Meet the MusicWorks Panelists: Murray Pulver

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Murray Pulver

Coming up on September 14, songwriter and producer Murray Pulver will be joining us for our first DIY Series event of the year, How to Sharpen Your Co-Writing Chops. Murray will also be our Songwriter in Residence on September 17.

Murray began his career as a member of the award winning bands Crash Test Dummies and Doc Walker. Besides being a multi-award-winning musician, Murray has long been sought out for his talents as a producer. His accolades include: 2009 CCMA Producer of the Year; two WCMAs for Producer of the Year; and Canadian Folk Producer of the Year. In 2013 Murray produced The Bros. Landreth’s critically acclaimed album, Let It Lie, which won a JUNO for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year. Murray has also completed projects for Sierra Noble, Don Amero, and Sweet Alibi.

Get to some insight into his take on creative collaboration through this little Q+A…

What are three advantages to co-writing that working solely on your own won’t afford.

a) The old adage,"two heads are better than one", rings true for me. Two, maybe three or four heads? I find that when writing on my own, the focus is quickly lost after the initial excitement and inspiration of a song idea. When you have a co-writer, that person can help focus and shape the idea when the spark may be lost.

b) It is a dedicated time made together with all the writers and so the focus of each individual usually is zoned in to what is trying to be accomplished and created.

c) I love the fact that when you co-write, you are creating something together that would never have existed in your own mind. Opening yourself up to it is the biggest challenge, but once you let go of some of the inhibitions we sometimes feel, it is a very rewarding and exhilarating experience.

Can you you share one of your most memorable (odd, hilarious, satisfying, successful, etc.) co-writing experiences ?

Almost all of my co-writes have been memorable, some with total strangers, some with great friends. I love the feeling of when it starts to come together and everyone gets that excitement and can imagine it on stage or on the radio or whatever. I was lucky enough it write with a guy named Darrell Brown, who has written some massive hits. We didn't know him at all, so our first get together was more of a get to know you session. We joked around, laughed a lot, talked about the news, our home lives, etc. and through the conversation our song was being written. All the verses were done without even realizing it. He then made us go home and each write a separate chorus. When we got together the next time he listened to all of our choruses and fired them all. We then finished the chorus with him and to this day, it's still one of my favourite songs to have been part of.

On your album, The Guest List, you worked with a different artist or band on every single track. What insight did you gain into the writing process from collaborating with so many different artists from so many different genres?

From writing a song with each artist one on one, I realized how different everyone's brains work and how everyone needs to approach creativity in different ways. It's interesting for me to figure out how someone likes to work, make them comfortable so you can get the best possible out of each different artist.

Co-writing can be one of the most valuable and rewarding ways to hone your craft. Explore the benefits of creative collaboration with veteran producer, musician, and songsmith Murray Pulver. This workshop will explore the fundamentals of connecting with other writers and building a community of collaborators. It will also touch on scheduling, etiquette, tips for capturing the muse, navigating writing credits, and more. 

Murray will work in 45-minute, one-on-one sessions with local songwriters to help shape or complete a song, or get general feedback and guidance on a composition. Potential applicants are encouraged to bring in a partially-completed piece as a starting point. This opportunity is free for members. If you wish to have a chance to work on a song with Murray, please email a link to your Manitoba Music profile (updated with current music, bio, etc.) to Members will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis. 

Register for these opportunities online, or to get more info, please contact:

David Landreth, Professional Development Coordinator
Manitoba Music
P: 204.975.5188

MusicWorks is made possible by the generous support of the Province of Manitoba through Industry Services of Manitoba Jobs and the Economy, FACTOR through the financial support of the Government of Canada and Canada's private radio broadcasters, The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, and The SOCAN Foundation.

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