Hawaii Winter Songwriting And Recording Workshop

Steelgrass Ranch (www.steelgrass.org), a music and art retreat center on the Island of Kauai, Hawaii, announces a songwriting and music recording workshop next February 16-18, 2007. Entitled “Songwriting and Recording: Tools and Strategies,” the three-day event will be led by award-winning recording artists Kathy Mattea and John Vezner, plus Pat Pattison and Stephen Webber, heads of the Songwriting and Music Production and Engineering programs at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Designed for songwriters and recording musicians at any stage in their careers, the workshop will provide inspiration and in-depth training in both fields. Songwriting teachers Mattea, Vezner and Pattison, working one-on-one and in small groups, will show workshop participants ways to stimulate their creative energies and sharpen their lyric skills, as well as techniques for mastering the elements of structure, and organizing rhythms and rhymes into compelling verses, bridges and choruses. Emmy-winning producer Stephen Webber will teach the latest recording and mixing techniques in a state-of-the-art recording studio, equipped with ProTools HD3 version 7.1, a full complement of outboard gear, and an extensive microphone cabinet.

Workshop sessions will be held at Steelgrass Ranch (www.steelgrass.org), so-called after a nickname for bamboo, because the lush, tropical property includes an eight-acre bamboo plantation. Located on the East side of Kauai above the town of Kapa’a, the Ranch is nestled in a meditative environment between Sleeping Giant and Mt. Wai‘ale‘ale, and offers picturesque mountain and ocean views in every direction. Traditional Hawaiian Plantation-style architecture shelters the instructional and performance spaces and the new professionally-designed and fully-equipped music recording studio, as well as tranquil indoor and outdoor areas for gathering and dining.

Known as “The Garden Island”, Kauai is the northernmost and geologically the oldest of the major Hawaiian Islands. Its 550 square miles are home to an astonishing variety of ecosystems and microclimates, from desert canyon to the wettest spot on Earth.

Uncrowded beaches, waterfalls, mountain trails and gardens abound, along with endless possibilities for relaxation, recreation, and adventures in swimming, surfing, snorkeling, freshwater and saltwater catch-and-release fishing, diving, kayaking, and hiking.

For details on workshop cost and registration, visit www.steelgrass.org.

About the Workshop Presenters

Pat Pattison (members.aol.com/ptpattison/lyricpages/) is Professor of Lyric Writing and Poetry at Berklee College of Music, where he developed the curriculum for the only songwriting major in the country. In addition to his lyric writing courses for Berklee, Pat has written three books, Writing Better Lyrics, The Essential Guide to Lyric Form and Structure, and Essential Guide to Rhyming. Pat has published over 40 articles for Home & Studio Recording Magazine, The Performing Songwriter, and the LASS Musepaper.

Kathy Mattea (www.mattea.com) was signed to her first recording contract in 1983, and since then has given a score of now-famous songwriters their first hit, including Nanci Griffith, with Kathy’s recording of Love At The Five and Dime in 1986. She's won two Grammy awards and two Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year awards, and her song Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Roses was named CMA Single of the Year.

John Vezner (www.jonvezner.com/JonHome.html) moved to Nashville in 1986, and within that year had songs recorded by Reba McEntire and Ronnie Milsap, followed by Lorrie Morgan's first single in 1987, Train Wreck of Emotion, which Vezner co-wrote with Alan Rhody. 1989 brought Vezner’s Where've You Been, co-written with Don Henry, which earned him "Song of the Year" honors with both the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM). The song was honored with a Grammy Award for "Best Country Song" and the Nashville Songwriters Association "Song of the Year." Vezner was subsequently named "Songwriter of the Year" by the NSAI.

Stephen Webber (www.berklee.edu/faculty/detail.php?id) is an Emmy-winning composer and Professor of Music Production and Engineering at Berklee College of Music. In three decades as a record producer, engineer, session player and studio designer, Stephen has recorded with Ivan Neville, Meshell Ndegeocello, the Manhattan Guitar Duo and the Turtle Island String Quartet, and performed with Bela Fleck, Mark O’Conner, and Emmylou Harris. A writer for Electronic Musician, Remix, and Mix Magazine, Stephen is the author of Turntable Technique: The Art of the DJ, the first book to teach the turntable as a musical instrument. Stephen has been profiled on the Today Show and All Things Considered, and in the New York Times and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the designer of the recording studio at Steelgrass Ranch.