I was incredibly excited to go to this Expo as my songwriter friend Amy Gordon had been very enthusiastic about going to it last year. The Expo is located in Buellton CA right next to Solvang, and I can never get enough of how fun it is to stay in the Solvang area.
On my first day I attended a Listening Session. This is where a couple of producers, publishers, or other industry people listen to your song and give you feedback on it. I just hung out at this first one because Amy was in there and because I thought I would learn something. Boy, I learned a lot just by listening to these guys. The two industry people were Richard Harris and Warren Sellers.
I met other songwriters at Lunch and at Dinner and listened to a lot of fantastic music. It was overwhelming yet exciting. During my Listening Session I got great feedback from Richard Harris specifically, and I am in the midst of implementing his idea. Wow, it has really livened up my song quite a bit.
Later that evening Amy and I ended up in a friend's hotel room to make some music and write. Amy is so good at coming up with neat piano parts which I can never do. :)
The next day was actually crazier and even more exciting. During another listening session, a publisher suggested that I should pitch the song I had played to film trailers. What? I had never thought of doing that with this particular song. Interesting.
Later, we attended a Publisher's panel. I gotta tell you that this was eye opening to say the least. I had no idea music publishers do as much as they do. Afterwards, I got some great advice from one of the publishers, and I will share that in a different blog post.
The concert at the end of the night was absolutely amazing. Of interest was the songwriter of Wind Beneath My Wings. He got up there and performed his own version of his own song. I gotta tell you, this may be more interesting than Bette Midler's version.
I left Durango exhausted yet completely enlightened and enthusiastic about my music. Some of the things I learned:
1. Go talk to your rep at your PRO (BMI, ASCAP, SESAC). They are an amazing resource to help you out as a songwriter.
2. Because my music is so diverse, I should consider releasing EPs of my music rather than a full length album which would not be cohesive.
3. Co-writing with other songwriters is amazing, powerful, and truly helps you improve your own songwriting.
Will I be back next year? Hell Yes!