Member Highlight: Curtis Wayne Hurley

 Here is one of our many members who have brought life to our community. We are grateful to see the process and progress our members share with us, and we are honored to give them the spotlight! Their story is our story. Read on to be inspired by our latest Member Highlight interview…

Meet Curtis


Curtis is from Charlotte, NC, USA

What do you do during the day?

I teach Delta Airlines Ramp techniques to their contractors. Its a dangerous job with loud machines that have their own rhythms. I end up hearing melodies that I often have to leave the ramp to go write down.

What Day of 100 is your piece from?

Last year. Part of the Mission 22 Project. Addressing the fact that 22 veterans commit suicide in America everyday.

Lyrics:

... Sometimes the darkness seems so powerful

And I know sometimes the light brings no relief

Just know that you are in my heart and on my mind

And I'm praying for your strength and for your peace...

Listen here:

Click here to listen

Is there anything surprising about your musical taste?

The variety of artists that I listen to surprises me. As long as I can see images in their sound I'm with it. You'll hear anything from Mozart to Montell Jordan to Men at Work to Metallica

What does your songwriting habit look like?

I get snippets of song in my head constantly. The voice notes on my phone is full. I create mostly at night when I get home. Occasionally I awaken from dreams and have to put ideas down immediately.

Who are your influences? How have they shaped you?

I was exposed to story telling artists as a child.

What challenge are you facing with songwriting?

Completing the piles of song ideas that I generate on nearly a daily basis.

Tell us an early memory about a song that woke something up inside you.

I remember listening to Earth Wind & Fire's brazilian rhyme (ponta de areia)... All of a sudden I could see snow falling around me. As if I was transported to some mountain top at night with lightly falling snow that I could almost feel. I've been trying to create works that "transport" ever since. I wanted to take people places with music.

Check out their work here:

www.curtiswaynehurley.com

Instagram

Youtube

Apple Music

On Building Momentum through Gentle Accountability: Meet Rigel Thurston

Victory! Mighty Networks, the platform that hosts our community, just recognized us as a success story. Our community started with eight people in my converted garage studio, and now we have over one hundred worldwide. In this interview, I share my struggles as a songwriter, the long and technical learning curve of building a thriving online community, and how building my earth dome has helped me build my community.


Read full interview here.

Member Highlight: Sam Wilson

Here is one of our many members who have brought life to our community. We are grateful to see the process and progress our members share with us, and we are honored to give them the spotlight! Their story is our story. Read on to be inspired by our latest Member Highlight interview…

Meet Sam Wilson

Sam is from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK

What do you do during the day?

I used to run a small IT firm but I retired 18 months ago. I play bass guitar with a folk / country band called 'Ship of Fools'. I am secretary for a local motorcycle club and I help to look after my grand-children when my daughter is working. I like to read a fair bit and I'm in a book club that meets monthly.

What Day of 100 is your piece from?

I wrote this around day 16 of the current 100 day challenge.

Lyrics:

Loud Romancing by Sam Wilson

I’m not looking for a crowd. When I tell you how I feel.

Don’t need their validation. To make my emotions real

Your hand is so sure. When you paint me all your dreams.

You don’t need a formal setting. To bring life to your scenes

I don’t need a loud romance

To show my lover I’m true

Because I’m tuned into

The same wavelength as you                          

The shadows all fade back. When you tell me to be strong.

There’s no need to raise my voice. To doubters that say I’m wrong.

If chaos comes to call. And you’re starting to despair.

You can trust that I’ll help rebuild. Find some solace we can share.

You don’t need to romance loudly

To add auth-en-tic-ity

Because you’re living in

The same reality as me                          


Listen here:

Click here to listen

Is there anything surprising about your musical taste?

I like most genres of music. Disco and Funk are a bit of a guilty pleasure. I used to love George Clinton and Parliament / Funkadelic back in the day.

What does your songwriting habit look like?

I generally immerse myself in one song at a time - tinkering with the music and the lyrics to try and fit the mood and feel of the piece. I've got interested in recording and music production over the last 4 or 5 years and I'm still learning new things with the technology. When the song is finished it takes me a couple of weeks to find the idea for the next one. I often find that reading a book helps me with suggesting ideas for a new song and with forgetting about the last song.

Who are your influences? How have they shaped you?

Richard Thompson inspires me not only because he is a great guitarist and songwriter but also because he has kept plugging away writing songs and maintaining a career in music over more than 50 years without huge commercial success. He is not a great charismatic showman or brilliant singer but can hold the attention of an audience for hours standing alone on stage with the vivid rendition of his songs. There was a Fairport Convention record in my Aunt Rosie's collection, see above, and I have bought RT records throughout my adult life. He is one of the people that inspired me to try writing my own songs.

What challenge are you facing with songwriting?

I generally aim to invoke a particular mood or feeling with a song but I can't do it to order. I might set out trying to write something jaunty and happy-go-lucky and end up with something that sounds like a funeral. I don't seem to have much control over this.

Tell us an early memory about a song that woke something up inside you.

When I was 10 years old I inherited my aunt Rosie's record collection (she was 17). I listened to the Beatles albums 'Rubber Soul' and 'Revolver' repeatedly. I came to realize that songs like 'Drive my Car' and 'Norwegian Wood' had a bit more of a spin to them than a Moon in June love-song.

Member Highlight: SonyaMonica

Here is one of our many members who have brought life to our community. We are grateful to see the process and progress our members share with us, and we are honored to give them the spotlight! Their story is our story. Read on to be inspired by our latest Member Highlight interview…

Meet SonyaMonica

SonyaMonica is from Victoria, BC, Canada

What do you do during the day?

I work part-time, we are active grandparents, love to travel and have fun with our family and friends. I also love playing with my band or In a fun jam.

Is there anything surprising about your musical taste?

I find it surprising how many country songs I like. However, jazz and country combined into country swing in the 1920s so that might be the key.

What does your songwriting habit look like?

I started songwriting just over a year ago so am trying to figure that out. I’m learning so much now I feel I haven’t gotten into the long term rhythm yet. However, when writing I plug away at it bit by bit, every day, and try not to leave a good song for too long.

Who are your influences? How have they shaped you?

I keep hearing the word ‘authentic’ in regards to writing music. For me, iconic artists such as Glen Campbell, Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald (and many more) were driven to create, evolve, share their music yet mostly stayed authentic. You can hear it in artist’s works when they are trying something new and it doesn’t quite fit-I find that inspiring as well. I’m a huge fan of Antonio Carlos Jobim, his story and how his incredible body of music influenced the world.

What challenge are you facing with songwriting?

The middle part of the story. Learning more possible song structures. Learning more about music so I can push the boundaries I currently have musically.

Tell us an early memory about a song that woke something up inside you.

As a kid, Saturday mornings the house was blasting with Herb Alpert or other contemporary and jazz music, probably aimed to wake us kids up. In my pre-teens I had ‘Guess Who’ and ‘Beach Boys’ albums I played endlessly. I had an obsession early on to listen.

What Day of 100 is your piece from?

Started a couple of days ago and will continue to work on.

Lyrics:

We are strangers, yet we’re not

Cut from the same cloth

You and me.

Show Yourself to Me

Listen here:

Click here to listen

Member Highlight: Robin Wallbridge

Here is one of our many members who have brought life to our community. We are grateful to see the process and progress our members share with us, and we are honored to give them the spotlight! Their story is our story. Read on to be inspired by our latest Member Highlight interview…


Meet Robin

Robin is from Deming, WA, USA.

What do you do during the day?
I get to work with kids, this year it is 2nd and 3rd graders, mostly on reading skills, but often I get to run music/art classes from a curriculum I have been assembling, and it is always heart-filling. Up until the pandemic, I was in 4 musical groups, now I have only 1 (if that) rehearsal a week, and few gigs. Sigh. But.. silver lining, I joined this community that is really filling me up!

Is there anything surprising about your musical tastes?
If I had been born in the 40's I just know I would have written show tunes for lovely old musicals. I don't know how surprising that is...

What does your songwriting habit look like?
I always think I will go back and pick up all these musical scraps I have collected and finish old work, but new things pop up all the time. My best writing moments come when I am in my car. Phone recorders are lovely! If I am working deep on a song, it becomes my favorite and I work it obsessively until it is done. I keep up with finished and nearly finished songs in a beautiful binder that my daughter decorated for me. Somehow making it into the binder carries weight as a real song.

Who are your influences? How have they shaped you?
My children inspire me always. They are kind and creative and so good to me, they support every venture I undertake and give great feedback.

What challenge are you facing with songwriting?
I am a total novice on the guitar, but without all my bandmates around to help me chordally develop my songs, I have had to accompany myself and imagine all the beautiful licks I have no way to play. I have a tendency to stay in my comfort zone instrumentally, which often results in my verses and chorus sounding too similar. I am learning tricks to change this thanks to Shane's critique workshops, Also, I have always faced the challenge of promoting my material to others who could really sing and play it well.

Tell us an early memory about a song that woke something up inside you.
My first 45 was Judy Garland singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", and the B side was "(Dear Mr. Gable) You Made Me Love You". I played these both incessantly on this little red turntable and I knew I sang just like Judy.

What Day of 100 is your piece from?
day 48, (I think)

About the song:
I am working on this simple song and I have this idea to take my homeliest (in the homey cozy sense) little works and compile them into a "Back Porch Concert" series. Just before the pandemic started closing things down, I put together a "Women I Have Loved" house concert series and it went over very well.

Sweet Octoberby Robin Wallbridge 2021
Oh sweet October, summer is overAnd all the colors on the hill hold a surpriseOh sweet October, you had to know herShe wove a scarf of Autumn leaves around my eyes
Even when the skies are grey the leaves are dancing downEven when the rains have come there’s gold upon the groundThe fog is in the mountains, there’s beauty to be foundI think I love October most of all
Oh sweet October, winter is closerAnd all the grapes have turned to sugar on the vineOh sweet October, you had to know herShe filled my throat with deepest purple winter wine
Soon the leaves will turn to mud and hitchhike on my bootsThe sun retires, the wind and rain are surely in cahootsAnd Green has wandered down to spend her winter in the rootsI think I love October most of all

Listen here:
Click here to listen


Official music page:
https://www.facebook.com/bandZandt

Member Highlight: Thomas Lyng Poulsen

Here is one of our many members who have brought life to our community. We are grateful to see the process and progress our members share with us, and we are honored to give them the spotlight! Their story is our story. Read on to be inspired by our latest Member Highlight interview...


Meet Thomas

Thomas is from Ringsted, Denmark.

What do you do during the day?
I teach classroom music 6 lessons a week, conduct a string ensemble, coach a band and have a large number of guitar students. On weekends, I perform as a sideman in a covers band, sub in other bands, and do the occasional solo performance here and there, either on classical guitar, or in my singer/ songwriter capacity. I am also available for remote session work - mostly on guitar - from my home studio that has steadily grown into quite a capable little operation, and where I have a LOT of fun creating.

In short, I am living the dream. I get to make music every single day.

I also get to be a husband and a father of two boys, which is endlessly rewarding and challenging.

Is there anything surprising about your musical tastes?
I usually say - and I mean it - that my favourite piece/ song, is whatever I am working on at any given time. This means, that one week, I can be completely immersed in a simple, bordering on corny polka and love it dearly for its simplicity, relatability and earworm qualities, and the next day feel like some avant-garde postmodern piece of atonal music is the best thing since sliced bread, and breathtakingly beautiful in all of its dissonant glory and break-neck technical difficulty.

What does your songwriting habit look like?
In the current 100 days, I have created a very gentle songwriting habit. If I do anything songwriting related during a day, it counts as keeping the habit alive. I don't have a set time of day or a number of lines to hit. I just try to let the muse in every day. In the previous period, I had a more ambitious rule, and it was clearly more productive, but I have to be realistic in my goals, and with in-person teaching and regular gigs resuming, I knew that my availiable time would be much more limited. The more gentle rule means no feeling guilty, and I have still managed to write a few songs, that I am happy with.

Who are your influences? How have they shaped you?
Most weeks, one of my guitar students will say something, that makes me think differently about something. My wife and two sons also have a tendency to spark my creativity in one way or the other.

What challenge are you facing with songwriting?
Accepting less than stellar songs in between the ones that get me all fired up. Especially now, that I don't write as much. But I'm getting better at it all the time!

Tell us an early memory about a song that woke something up inside you.
I don't remember the title of the song - but on a Friday night prime time family entertainment show, Billy Cross, who used to play with Bob Dylan for a while, was playing with his band. I must have been 7 years old at most, and immediately decided, that I wanted to play guitar. I still want to play guitar - every day, and I do. I even make a living doing it; most through teaching and a solid portion through performing.

What Day of 100 is your piece from?
On and off from 50/100 to 73/100 on the spring 2021 100 DOS

About the song:
This song was written in the previous - my first - 100 days, around halfway in. I was frustrated with the muse not presenting itself, and out of my frustration grew the first few lines, and the rest more or less wrote itself.

Listen here:
Click here to listen

Official music page:
https://thomaslyngpoulsen.bandcamp.com/

Member Highlight: John Gehrke

It has been fun getting to know John Gehrke over the last year-plus. His thought-provoking lyrics, sense of humor, and willingness to try something new in front of everyone add so much value to our community.

Meet John

John is from Los Angeles, CA, USA

What do you do during the day?


Lately, I’ve spent most of my days editing from home (which has been a nice change due to COVID)

Do you have any guilty pleasures in music?
I think I can classify "old regional commercial jingles" under guilty pleasures. I loved jingles from old tv commercials in the 80’s and early 90’s. Even though these pieces of music exist solely to advertise a business, they could be so catchy. Western career college is a personal fave.

What does your songwriting habit look like?
I tend to write lyrics first and then figure out a melody that goes along with it. Once I have a full lyric done, I’ll rent a room in a rehearsal space and work on singing it.

If I’m working on an instrumental, I’ll pick a drum pattern, then add a bass line to it. After that it’s figuring out if a guitar, synth, or piano goes well on top of the rhythm track.
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Member Highlight: Sonam Kaloti

I am honored to introduce Sonam. She has such a fresh sound, bursting with creativity and mind-expanding harmonic complexity. I have truly enjoyed seeing her process as she develops songs and steps out on a limb to share them with the world.


Meet Sonam

Sonam is from Surrey, BC, Canada.

What do you do during the day?
After highschool I did a year of a BA in Creative Writing. After that I completed two years of a Music Technology/Audio Engineering program, which I just finished a few weeks ago! Throughout these last three years I've been working as an Arts Editor/Journalist at a student newspaper called the Other Press. Now that I've graduated I'm currently job hunting for a second job.

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Member Highlight: Rado Randriamamonjy

I have immensely enjoyed getting to know Rado over the last few months. Not gonna lie, I'm a little biased because we share a love for blues, soul, and funk, which clearly influences his compositions. I appreciate his willingness to give us a peek into his process—the way he teases out a juicy chord or harmony and massages it into a song is super inspiring!

Meet Rado

Rado is from San Francisco, CA

What do you do during the day?

I'm a full time musician/music educator. ive been playing for a living for about 20 yrs. and i have 2 small teaching businesses in SF. private music education and a preschool music business.

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