The workshop was called "Writing a Song From the Chords Up". I'd taken the two different songwriting workshops that I'd done in the past, grabbed the handouts, and merged it together into one hour that was supposed to cover everything. And happily, it seemed to work. We started from the circle of keys, worked through the standard major and minor chords in a key, headed off to tag major and minor seventh chords, and went over how they form a basic vocabulary for songwriting. Then we got into building chord progressions and how the chord progressions will suggest a melody and even what the song you're writing is about. (Or conversely, how the song that you're writing will determine the chords that you want to use.)
I used several of my own songs as tackling dummies. And in answer to the question that I was asked in the hall on Sunday -- and which I completely spaced as I was worried that the girls' toys might have gotten packed into a car that was about to leave -- the song that I used with the interesting modal chords was "Mother and Daughter". I also used "Just Play", "Change Winds", and "Genie in a Bottle" as examples, the last to show how the newer song was having to dodge the older one's melody.
But we had a good attendance at the workshop -- improving as we went along -- and I managed to give away all of the handouts. Afterwards, Ed Stauff, who had wandered in during the middle of the session, mentioned how he had to avoid waving his hand and saying "That's not how it works", because his approach to songwriting is completely different from mine. He suggested that it might be interesting to put several songwriters with different approaches on a single panel and letting them discuss it, which strikes me as a good thought too. (Hey, OVFF concom! I think Ed and I will both be there...)
After the workshop, I went back to the room and helped Gretchen finish rousting out the girls. We went down to the kids' room and I left to go pick up lunch from Dragon Dynasty, one of the suggestions in the restaurant guide that Robin had helpfully e-mailed to us. And I was reminded that I was not in Illinois any more. In order to get to the restaurant, you first walked up the moderately steep hill and then down the hill on the other side. Repeat in reverse to return to the hotel. Fortunately, my walking credentials are still in good shape. :) And the food was excellent! Even if Katie and Julie refused to eat the pot stickers. Oh, well. I guess Gretchen and I will just have to eat them...
I thought that Kathleen's concert was later in the day, so we managed to miss it completely in the general confusion. I did some final revisions to the set list for our concert and got it copied at the front desk so Gretchen would have a copy that she could read. Then we caught the last of the 2 x 8s and started our concert.
Folks seemed to enjoy it. They also seemed to enjoy it when Katie and Julie briefly escaped from Rachel and crawled up on the stage. We knew that dinner was on a tight schedule, so we'd planned to make sure that we finished on time -- and we did! The whole thing wrapped up at 5:59 PM vs. the planned 6 PM end time. Pretty good timing. :)
We assembled in the lobby and rode over to the very nice Italian restaurant with Spencer. I did damage to some wonderful fried mozzarella, some nice salads, and some excellent chicken parmesan, having checked with the waitress to make sure that the red sauces didn't contain wine. Wine, you see, contains sulfites, and I really wasn't interested in having an allergy attack in mid-con. Then it was back to the hotel to catch Brooke's concert, which I got to hear most of, around child wrangling across the hall. And Brooke (no surprise) acquitted herself admirably.
The Interfilk auction was next. Gretchen and I both started out as auctioneers, but Katie escaped about halfway through the auction, so she went to field the girls and take them to bed while I finished up, aided and abetted by a whole bunch of Interfilk wenches and the assorted Interfilk directors present. I don't know how much we raised, but given the state of the economy, it was certainly a respectable amount.
Gretchen had planned to go to bed early since her workshop was scheduled for first thing Sunday morning, so I headed off to the open filk by myself. I got to hear a lot of interesting things and took note of a couple of women who were singing in tight harmony. Rubbing my cluesticks together, I concluded that this must be some subset of Sassafrass, who I'd heard of and who had a scheduled concert the next day. Cool!
I went off to bed somewhere in the 2 - 3 AM range, because sleep is not optional when you have toddlers. :)
And tomorrow would be another day.