New Show Announced: Toronto Songwriting Guild!
An opportunity to celebrate Santa’s Sack!
Toronto Songwriting Guild Holiday Song Circle!
Sunday December 10 from 7:30-10:30pm!
Amsterdam Bicycle Club
54 The Esplanade, Toronto
Meet us at MoMondays Niagara Falls!
People Profile: Signe Miranda
Meet Signe Miranda: singer, songwriter, coach, author!
Signe Miranda is many things, and just one of them is being a pretty swell lady to know; sweet and kind and also a creative supportive force on the music scene! She is lead singer of Signe Miranda’s Veranda, an alternative roots-rock band, and she also teaches The Song Creation Formula process and literally wrote the book on it! Here I am reading it! Those are smudges of milk chocolate on my brow. That’s how I Rolo.
I posed the People Profile questions to Signe and this is what she said:
What is your career? Is it the same as your passion? What is your passion?
My career is songwriter, musician/performer, live sound tech, author and songwriting coach. My passion is having fun sharing the joy of music with people and inspiring people to embrace their creativity, passion and purpose. Often when people ask that question, they mean “what do you do for a living.” I see a career as something that I’m continually working at to expand my experience of mastering it. I do other things for fun and to support my career – working in an office, concert production work and other fun stuff that comes up.
What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards of your career?
One of my greatest challenges with my career is creating the time and space to focus on being in a creative place, when there are a lot of administrative entrepreneurial activities that go along with being my own record label, my own booking agent, manager, web designer and marketing manager, while having a part time day job and multiple facets to my career.
The rewards are boundless – being in creative flow is one of the most amazing feelings – writing songs & sharing them with an audience, rehearsing, recording and playing shows with my band (Signe Miranda’s Veranda), creating and leading programs that assist people in writing their first song when they never thought they could write a song.
What is your advice to others embarking on similar career?
Follow your intuition. It will always guide you to the place where you belong. You’ll always be where you’re meant to be in a greater sense – although the journey flows if you’re in line with your intuition, while if you continually resist what is, the journey becomes a chore; and it’s all about the journey. Most artists create and share their art because they find joy in it and sometimes we think we need to do certain things because that’s what’s necessary to accomplish certain things. The path is different for each of us, so be your own guide and don’t get too frustrated allowing the “paperwork” to take over the creative work. Remember why you love it and keep that love alive.
What does it mean to be an artist?
To be an artist is to be free to create and experience the flow of life, transforming it into something through which the feeling or emotion can be shared with others to create an experience that transcends the one who created it.
5 years ago, did you expect to be where you are today? Why, why not?
Five years ago I certainly didn’t expect to be where I am today. The thought never entered my mind at that time, that I would write a book and become a best-selling author and interview some of my favourite songwriters, do seven solo tours, driving across the country alone and having the most amazing time, traveling all over the place volunteering at personal development events, taking courses, working with a coach to expand my career and my awareness, creating and leading songwriting workshops, while still in the same day-job which allows me the freedom to travel, and playing in a band with such amazing musicians.
Where will you be in 5 years?
That’s a fantastic surprise and gift. I could guess; I could plan and everything gets turned upside down and shaken up. I will be wherever I lead myself to, one moment at a time. That’s not the answer I would have given six months ago. It would be really fun to be touring with my band, playing shows (band and solo) across Canada and the US, in Europe (especially Norway), Australia, New Zealand, anywhere the music leads me. I would love to travel to so many places – hiking mountains, visiting archaeological sites (particularly Egyptian, Roman and Mayan), playing sports and enjoying this amazing thing we call life.
I love recording albums, touring, creating and leading workshops and always learning – so I see that continuing to be a huge part of my life.
What would you say to your 8-year-old self?
Remember to play. It doesn’t matter what your age is, adults get to play too. Always remember that.
What would you say to your 80-year-old self?
Remember to play. Life is to be enjoyed. “Life is for laughing, loving and living.” (Ed Foreman)
How lucky are you and why?
I am so lucky, if you define lucky as amazement of how spectacular life can be, where things unfold in a surprisingly interwoven way, like we’re living a story that we wrote and forgot what the plot was going to be. Sometimes I forget how movies end and can enjoy them with fresh perspective. Life is kind of like that. Nothing is random.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
If I give away all my secrets, then nobody will be surprised anymore. 😉 I teach tennis and one summer it was one of my tour-funding vehicles. I’m a certified NLP practitioner.
What makes you laugh? What is fun for you?
Really funny movies make me laugh – they have to be really really funny, ridiculous conversations – usually brought on by lack of sleep, and sincere joyful abandon (being in the moment and allowing the joy of the moment to overwhelm the senses – usually involving outdoor activities and/or silliness.
What I find to be the most fun is playing music, road trips, personal development courses, watching movies, hiking mountains and taking pictures of scenery, experiencing new places – particularly involving mountains and water – driving through the Rockies, overcoming fears – i.e. bungee jumping, starting conversations with people who I’m nervous to talk to, going to amazing concerts, doing live sound for concerts, dancing to joyful music, playing sports (especially badminton, tennis, table tennis, basketball and whirly ball – look it up – it’s the awesome-est sport that no-one’s heard of).
What makes you question humanity?
Philosophy encourages me to ponder purpose. It puzzles me that sometimes people get so caught up in being right that they lose perspective on their purpose.
What is your favourite quote?
I don’t have one favourite quote. It’s always changing. The one I mentioned earlier seems appropriate at the moment, “Life is for laughing, loving and living.” (Ed Foreman)
Is there anything else you’re involved in that you’d like to plug or point our attention to?
I’ve recently launched a crowdfunding campaign for the new album I’m recording with my band, Signe Miranda’s Veranda. It’s called “Heart Wave” and I’m really excited to be recording with these awesome musicians that I started working with over the last year and a half (Shamakah Ali & Rob Brown), as well as Brian Allossery, who has an awesome sense of how to arrange my songs in a way that really inspires me. I’m excited to have guest musicians on the album too – Peter Nunn and Bob Egan. We just started recording the first four songs at Rouge Valley Studio with Jeremy Trites and we’re releasing one single at a time every couple of months, starting next month. My purpose is to share the joy of music with as many people as I can and people can get involved by donating and/or sharing our crowdfunding page – http://smarturl.it/fundheartwave
I’m about to head out on my fifth west coast tour in September, playing shows and leading songwriting workshops (The Song Creation Workshop/Experience) from Vancouver to Edmonton – to share my book “The Song Creation Formula” and to launch the first single from “Heart Wave.” – http://www.signemiranda.com/
I attended the Coalition Music/Canada’s Music Incubator Artist Entrepreneur Program last year and it was an absolutely amazing experience – helping me grow as an artist, focus and expand – http://www.canadasmusicincubator.com/
Brian Allossery (singer, songwriter, musician, producer) has this awesome social networking site for artists to connect with eachother and share their art – musicians, poets, painters, writers… from all around the world – http://lazypoets.com/
For more on Signe and all her projects, check out her links!
New Show Announced!
Amsterdam Bicycle Club, Toronto!
Thursday March 12! Doors 8:30 Show 9:15. Hope to see you thurrrrr! 🙂 xo
Come By Here!
Once upon a time I wrote lyrics which depicted experiences with Cancer of three people that affected me greatly. Of course there are more than three that have affected me, but writing about them all would create an epic song for which the music video would be a multi-ogy. So I highlighted these three. What to do about music? Enter the astounding Heather Hill who created the music and worked with me to finesse the lyrics and come up with a resounding chorus and title. Come By Here; it’s what the term “Kumbaya” translates to. You may remember the spiritual song Kumbaya from the 1930s about human bonding, empathy and compassion. During the songwriting process Heather had goosebumps, so we knew we were onto something special.
Foreground: Heather Hill’s goosebumps
Background: Heather Hill’s hitmaker piano
Then came along the brilliant Orville Heyn who helped to finalize the lyrics and music. It was with Orville that I went into the studio this past July to record the track.
1. My reflective self! 2. My mic and my notes!
3. My producer/vocal coach/director Orville Heyn!
The result? These are the final lyrics.
COME BY HERE
-Kat Leonard, Heather Hill, Orville Heyn
I had an aunt with grace untold
A hefty laugh, warm hand to hold
You’d fall in love before you knew it
Her smile was bright, her humour sharp
Encouraging words dispelled the dark
She was gone before we knew it
Come by here
Come by here
Come by here
Grampie fought the great evil abroad
He’s the old kind of brave we’ll forever applaud
He fought for light and liberty
Taught me I was never alone
Gave a young girl a place to belong
When all was done he fell to only one enemy
I have a friend who’s fought before
The devil it seems came back for more
She struggles inside, you’d never know it
Like a buoyant wave on a frantic sea
She’s the kind of friend I strive to be
An army of hope she marches on
In perpetual echo our lost live on!
Where can you hear the song?
For one, you can listen here on Soundcloud!
For two, it is part of an artist compilation CD called She’s Listening which is in support of Ovarian Cancer Canada! If you’d like, you can pre-order your copy for $12 here. If you’re in Ottawa on September 8th, you can join Heather Hill and I at the Walk Of Hope and hear us perform the song live then pick up your copy of She’s Listening! There will also be other artists from She’s Listening performing! Sounds like a hoot and holla to me! 🙂
For three, you can see the music video… once there is one! The aim is to produce the video this fall. Come By Here, all!
WonderKids: Songwriting Workshop!
Presented by Let’s Make Good Productions
and One Parent Families Association
When: Sunday July 14, 2013 and Sunday August 11, 2013 2pm-4pm
Who: Suggested ages: 6-13
Where: The Central, 603 Markham Street Toronto, Ontario, Canada
How: $10 per child per session or $15 per child for both sessions
$7 brunch special offered by The Central for parents to enjoy
What: Parents of workshop participants expected to stay onsite and merrily eat while the children participate in the songwriting workshop. When the workshop is done, children and parents will enjoy a performance presentation of what the children created during the workshop.
-Intro/welcome for participants and parents; performances by workshop leaders.
-Kids break off for workshop; parents remain in dining area for brunch/relaxation.
-Workshop involves: Improv session to warm up to play and experimentation; intro to songwriting- demonstration of song structure and lyric play; kids break off into groups to work on a song for presentation.
-Kids and parents reconvene in main stage dining room area for final presentation of songs the groups came up with.
– If time allows, there will be an open mic for further performances by participants should they wish to continue being stars.
Workshop leaders are singer/songwriter/performers:
Limited spaces. For reservations and more info:
(SAC Songwriting Challenge-epilogue)
Lookie! Lookie! I did it! I made it through Pat Pattison’s songwriting course!
There’s hope for me yet!
And there’s hope for Spring too! Morning coffee visuals in my backyard:
“A moment of satisfaction and hope before I’ve sunk into a funk or tizzy over something not worth a funk or tizzy.”
-Lyrics from my ode to coffee song “Morning Lover”
ASCAP Expo: My Take
Report: ASCAP Expo! The lovely Heather Hill did a bang-up writeup on our adventures at ASCAP Expo and all I did was hit “Reblog”. Love, KAT! XO
I See The Light! I Smell Cake!
(SAC Songwriting Challenge-Week 6-FINAL!)
I see the light!
I made it! I submitted my final peer evaluations for Pat Pattison’s course this morn! This songwriting course has introduced me to a whole world of what I don’t know. But now I actually know what I don’t know, and what I should know. And knowing is half the knowing! Now when I discuss songwriting, I have new musical vocabulary as well as deeper definitions for common vocabulary like stable and unstable. I’m able to absorb song execution tactics with more profound saturation. I see a door to a valuable toolshed, a door beckoning me like freshly baked cake to a whole new world of songwriting. Knowing that door to the toolshed is there, and that I have access to it whenever I find the initiative to flick the latch, is as comforting as eating half that freshly baked cake and knowing the second half of the cake is there for dessert!
Thank you to SAC for instigating yet another great blogging challenge, and thank you thank you thank you to Berklee College and Pat Pattison! An unstable hero is just what I needed!
Pat Pattison-a sung hero!
(Get it? He’s not unsung? ‘Cause he sings and stuff? Get it?)
Resistance is Fertile
(SAC Songwriting challenge-Week 5)
Resistance is fertile and insidious and endemic. During this week’s songwriting assignment, I found myself quivering with defiance. Every moment was a battle of the nitwits (myself, me and I). Even my shoulder devil and shoulder angel were harmonizing, “I don’t wanna do it!” I managed to cough up an assignment submission, but resistance has now crept into my will to finish this blog entry.