Group writing for a play on location

A COMMUNITY songwriting project took place in Smythesdale last week with locals invited to help create a song about the town.

The initiative was spearheaded by songwriter Amie Brulee as the first of four community songwriting projects in as many places.

Brulee grew up in Smythesdale and said it was “really fun” to immerse herself in the history and character of her hometown.

“I love small country towns because people are really connected to their community and you get such a variety of people here,” she said.

“We had a lot of stories from people who grew up here and others in their 40s or older. Some of these stories are personal, others tell how the city has changed and evolved.

“I am always looking for what is real. Writing a song about a place and not talking to people feels wrong to me.

Brulee visited Smythesdale before the group session and gathered information about it by taking photos and speaking with traders to help prepare for the writing process.

She aims to record the song and return to town to perform it.

Although still in development, Brulee said the song would likely be a bluegrass track, with room for double bass, ukulele, and guitar instrumentation.

Four people attended the session, including Smythesdale Arts and Music Fiesta organizer Barry Wemyss, who said he found it interesting to see the writing process in action.

“I like to listen to the words people have written, the subject of the songs, usually something real from their experiences,” he said.

“I think the community will be interested and intrigued to hear the outcome of what we are talking about today.

“A work like this keeps the city alive, invigorates it.

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