Songwriting Workshop

Saturday 23rd March
11am – 4pm

Songwriting / Melodic Landscapes
with Emil Thompson

Booking required – please email:
Bring an instrument if you have one.

Building on the success of last December’s workshop and concert; the songwriting group returns – and welcomes new members!

Looking at locality and place; family history and personal stories through the medium of songwriting and thinking of songs as valuable local cultural archives. No previous writing or musical experience necessary – you will be guided in how to dig out a good story, and how to turn that into a song.

During this one-day workshop Emil will take you through the process of writing a song – looking at every part of the process from finding initial inspiration to choosing the right musical voicings and building an effective structure.

The real aim of this workshop is to demystify the process of songwriting, offering you the tools to improve your musical confidence and create new works which you can then hopefully share with the world!

As well as everything you will learn at the workshop, this is also a chance to find out about the forthcoming project ‘Melodic Landscapes’ that the group will be creating – writing songs and music for specific locations across Scotland.

Emil Thompson is an artist and musician now based in Fife, one half of musical duo The Yonderlees –

He is currently working on a PhD looking at rural Scottish grassroots music collectives, with Newcastle University.

Emil explains how his work in story-based songwriting came about:
“My great-grandfather Patrick (P.P.) Bell was a well-known entertainer in Dundee between 1895 and 1943. The recent discovery of a songbook compiled by his son Hugh Wilson Bell sparked a trail of research and discovery into the life and times of my musical ancestor, which in turn resulted in an extensive archive project which contributed to my Masters degree at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.”

You can read more about the P.P. Bell songbook project here:

Another of Emil’s projects is Back Stories. He wrote songs and created a songbook based on headlines in the Dundee Courier, which he took specifically on the 19th day of every month for a year: