• Announcements

    • Songstuff

      New Chat App   06/02/2017

      We have a new chat app available. You will need to sign up for it. You can pick up the invite link at the top of your member hub page:   http://forums.songstuff.com/member/hub/   Remember to use your Songstuff registered email and user name when you sign up! Using the invite link will automatically add you to the Songstuff chat channel.

Donna

Active Members
  • Content count

    910
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    3

Donna last won the day on August 7 2011

Donna had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

7 Neutral

About Donna

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 08/14/1963

Contact Methods

  • ICQ
    0

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Afghanistan

Music Background

  • Musical / Songwriting / Music Biz Skills
    composer & lyricist

    beginning engineer/mixing

Collaboration

  • Songwriting Collaboration
    Not Interested
  1. This contest has a fun vibe. http://hitlikeagirl2012.com/ https://www.facebook...203918593038579
  2. Feb 21, 2012 Thorny Swale performed 5 of my original songs at Northwestern Community Television (http://www.nwct.org/) a public-access cable station west of Minneapolis. This great opportunity came through a partnering between NWCT and the Minnesota Association of Songwriters (http://www.mnsongwriters.org/), of which I am a member. "Minnesingers" the original music program consisting of MAS performers is the brainchild of MAS member and NWCT Executive Producer Rita Fox. This was an ambitious undertaking because just weeks before the taping guitarist Scott Iverson and I began playing our respective instruments (Scott had played drums on the originals while I fronted and played rhythm guitar) and I also began using an in-ear monitor system with my own mixer. In addition, there were three new songs - one of these (Be My Love) was so nuanced that it necessitated drawing up huge charts on gigantic-child paper (4 in all -- the Out took up one page in itself). I cleared my mantle, took down the painting over the fireplace and fastened the charts to the wall, where they remained for 2 weeks. Guitarist Mark Rocheleau and I additionally spent an afternoon one-on-one with this song, for which I was very grateful. Because of circumstance, we lost 2 rehearsals (I had wanted 6) and I think ended up doing four. I must thank "Sneakers" (http://www.reverbnat...om/sneakersband), the other stellar band I'm in for an intense period of regular rehearsing, the results of which were so edifying, I could come to T-Swale with complete confidence that we could and should do the same kind of focused hard work. I try to remain mindful of the sacrifices the wives and families make in letting their men go - bandmates who have full time dayjobs, busy families, and some of whom drive from out of state to rehearse. Thanks to a new mini digital recorder, we were able to record and and I supplemented w/ other MP3 files (rhythm & lead guitar motifs, etc;) so the guys learned the new material increasingly with each rehearsal. I hoped to encourage them (within some strict visions I had of the songs) to make their parts their own. They did, to the point of re-arranging the 4-chart song Be My Love to a manageable complexity, and it was the right decision. I watched as the short weeks rushed by, my busy bandmates keeping up with MP3 files & accompanying musical ideas/notes/proddings, plus the logistics of my new monitor set-up, and increasing technical/practical details of the NWCT taping itself. Myself, I was in athletic training mode 2 1/2 weeks prior to the taping. Number one, I practiced drums at a much slower bpm than normally played, to a click, recording everything and forcing myself to listen to all playbacks in a very focused way. I knew from the past (http://forums.songst...studio-lessons/) this was crucial for getting inside the groove; and since I hadn't played these songs on drums live (save one), I was writing parts and shaping the songs. Many tools were needed to above all try to communicate the vision I had to my bandmates, and I learned that intimately knowing that vision could be an obstacle in said communication. I had to try to listen to what they were saying, try to understand what information they needed. They were very patient and dear with me. Our bandmates are our best and only allies in very real ways. They deserve respect, gratitude, and sweetness wherever possible. Vocally I had my work cut out. The 5 songs seemed quite different in power, style, etc; Be My Love uses the highest end of my range purposely breathy almost throughout, while There's Gonna Be A Storm is to the wall heavy. I practiced all vocals sitting down, because that is the way they'd be performed, sometimes a single phrase repeatedly...then 2 phrases in a loop and so on. That kind of care was needed in analyzing strengths/weaknesses vocally, not only because I was playing a different instrument now, but a loud instrument. I'm no stranger to this nit-picky work, it is how I learned to sing my own songs. A satisfying day when I was ready to concentrate solely on singing & playing as a whole. The material came together at the eleventh hour. I wished for more time to reflect on how hard T-Swale had worked. These guys are accomplished soloists. As I learned (again) in drum prep, I needed restraint most of all in order to let the groovy licks shine. The whole band learned a lot about the discipline of doing this. I cannot express how pleased I am with our result. Simple to say "The Song Is Queen - Serve Her", but it is much harder to do. I know at least some of the guys wanted one more rehearsal (bless them!), but our time had run out. ___________________ We arrived at the NWCT studio intact. I'd been sick for a few days, striving to remain calm above all in the face of sore throat/sinus woes. We were one of 2 acts scheduled to tape and thus slated to have 90 minutes to set up a 6 piece band, sound check and then film, a challenging undertaking that we accepted, yet were nervous about being able to fulfill. Yet various supportive and buoying things had happened along the way. The people were sweet and really for us, in various email and other exchanges concerning gear & logistics -- notably Wayne Hamilton (President of MAS), Rtia Fox Executive Producer, and Ray Dahl, Sound Engineer at NWCT. It was an unexpected happiness therefore, to find out at the studio that we were granted additional time, as the second act couldn't appear that evening. The studio was large and felt expansive, housed in a modern, sound building. There were amenities like a large, clean break room (w/ treats) and a great ladies room (LOL). Ray Dahl, Rita Fox and Wayne Hamilton (himself nursing a winter illness) all helped us load our gear into the studio. I was especially touched and felt supported to see Wayne there under that circumstance. He immediately asked if we wanted to use risers and began discussing some set design. Risers seemed like a good idea, so people began getting various set pieces and hauling them in. I was so happy to be vocally warmed up and confident I could sing. (Sidenote: Tenor saxman and vocalist Jeff F and I are both hairdressers - I cut his hair last month, and he cut mine a week before the taping. So it was to him I showed the clothing I'd brought and we discussed possibilities. It's a comfort to know he's there on-the-gig for hair tousling or any aesthetic needs). Once our stage set up was completed, we got a chance to sound check & actually rehearse. That was my favorite part - maybe because the studio door was open, and there was a buzz in the air. Producer Bob Woods then sat down with me, introduced cameraman Mike (we later met cameraman Mark and lighting tech Nikki), and we mapped out the songs in some detail regarding soloists and other cue-like info the camera crew would find helpful. The last few minutes before taping I listened to a recording Jeff F had done with new sax parts, which I was to yay or nay (he ended up doing them). We were fortunate at being able to do some second takes of songs if we weren't pleased with the 1st result. I had one monitor in my ear and the other bare, to hear the whole stage sound. I love in-ear monitors, I can finally hear myself sing in a way I never could before. It felt so good to be playing those songs -- which happen to be my songs, but as writers tell it, often enough the song writes you. It's really been in the last 2 weeks that I have ever heard some of them, the way they've been in my head for so long. It is rare & thrilling in a deep-down way to behold. And frankly, it was wild to have an audience and be filmed right on the heels of still kind of in shock about the tunage being realized outside one's head. This is T-Swale -- exceptionally able, tasteful and never robotic. Yet it had been a long day. In the end, we were tired and our own worst critics. But I have the little rough draft tapes of tonight, already listened to....even without hearing them, this writer couldn't be more pleased. But I am totally stoked! I am not the only songwriter in Thorny Swale, for one. And we are up to at least 7 originals live, with more of mine waiting in the wings, if the guys want to do them. So grateful to God for this wonderful opportunity via the MAS, NWCT & Thorny Swale! -Shrove Tuesday, 2012
  3. Feb 21, 2012 Thorny Swale performed 5 of my original songs at Northwestern Community Television (http://www.nwct.org/) a public-access cable station west of Minneapolis. This great opportunity came through a partnering between NWCT and the Minnesota Association of Songwriters (http://www.mnsongwriters.org/), of which I am a member. "Minnesingers" the original music program consisting of MAS performers is the brainchild of MAS member and NWCT Executive Producer Rita Fox. This was an ambitious undertaking because just weeks before the taping guitarist Scott Iverson and I began playing our respective instruments (Scott had played drums on the originals while I fronted and played rhythm guitar) and I also began using an in-ear monitor system with my own mixer. In addition, there were three new songs - one of these (Be My Love) was so nuanced that it necessitated drawing up huge charts on gigantic-child paper (4 in all -- the Out took up one page in itself). I cleared my mantle, took down the painting over the fireplace and fastened the charts to the wall, where they remained for 2 weeks. Guitarist Mark Rocheleau and I additionally spent an afternoon one-on-one with this song, for which I was very grateful. Because of circumstance, we lost 2 rehearsals (I had wanted 6) and I think ended up doing four. I must thank "Sneakers" (http://www.reverbnation.com/sneakersband), the other stellar band I'm in for an intense period of regular rehearsing, the results of which were so edifying, I could come to T-Swale with complete confidence that we could and should do the same kind of focused hard work. I try to remain mindful of the sacrifices the wives and families make in letting their men go - bandmates who have full time dayjobs, busy families, and some of whom drive from out of state to rehearse. Thanks to a new mini digital recorder, we were able to record and and I supplemented w/ other MP3 files (rhythm & lead guitar motifs, etc;) so the guys learned the new material increasingly with each rehearsal. I hoped to encourage them (within some strict visions I had of the songs) to make their parts their own. They did, to the point of re-arranging the 4-chart song Be My Love to a manageable complexity, and it was the right decision. I watched as the short weeks rushed by, my busy bandmates keeping up with MP3 files & accompanying musical ideas/notes/proddings, plus the logistics of my new monitor set-up, and increasing technical/practical details of the NWCT taping itself. Myself, I was in athletic training mode 2 1/2 weeks prior to the taping. Number one, I practiced drums at a much slower bpm than normally played, to a click, recording everything and forcing myself to listen to all playbacks in a very focused way. I knew from the past (http://forums.songstuff.com/blog/76/entry-865-vital-studio-lessons/) this was crucial for getting inside the groove; and since I hadn't played these songs on drums live (save one), I was writing parts and shaping the songs. Many tools were needed to above all try to communicate the vision I had to my bandmates, and I learned that intimately knowing that vision could be an obstacle in said communication. I had to try to listen to what they were saying, try to understand what information they needed. They were very patient and dear with me. Our bandmates are our best and only allies in very real ways. They deserve respect, gratitude, and sweetness wherever possible. Vocally I had my work cut out. The 5 songs seemed quite different in power, style, etc; Be My Love uses the highest end of my range purposely breathy almost throughout, while There's Gonna Be A Storm is to the wall heavy. I practiced all vocals sitting down, because that is the way they'd be performed, sometimes a single phrase repeatedly...then 2 phrases in a loop and so on. That kind of care was needed in analyzing strengths/weaknesses vocally, not only because I was playing a different instrument now, but a loud instrument. I'm no stranger to this nit-picky work, it is how I learned to sing my own songs. A satisfying day when I was ready to concentrate solely on singing & playing as a whole. The material came together at the eleventh hour. I wished for more time to reflect on how hard T-Swale had worked. These guys are accomplished soloists. As I learned (again) in drum prep, I needed restraint most of all in order to let the groovy licks shine. The whole band learned a lot about the discipline of doing this. I cannot express how pleased I am with our result. Simple to say "The Song Is Queen - Serve Her", but it is much harder to do. I know at least some of the guys wanted one more rehearsal (bless them!), but our time had run out. ___________________ We arrived at the NWCT studio intact. I'd been sick for a few days, striving to remain calm above all in the face of sore throat/sinus woes. We were one of 2 acts scheduled to tape and thus slated to have 90 minutes to set up a 6 piece band, sound check and then film, a challenging undertaking that we accepted, yet were nervous about being able to fulfill. Yet various supportive and buoying things had happened along the way. The people were sweet and really for us, in various email and other exchanges concerning gear & logistics -- notably Wayne Hamilton (President of MAS), Rtia Fox Executive Producer, and Ray Dahl, Sound Engineer at NWCT. It was an unexpected happiness therefore, to find out at the studio that we were granted additional time, as the second act couldn't appear that evening. The studio was large and felt expansive, housed in a modern, sound building. There were amenities like a large, clean break room (w/ treats) and a great ladies room (LOL). Ray Dahl, Rita Fox and Wayne Hamilton (himself nursing a winter illness) all helped us load our gear into the studio. I was especially touched and felt supported to see Wayne there under that circumstance. He immediately asked if we wanted to use risers and began discussing some set design. Risers seemed like a good idea, so people began getting various set pieces and hauling them in. I was so happy to be vocally warmed up and confident I could sing. (Sidenote: Tenor saxman and vocalist Jeff F and I are both hairdressers - I cut his hair last month, and he cut mine a week before the taping. So it was to him I showed the clothing I'd brought and we discussed possibilities. It's a comfort to know he's there on-the-gig for hair tousling or any aesthetic needs). Once our stage set up was completed, we got a chance to sound check & actually rehearse. That was my favorite part - maybe because the studio door was open, and there was a buzz in the air. Producer Bob Woods then sat down with me, introduced cameraman Mike (we later met cameraman Mark), and we mapped out the songs in some detail regarding soloists and other cue-like info the camera crew would find helpful. The last few minutes before taping I listened to a recording Jeff F had done with new sax parts, which I was to yay or nay (he ended up doing them). We were fortunate at being able to do some second takes of songs if we weren't pleased with the 1st result. I had one monitor in my ear and the other bare, to hear the whole stage sound. I love in-ear monitors, I can finally hear myself sing in a way I never could before. It felt so good to be playing those songs -- which happen to be my songs, but as writers tell it, often enough the song writes you. It's really been in the last 2 weeks that I have ever heard some of them, the way they've been in my head for so long. It is rare & thrilling in a deep-down way to behold. And frankly, it was wild to have an audience and be filmed right on the heels of still kind of in shock about the tunage being realized outside one's head. This is T-Swale -- exceedingly tasteful and never robotic. Yet it had been a long day. In the end, we were tired and our own worst critics. But I have the little rough draft tapes of tonight, already listened to....even without hearing them, this writer couldn't be more pleased. But I am totally stoked! I am not the only songwriter in Thorny Swale, for one. And we are up to at least 7 originals live, with more of mine waiting in the wings, if the guys want to do them. So grateful to God for this wonderful opportunity via the MAS, NWCT & Thorny Swale! -Shrove Tuesday, 2012
  4. It's been a long time since I've written here. Paradoxically, my drum life has been very busy and engaging. Often times the work behind the scenes is the only work. And now it seems I've come full circle, yet for the first time, in seriously planning to do a significant project as a singer songwriter playing drums. In 2008 I began playing drums "in earnest" following a scant 3 years prior to that, and a 12 year break prior to that. Probably the most courageous thing I ever did was to commit to drums after what was in effect pretty much a 15 year absence.The only original music I had going on those years was periodically developing and singing my own catalogue of songs w/ acoustic guitar accompaniment. Sometimes I played and wrote in bursts, but mainly life was very filled with raising children. At one point I missed the music so bad, but had no time for it, that I took up sewing as art. A practical art it was, as whole wardrobes began appearing for little ones. Also around 2008, I realized that I'd become a strumming-guitarist-singer-songwriter by default. All my music friends seemed to have vanished - or maybe I did. There was no one musically to help me for a long, lonely time. Because of the periodic nature of playing my catalog, I often felt I was completely starting over and nothing but belief in, and liking for my own tunes kept me doing it. There was one other musical thing going, which became regular, and it, too, was something I hadn't sought: singing in a Latin Mass choir consisting of polyphony, Gregorian chant and motets. At the time I felt like it was barely keeping one toe in the musical stream, but in hindsight the consistency added up. It was certainly different from popular music singing, and they let me sit in, so I did. After a couple years in choir as I became more comfortable, people I knew began commenting favorably on my voice. This was familiar, as I'd begun lead singing as a drummer professionally at age 17. What was bizarre about it, was that none of my newer friends knew me as a drummer or songwriter. Then it struck me that all but one of my own children had never heard me play drums. It's hard to describe how uneasy, and eventually terrified, this made me feel. From that void, I consciously made the first step on the road back, in my own mind. Since 2008, the bulk of my work has been networking with musicians and deepening friendships with those I already knew (like John Moxey & Steve Perrett from Songstuff). Other musicians are our best allies. We need each other, and some of our greatest needs have little to do with money or getting work. We need each other to keep the music, and ourselves, alive. In addition to reuniting with band members from when I was 17, and taking up anew as a singing drummer in a gigging variety band, Thorny Swale (the name of this band) began doing my originals (I think) in late 2010. Guitarist Scott Iverson can play drums, and I found out that my default-status as a rhythm guitarist was actually rather nuanced regarding my own songs, so for the originals, I've been playing guitar & fronting. I realized again that other musicians are our best allies, and that the first people to "sell" a song to are one's bandmates. The few experiences I'd had in bringing originals into a band setting long before my 15 yr break from drums, were quite different from the relaxed "show me" that Thorny Swale offered. It was so pleasing. And something happened to the band, something good. It got both more rooted and more alive. I really liked playing guitar and singing, as well. In 2011 I set out to find more gigs in addition to Thorny Swale, which meant "cold-calling" networking, promoting myself and auditioning. In July, up 5 flights of warehouse stairs in 103 degree weather was when I first heard Ray C. (a guitarist auditioning for the same gig). That gig never materialized, but I made sure to keep my eye on Ray, because I knew I wanted to work with him. We began working together late summer, and amidst some bumps, our 4-piece band "Sneakers" began sneaking around on a very consistent rehearsal schedule, making our debut last month. It's very exciting to be in both bands, and I'm psyched for the future in gigging with both. The full circle come around that I've never been to before, is what I'll close this entry with. As a member of the MAS (Minnesota Association of Songwriters), members have been given an opportunity to do a cable TV taping - up to 6 songs. (The MAS is a whole other story - very active and thriving organization with regular showcases, song circles, and stellar songwriting workshops, among other ever-increasing irons in the fire). I'm one of those MAS members who isn't versed in appearing solo (I gave it a good try, though), and I'm happy to be given a shot among MAS peers to appear in my element, which is with a band. Just before the New Year, it struck me that guitarist Scott and I should play our respective instruments for this taping, and also, it's a lot harder to lead a band as a guitarist than it is as a drummer. The only thing is, I'd not only not lead-sang-while-drumming the newer originals slated for the MAS taping, but I'd not ever seriously considered, or even casually entertained, the thought of being a drumming singer-songwriter. Yeah, there've been a few, we know who they are (though the cat I'm really interested in is Brian Blade). It doesn't matter how many or few, but that I'd not tried that on for myself. It has been confusing at times, being a writer, a singer and arranger. Frankly, it would be a whole lot simpler to be a drummer, period. But the years and experiences have shown that putting one or more musical aspects away, leaves me with that void. I'm a practical musician, so immediately upon securing the MAS taping date, I set into action to prepare - which means Thorny Swale's guitarists (they switch off parts) learning rhythm parts and chordings. More than a couple experienced guitarists in other settings have said I, not they, should play those rhythm parts (this could be a good sign or bad), so the final outcome of the taping will depend on how things gel, and I suppose, me letting go of some of the quirkiness of my r. guitar parts. But the main element and most recent discovery was sitting down to record myself playing drums while lead singing some of these tunes. I knew the playback would tell me if a drumming-singer-songwriter might fly. "I think she may".
  5. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7518888.stm Here's an excerpt of the article: Playing the drums for a rock band requires the stamina of a Premiership footballer, research suggests. Tests on Clem Burke, the veteran Blondie drummer, revealed that 90 minutes of drumming could raise his heart rate to 190 beats a minute. Despite rock's reputation for unhealthy living, Dr Marcus Smith, from Chichester University, said drummers needed "extraordinary stamina". ___________________________ I know from experience that this is true. Playing full time in a certain high energy situation remains the most intensely demanding time of my life. I rarely partied and had to take good care of myself. Have always felt like an athlete (being a drummer) -- it's just a matter of "how good of shape am I in" at any particular time. I try to stay in shape by regular or consistent rehearsing, practicing, performing or recording. Being a singing drummer, I think, releases even more endorphins Anyone else here approach drumming as "training"? How do you get yourself back in shape after a break...prepare for recording sessions or other substantial projects...anyone gone from once-in-a-while performing to weekly (or more) performances?
  6. :thumb: This is fantastic! ~ i * * * i ~ ~ i * * * i ~
  7. I thought so, too And a good way to approach the question!
  8. Hey Paul, This is from my good songwriting/lead guitarist buddy Tom Harkness: Penta would fit more dark ( You crashed my pick-up kinda song) Major would fit the happy ( You cooked me diiner and opened my beer kinda song) I hope that's some kind of help
  9. Lovely! Welcome aboard. (How is your name pronounced?)
  10. How he has grown, Nick. !!! What strikes me most is that rare and cool combination of aggressive/distorted guitars and smooth vocal on the chorus ♪