SAC Songwriting Challenge : 6 in 6 (really 7 in 6).

I’ve stepped into the SAC pool for the second year to push even further beyond where I push myself on a daily basis. Already challenged by the volume of writing I am doing outside of challenge, curiosity has got the better of me and I’ve stepped (crazily perhaps) into this years challenge because I was hesitant to miss the party. And why? To see what else is waiting in me to be written. To reach beyond the beginnings of songs I have already stumbled across and started or have squirrelled away in my phone, my notebooks or on random frantic bits of paper. To be inspired and fueled by the “ask” of the assignment and its parameters. To challenge myself to see where that takes me. And to see who else is walking along the same road.

2014 SAC 6-in-6 Challenge

The challenge last year found me 6 new songs that I was very happy to write, one of which was a solid co-write (“Turn” with North Easton). I happened across some great songwriters whose paths I might never have crossed if not for the challenge and my life is that much brighter for having come to know them. A few of these songwriters I now work with on an on-going basis and our worlds have taken on a different shape because of it. The challenge last year had a waterfall of positive impact on my writing and songwriting career – illustrating to all the writers in the group, that regardless of your level of songwriting, there’s value in putting yourself out there, to seizing opportunities to learn, to moving your songwriting forward and to the possibility of falling into great alliances.

Enter Matt Dusk.

The first challenge “ask”. An intriguing song request for Matt Dusk. I’ve been familiar with Matt’s music since I had the pleasant opportunity years (many years) ago to happen across and meet Matt at the Toronto Beach Jazz festival where I happily walked away with his album thinking ‘this guy’s got something good going on”.

I’m a slow brew on this song request. I’ve listened to the songs Matt has provided to better understand where he sees his groove evolving. I’ve immersed myself in his music to get a sense of who he’s been and who he is now. Matt floats in the background of my life as I listen, ask questions and percolate possibilities. Listening for the in-between – I am searching his music for the underlying feel and space of Matt Dusk. And amidst a sea of words that swim inside my head  - I am waiting for the right words to speak to me on this one.

North Easton and I have decided to team up on Matt’s song challenge. After what was a rather rocky start last year, North and I have found a unique groove in our collaborative approach and have been writing and continue to write, some pretty decent songs. It just seemed to make sense that we would write this song together.

Here’s a song written recently by North and I “Deeper than the Ink”. Enjoy.