Emma Dean Songwriting Workshop

Emma Dean WorkshopExclusive Performance Workshop with internationally acclaimed artist Emma Dean

On Saturday 28th July, 2012, we welcomed the fabulous Emma Dean to the studio for an exclusive 4 hour Song Writing & Performance Workshop. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from one of Australia’s most exciting performers!

Emma Dean’s eccentric, effervescent pop toes the magical line between music and theatre.She has toured Australia and internationally with sold-out solo shows and festival appearances, as well as in support of Jesca Hoop (US), Kate Miller-Heidke, Katie Noonan, Amanda Palmer, and The Dresden Dolls.

Though she has been compared to Tori Amos and Kate Bush, Emma Dean proved her theatrical pop to be fresh, unique, and in demand when NEW YORK POST named her one of their “top ten artists to watch in 2011.” In 2011 Emma took QPAC by storm playing the lead role of “Sally Bowles” in Zen Zen Zo’s production of Cabaret, and in early 2012 she will be making the big move to New York to work on new and exciting projects.

A group of 8 senior students met at the studio on Saturday afternoon, ready to work hard and soak in everything Emma had to teach them. They started off with a vocal session, working on breathing exercises and singing technique. Then they got down to business, looking at the structure of various pop songs and what makes them so catchy. This was all leading up to the creative explosion of writing their own song together that afternoon. Emma gave them a little inspiration with a spooky tale about a haunted ballerina, and the girls formed groups to brainstorm images / phrases / words that they might use in their song. I had a fantastic afternoon listening to the girls’ wonderful creative suggestions, and hearing them come up with melodies to fit the chord progression Emma wrote for them. There was some very powerful imagery and the song took shape quickly as the girls turned their brainstorming into lyrics and solidified their melodies. At the end of the afternoon they added some beautiful, haunting harmonies, and took turns performing the song in small groups. We ran out of time to really work on performance technique, but when Emma comes back to visit from New York she said she’d love to come and work with the girls again. I even heard suggestions of a video clip! Our Piano Captains presented Emma with flowers and a card and thanked her for spending the afternoon with us. We’re all looking forward to having Emma back at the studio sometime next year, but for now, here are the lyrics for ‘Tick Tock’!

Let me tell you the tale of a broken dream

Stitched into a tragic scene

Ignoring whispers, a haunted role

A dancer who lost all control

 

I’d heard it said the show was cursed

It didn’t scare me, I still rehearsed

Vanity corrupting, self-destructing

To satisfy a sickening thirst

 

(Chorus)

Tick, tock, I’m a clock

Dancing, spinning, I can’t stop

Tick, tock, I’m a clock
Twirling ‘round like a spinning top

As I hear the angel’s song

Trapped within my music box

 

A tangled web of tulle unwound

Paralysed and never found

Stay away and keep your ground

For I’m still screaming, there’s no sound

 

Tick, tock, I’m a clock

Dancing, spinning, I can’t stop

Tick, tock, I’m a clock
Twirling ‘round like a spinning top

As I hear the angels’ song

Trapped within my music box