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: MaryJane (MJ) Ergino

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 MJ

MaryJane (MJ) is from San Jose, CA, USA


What do you do during the day?
I work for Social Services Agency full time.

Is there anything surprising about your musical tastes?
I Love movie scores and soundtracks, and some from animated movies. I particularly Love the Lion King Soundtrack, Rhythm of the Pride Lands, the sequel to the motion picture soundtrack. I had to and learned the songs in that album and so, every so often, I’d sing along with pride and with all my passion in Zulu and Swahili and break out into my African dance, while I sing along blasting it in my car or my room, especially my room. It’s like being in a trance from a past life or something, like where I belonged. It’s such a remarkable feeling and I am rejuvenated and elevated so much, it’s freeing, like a real high! I know weird. No, I never did drugs. Disclaimer.

Another one is when a song strikes me hard and I’d fall in love with it, then I just have to learn it, right then and there, spend all night if I have to, even on a weeknight, until I can sing the whole song perfectly or have the whole lyrics written down, lacking sleep the next day, when I have a very early and long day at work ahead of me. Crazy.

Another one is when an inspiration or idea or phrase or song come to me for a new original that hits me late at night or in the middle of the night, and I’d end up staying up all night until I finish creating the whole song, lyrics and music, writing and recording the lyrics, melody, what instrumentations and composition, how it will all go, recording all in my phone on notes and voice memo, lacking sleep the next day. I think all musical artists, are probably like that though right? Or worse.

What does your songwriting habit look like?
Unfortunately, I don’t really have a songwriting habit. Working full time and time spent with my family leaves me little time to have a personal schedule for myself. I usually write my songs when I’m inspired or when I get an idea. I have my phone with me at all times, so I can always record whenever an inspiration or idea comes to mind. Hence, why it can take a while for me to finish a song because of time. I try to make certain goals, like writing or dedicating specific time for anything songwriting related everyday, even for 10 minutes a day, but it can be a challenge especially when I get tired from a long day’s work or running late in the morning. I just really need to prioritize and make time for my precious passion and gift. I’m working on it.

Who are your influences? How have they shaped you?
I believe GOD inspires me, through the people HE puts in my life everyday in circumstances I face. I try to understand and believe what HE sacrificed for our lives, just because HE loves us unconditionally, and the hardships in life I go through, gives me strength to overcome the hardships and to move on. One chance in life that we are given, every day is so precious. The people HE puts in my life everyday are there, always for a very good purpose, to either lift me up, challenge and strengthen my weaknesses, help me see others in need than my needs, help me contribute to others lives in a positive way, to understand myself and others around me, to challenge me to let things go and forgive, to move on, help me see my worth, and help me express myself in the songs I create, which I hope to contribute to peoples lives in this world in a positive way with my singing and music, even if like a little light that just makes our world a little brighter and easier place to live. I think that’s how we all should live our lives in this world. Just make our world a cohesive happier peaceful world would be nice.

What challenge are you facing with songwriting?
Time for developing my craft. For not being to able spend more time writing and finishing my songs, and to learn to play the piano and practice as much as I want to, and learning everything about GarageBand, learning about recording and copyrighting and putting my music out there. It can get overwhelming for me. There is so much to learn and know for just being a songwriter, to producing your own songs. I am working on making time to prioritize my precious passion and gift.

Another challenge is when I get an inspiration, or an idea or an original come to me, I have to stop what I’m doing and type the lyrics and record what music, melody, and instrumentations and arrangement I’d want the song to have on my phone on notes and voice memo. And I could do this all night and into the next morning when it’s time for me to go to work, which is not very healthy for me and makes it a challenge to work the next day from lack of sleep. So I try very hard to have some kind of balance and at least give myself some time to have adequate sleep, and maybe finish the next day or whenever I can after I come home from work. But if I don’t finish it the night before, sometimes the whole thing just hovers over me all day like a very cute and loving adorable impatient child, a force hard to contain, until I finish it and can’t concentrate until I get back on working on it and finishing it. Well, we’re all weird one way or another.

Tell us an early memory about a song that woke something up inside you.
When I was a little girl, I always knew all the songs and would sing along to every song that came on the radio. We could have probably turned off the radio and I could have been the radio player for my family instead, lol. I’ve always loved songs and music all my life and have a deep appreciation of it. Every song always touches me in a special way and affect me emotionally and deeply. I love music so much that whenever there’s music, its quite a challenge because my senses focuses only on the sound and arrangement of the song and makes it hard for me to concentrate, especially if I was multitasking, like when I was working in in-store banking. The store played music all the time and It was a challenge counting money and talking to clients, lol.

I do remember discovering Billie Holiday in college, mid 80s, and Harry Connick Jr’s live TV concert, Harry Connick, Jr and His Orchestra, Swinging Out Live 1991, recorded in Texas. That’s when I fell in love with Standards, Jazz, Big Bands, and really learned that music and singing is a huge part of me, of my being, and I have to have music in my life, and I have to sing! Of course, I have to mention other Greats that also influenced me, Whitney Houston, Bebe and Cece Winans, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Luther Vandrose, Sade, Van Halen, Crystal Gale, Jim Brickman, Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson, Amy Grant, Christina Aguilera, Tina McBride, Patsy Cline, LeAnn Rimes, Shania Twain, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole, Jennifer Lopez and so many others and the list goes on forever.

And for the last 10 years to present time, I find Christian songs to be a heavy influence in my everyday life and helps me to always be encouraged, positive, hopeful, happy and in peace. Praise God! I am blessed and I am grateful.

What Day of 100 is your piece from?
Day 12 of 100 Fall 2020/Summer EP Challenge 2021

Just Perfect is a song I started to write in March 2019, before I joined 100 Days Of Songwriting, and finished in 100 DOS, and one of the 3 songs from my very first work in progress album, Work Tapes, submitted for the Summer EP Challenge 2021 in the 100 Days Of Songwriting community, an amazing global family community of fellow songwriters, composers, lyricists, and producers, that I feel so blessed to be in the company of. I had the honor to work with Rigel Thurston, the Founder of 100 Days of Songwriting and my piano coach. I submitted Just Perfect unfinished and imperfect for the EP Challenge, since we were allowed to submit songs that we are still working on. I hope to formally release it soon. This song is about a false sense of perfection that we all see in another person, a person of love interest in our relationships. I say false sense of perfection because we all know there is no perfect man or woman to be with or a perfect relationship because nothing in this world is just perfect. But it could happen, right? Do ba do ba do ba do be dee doo…

JUST PERFECT
Written by MaryJane Ergino
Music by Rigel Thurston

His eyes are sweet blue ocean
Enticing bewitching me
Clean cut and freshly shaven
His lips are hot and tempting
In his Armani shows Greek God physique
Intoxicating
So dashing tall and handsome suave of a chap
Everything is just perfect
Could he be the one who fit the shoe

Da do do dwee dee, do ba do ba do ba do be dee doo
Da do do dwee dee, do ba do ba do ba do ba do dwee

It such a great fun night
The flowers are lovely
The candies such a sweet touch
The dinner so scrumptious
Dimmed lights added romance in the night
Stroll in the avenue
The crisp air and the kiss at the end of good night
Everything is just perfect
I think he’s the one who fit the shoe

Da do do dwee dee, do ba do ba do ba do be dee doo
Da do do dwee dee, do ba do ba do ba do ba do dwee

Many nights I wished for you
All those nights I dreamed of you
Thought you’re only a fantasy
Here you are and so good for me
You hold me and squeeze me
Feel me and kiss me
Love me and take me high

He’s so sweet and gentle
And buys me Tiffany blings
So good to my lovely family
And laughs with my dear friends too
Attentive and puts me first everyday
After The Almighty One
Trips to Paris clever conversations and affairs
Sincere kindness real integrity
This noble man of a hunk I choose for me

Da do do dwee dee, do ba do ba do ba do be dee doo
Da do do dwee dee, do ba do ba do ba do ba do dwee

Everything is just perfect
And I know he’s the one who fit the shoe, yes

Listen here:
Click here to listen


Official music page:
MJ's Soundcloud

Member Highlight: Angela Perry

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 Angela

What do you do during the day?
I am a music teacher at a Public Expeditionary Art School

Is there anything surprising about your musical tastes?
I love underground hip hop and rap and I love to dance so sometimes I will crank it up as loud as I can in my house and dance as dirty as I can.

What does your songwriting habit look like?
My usual habit of songwriting (although I took a break a couple of weeks this summer) is that I write every day for at least 6-10 minutes on a topic. Just write trying to use the 5 senses in that writing. I then use a couple of different techniques I learned from Tweedy and Shane and break it down. It may or may not turn into anything but I try to do some part of this every day. if I get something I then will sit on my piano and just play different melodies, rhythms etc. and then begin to put something together.

Who are your influences? How have they shaped you?
My grandmother inspired me to keep working on my journey with music and even though she has passed, she continues to inspire me. As a kid when she came to visit, she would sit in a chair by the piano and I would play for her no matter and no matter how poorly I played, she would tell me it was beautiful. IIf I was upset about my life or how things were going with music she would say "It will be alright just relax things will get better."
 As I attended college for my music degree, she would send me money so I could make it. At my Senior Recital, she helped pay for my dress and attended and cried as I was singing.

What challenge are you facing with songwriting?
I have a tendency to write sad songs and I have to work on writing something upbeat.

Tell us an early memory about a song that woke something up inside you.
My parents did not have a lot of money but because I loved music, my mom decided I could have the family record player/radio in my room. It was the kind that flipped up and only when it was opened could you play records. I had it flipped down most of the time because I would play my mom's old records. For Christmas, I got the Star Wars album. I was so thrilled and I would crank it up and escape into another world where I was fearless and had the freedom to do and be whatever I wanted. This was one of my first memories of understanding how music could transport and transcend me. What is interesting about this experience is that I had not watched the movie yet. I had asked for the record just because. This just because changed my perspective on music for the rest of my life.

What Day of 100 is your piece from?
Day 80 of 100

Lyrics:

In the Shadow of the Rose
by Angela Perry

She sits in the corner sheltered from the sun,

Noticed by all, Noticed by none

Others in party glow carry on

superficial, plastic artificially numb. 


Listen here:
Click here to listen


Official music page:
angelaperrymusic.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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Member Highlight: Jeff Hanke

It brings me great joy to highlight Jeff. Jeff is a 100 Days of Songwriting veteran. It's been fun watching his music, performing, and producing skills develop and expand over the last couple of years. I want to share a quote from him that I feel sums up his attitude and truly illuminates the spirit of our community: "We're all on different parts of the path, but we're all on the path." I couldn't have said it better. We are all here to do our work and encourage our fellow travelers. Thanks for being a leader in that way, Jeff!

Meet Jeff

Jeff is from Bloomington, MN

What do you do during the day?

I'm retired 🙂 I was in retail sales for 16 years before that.

Do you have any guilty pleasures in music?

There are moments where I really like Sinatra 🙂 (and a lot of the swing/ big bands from the 40's & 50's...) and the Tin Pan Alley writers too the Gerswhin's, Johnny Mercer et al... Good quality music. Our folks had some great music to listen to.

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Member Highlight: Kirsty Mulholland

"It has been a joy and honor getting to witness Kirsty’s process and participation in our community. Her ability to be vulnerable and share unfinished snippets of work in one breath, and in the next share a final product with full instrumentation, tasteful arrangement and if we’re lucky an epic shredding guitar solo. Her encouragement and sense of humor is always on-point." - Rigel

Kirsty is from Belfast, Northern Ireland

What do you do during the day?

I work in financial services, although not the "big fat bonus" kind unfortunately

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