiding nature´s parallell solution

5.(C bridge)
A soul searching snake – all green in the tree
The white lines down its spine – speaks volumes to me
I said do not try! I´m no sinner, you see!
I treasure my nature! Let me remain free!

Facing nameless fear and blind confusion
Aiding nature´s parallell solution

Even though we lost it on the run
Love´s the only thing that lingers on
– Lingers on –

Yup. That was an incredibly fun workshop. Learnt a lot.
Brett Perkins also makes his own songs. You can find some of them on Youtube.
And he is the man behind a Songwriters Festival as well. In Copenhagen.
Here is an interview with him about that.
If you ever get the chance, go to one of his retreats!!