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MP3 Vikki Flawith - Waiting for the Bus

Imagine the girl-next-door sitting down with her guitar and playing hauntin'', heartfelt ballads... and catchy, funny songs about life, kinda like EmmyLou Harris meets Nana Mouskori, mixin'' wistful folk-pop with ethereal vocals. Sweet.

6 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk Pop, COUNTRY: Country Pop

This CD reflects the eclectic journey of songwriters Vikki Flawith and Michael Kavanagh, their passion for music and their struggle to portray meaningful stories in word, in voice, and in melody.

Canadian songbird Vikki Flawith (known as "Hummin''bird" to many of her friends) has this to say about her songwriting journey...

"I think we all have our own way of working... and I think the manner in which we create really depends on the inspiration of the moment. My old method of writing was to sit with a notebook & pen and my guitar, and just start playing... I''d fool with different chord progressions and just sing whatever came to my mind until I found a scrap of lyric that resonated with me. I''d continue, improvising melody, lyric and chord progression. During this process the most important thing to me was how the song "felt". The vibrations and energy in my body as I sang were most important... if I was moved in some way, if I had tears in my eyes as I sang or if it made me laugh or feel good, then I wrote it down. Say at that point I had two lines I really liked. Then I''d sing those two lines and improvise a line after them. I''d continue to improvise until I found the next line. Sometimes that next line would come two weeks later... but I''d keep mulling around with what I had until inspiration hit for the next part.

Other times the whole thing would just flow out of me in one sitting. (Nice when that happens - but you can''t force it, it comes when it comes, you have to have your antenna up and immediately run to write it down or record it in some way... or sing it over and over in the hopes that you won''t forget it before you get home cause it''s really hot and is really and truly the perfect next line.)

Obviously the organic response of my inner spirit was and is a big part of this writing process. The sensations within me as I play and sing are my touchstones, my guides to what is "working" for me.

As I put these songs out for feedback, I received critiques that my melodies were meandering (I come from a classical background, I thought repetition within a section was boring) and that the sections in my songs lacked sufficient contrast, my songs were usually too long (5 to 6 minutes long). I began to understand that my organic process was vital in creating something unique, but was just the first step in crafting a song.

Nowadays I usually begin with lyrics. The reason for that is simple: the lyrics set the structure, and form & structure, good rhyming, visual imagery, etc., take time to craft. Once I have crafted the lyrics to my satisfaction, then I keep them on my desk and read them over now and then. Sometimes I''ll play a little with music and nothing will come another time I might get a line or two -- so my process with music is that same organic process as I''ve described above, but it has a frame of reference. I''ll improvise (singing) repeatedly, trying different chord progressions, and then sing the stuff I like over and over until I can remember it; I''ll usually record a verse & chorus once I''ve got the basics together.

For me, lyrics tend to ''arrive'' more easily to me than ''melody'' so it''s always a challenge to be inspired to create music and good lyrics inspire me.

I have several lyricists I work with, Michael Kavanagh in particular. If he sends me something which instantly leaps out at me - to which I respond organically in some way - then I use that inspirational response to improvise and come up with music that reflects my reaction to the visions his words create in me. Again, the process can''t be rushed and may take two hours, two days, or two months (in one case, I think it took 3 years lol).

Sometimes people say to me "is there anything you don''t do" (and the answer is, ''yes, there are many things I can''t do lol''), but I believe that diversity is tremendously important in keeping the creative spirit engaged. So if I work on painting a picture, or cook a nice meal, or make a piece of jewelry, or edit a book, or go for a walk in the rain, or smell the newly blossoming lilacs, or hug a friend, or have a really yummy cup of coffee, it''s just as important to my process as taking guitar lessons or participating on a songwriting board, or singing. My teaching is also very important to my process... I am honoured that my singing students share their individual vocal & creative journey with me, they keep me focussed... and everything I say to them I also say to myself... which is often a very good thing, lol."

Canadian poet, writer & lyricist Michael Kavanagh says...

"I grew up listening to the radio, enjoying music by such greats as Elvis Presley, Jim Reeves and Johnny Cash. I first met Vikki when I had decided to take some voice lessons. I was playing the organ and had been asked to direct a choir... and thought I better learn something about singing! After working with her for several months, something unexpected happened -- I got a throat infection and was not able to sing for quite some time. I was ready to stop my voice lessons when we started chatting about my music goals... and I confessed I''d always dreamed of writing music. She encouraged me to bring in an idea for a song... I hesitantly brought in a scrap of lyric and a few lines of musical notation... and before too long we had our first song written. It''s on this CD, too. That song represents our songwriting journey... the lyrics have been re-written, the music has been re-written, the setting has been changed... and it''s probably still not considered ''commercial'', but we feel that it says what we set out to say -- at last."



"Send Me A Man" - a quirky mid-temp country-pop song about lookin'' for romance... One day someone said Vikki sounded like Janis Joplin... and she started jamming on ''lord, won''t you send me a....'' This is the result! Many thanks to ''The Collaborators'' (Cliff Hitchcock, Vic Bonner & Morris Rainville) for makin'' it sound so good.

"She Was Always There" - Michael wrote the lyrics for this touching folk-pop ballad. Many of us have special memories of someone who made an enormous difference to our lives when we were growing up, accepting us unconditionally, welcoming us with open arms when all other doors seemed closed. Thanks to Dan Spedding for the lovely setting.

"Blue Collar Man" - this is a satire of the typical country song -- you know, the guy loses his woman, his job, and his DOG... with a wee twist at the end. Many thanks to John Spooner (lead vocals) & ''The Collaborators'' (Vic Bonner, Cliff Hitchcock, Morris Rainville) for their enthusiastic help.

"Still I Dream of You" - a number #1 hit on the Soundclick charts for more than 3 months in 2005, this folk-pop ballad is very close to Vikki''s heart. How do you find what''s lost... and if you did... would it ever be the same? Thanks to Vic Bonner & Bert Pallini for their great tracks.

"I''m Gonna Survive" - a mid-tempo folk song with great harmonies... all across North America, traditional ways of life are changing. For various economic and political reasons, mills and factories are being closed down - a death knell to many small towns. Can we chose our response to events that effect us?

"Waiting for the Bus" - the beautiful lyrics for this ambient pop song show just why Vikki continues to be inspired by the soulful poetry of lyricist Michael Kavanagh. Definately new age with a dash of electronica, and a wee taste of the new path Vikki is taking in music writing. Special thanks to Cliff Hitchcock for his inspired percussion track.

(Post Production, Mastering & Duplication by Evan Rabby, Company Zero Studios - https://www.tradebit.com)

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