I’ve had a few people ask me why I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging side of late. Was it because the FAWM Songwriting Challenge that I participated in recently just wiped me out?

No… I have been working away in the background with my good mate Geoffrey Stapleton in forming Stapleton Stewart Productions, a production company that provides recording, production and songwriting services specifically catering for songwriters, lyricists and solo music artists.

I was asked by Geoffrey to consider becoming involved in Stapleton Stewart Productions in around the middle of February and it’s taken all this time to get everything ready to launch.

We flicked the switch on Friday, May 18th, 2017.

Both Geoffrey and I have the amazingly good fortune to base Stapleton Stewart Productions out of Karisma Recording Studio in Collinswood which is run by a fellow songwriter/musician Ian Coats (it’s near the ABC building for all you guys in Adelaide).

Working out of a fully functional, purpose built, professional recording studio space has been a bit of a dream of mine for a while, and the more I stay away from live performance the more I’m realising that working in a studio environment is the way to go for me.

It’s like this is the next phase in my music career. I’m not sure where this is heading as yet but I’m enjoying the journey so far.

Right now Stapleton Stewart Productions has a website and a Facebook page but Geoffrey and I are keeping it simple at the moment just promoting the recording/production aspect of the business. In the coming months however, more services will be rolled out and I’ll make sure that you guys know about it.

I invite you to check out the Stapleton Stewart Productions website plus Facebook page and if you haven’t liked the Facebook page already, please do so.

If you have any other questions about Stapleton Stewart Productions or, you want to give us a go you can contact me through the Stapleton Stewart Productions website or from this site.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

After taking it easy through March to get over the post FAWM Songwriting Challenge hangover, I’ve put together an album of the songs written in the challenge and put it up on BandCamp for you to download, share and enjoy.

The songs are in the order that they were written and you’ll be hearing them warts and all as I haven’t touched them since I initially recorded and mixed them enough to be included in the challenge.

As a package, I’m very proud with what I had accomplished through February because writing 14 songs in 28 days is no mean feat but I want to put a shout out to Mick Standing with whom I collaborated with on two of the songs “Waiting For You” and “Is It Love.”

Enjoy FAWM2017 – The Album and if you like, shoot me through some feedback. I’d love to hear from you.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Well, the FAWM Songwriting Challenge has now finished and I’ve managed to complete the challenge in full. I finished the 14 songs in 28 days and let me tell you, it was one of the most intense creative experiences of my life.

I’m feeling pretty chuffed with myself at the moment and listening to the songs again, there’s a few there that I’m really proud of.

On reflecting over the past four weeks there have been a number of things I’ve learnt about myself and the songwriting process…

1. There’s nothing like a deadline/challenge to get the creative juices flowing
2. Letting go of perfection is a wonderful experience
3. Even grabbing a bit of time to write/record here and there is better than not writing at all
4. The time to write/record is NOW.
5. A good writing session is a cure for a lack of motivation
6. FAWM is a good way to decrease the Logic Pro X learning curve
7. There’s nothing like the sense of achievement to gain your confidence
8. Get your wife excited by the challenge too. Good support is crucial
9. Inspiration really does come to the ones who are working
10. I can do this… 🙂

Over time, I will gain many more insights from FAWM but now they are the lessons that I have swirling around in my head right now.

Below are the FAWM songs taken from my SoundCloud account. All songs were written by me except for #4 and #10 (M. Standing/C. Stewart).

Feel free to have a listen and let me know what you think.


#01 – Not Coming Home

#02 – Not Scared Anymore

#03 – With You In My Life

#04 – Waiting For You (M. Standing/C. Stewart)

#05 – I Wont Let You Down

#06 – One In A Million

#07 – Where Is The Love?

#08 – Movin’ On

#09 – My Kind Of Life (Instrumental)

#10 – Is It Love? (M. Standing/C. Stewart)

#11 – Wasted Time

#12 – How Does It Feel?

#13 – Love, Truth, Life

#14 – Blink Of An Eye


The fantastic thing about this whole experience is that even though FAWM 2017 has finished for another year I now have the momentum to keep on writing and I certainly have some new songs to perform now.

Thank you for tagging along my FAWM journey

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Tuesday, February 21st marked the end of the third week of the FAWM Songwriting Challenge and my completed song tally so far is eight.

I do have an instrumental that’s almost finished and a couple of other half finished songs plus a collaboration in the pipeline however, the last couple of weeks has been a real struggle to find the time to finish and upload my songs.

The main reason for this time issue is that I made a pact with myself this FAWM to only upload songs that I have recorded and mixed through SongMachine, my home studio setup and having a song finished on paper is vastly different to a full studio arrangement.

It also requires a lot more time to sit in front of the computer and record/mix the song.

My first weeks output was the direct result of having more time on my hands than normal. I could sit down in front of my computer, flick the switch and start something from scratch and complete it in one sitting.

Lately I’ve been trying to make time by grabbing 30 minutes here and there and starting a few song ideas on the go to see what will stick.

What I’ve learnt in week three is to really pay attention to my studio workflow. I’ve also been experimenting with creating song templates in Logic Pro X which has the potential for making things a lot easier for me in the future.

I will get to my target of 14 songs, I just need to pull all of my song idea threads together and pull in some serious studio time. A FAWM 2017 online release is depending on it.

You can hear my latest songs on either my FAWM Profile Page or on SoundCloud.

Now to get stuck into some more songwriting.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

Yesterday, besides being Valentine’s Day, also marked the halfway point (day 14 of 28) of the FAWM Songwriting Challenge.

After uploading five new songs in the first week I only managed to upload another two making my total of seven songs so far which is still keeping up with the one song every two days on average needed to complete the challenge in full.

I’m still confident I’ll complete the challenge as I’m becoming more and more comfortable with solo songwriting again especially the lyric writing component. FAWM has certainly given me the confidence to not be afraid of words anymore.

I always believe there’s something magical about a creative process where a songwriting idea coming from nowhere becomes a completed song and the time it takes to do that seems to disappear.

The main challenge I’m finding with doing FAWM so far, has been trying to grab those moments to write and record my songs the way I want to in-between a pretty demanding and unpredictable day gig however, my time management skills are getting better plus, it helps that the activity I’m trying to make time for (songwriting) is something I’m really passionate about.

You can find my FAWM songs either on the FAWM website or on my SoundCloud page.

Here’s to another week of kicking creativity in the butt and getting on with the task of writing some more songs.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

With the first week of the FAWM Songwriting Challenge coming to an end and three more weeks to go I think I’ve done pretty well so far. I’ve uploaded five new songs and I’m pretty happy with how they have turned out.

As well as giving my songwriting process a good kick in the guts I’m also using the FAWM Songwriting Challenge as a way to get some more miles on the road when it comes to using my home studio setup so I’m treating every new song as a Logic Pro X learning experience.

I can really see what Brian Eno meant when he was talking about using the recording studio as “a compositional tool.”

Another thing that will come out of participating is the creation of a FAWM album which I’ll release on BandCamp as a “pay what you want” type of arrangement. I mean FAWM does stand for “February Album Writing Month” so I might as well have an album’s worth of songs by the end of February.

With the songs themselves, I’m creating them from one of two different approaches:

From Scratch – Grabbing the acoustic guitar or piano and noodling around until a songwriting idea pops up and demands my attention.

From Prerecorded Ideas – Trawling through my WIP (work in progress) folder and opening up each file until something grabs my attention.

Either way, I’m looking for something that stops me in my track and shouts “WRITE ME.”

If you go to my FAWM profile page http://fawm.org/fawmers/songwritingzen/ you’ll find all of the songs I’ve done so far. You don’t need to create a profile to listen to them. If you have any feedback feel free to contact me.

I must say, since I started the challenge this year I have regained a lot of confidence in my solo songwriting ability. I’m also finding that my inner critic is much kinder to me and the flow of ideas is coming to me much more readily, which is really nice.

I’ve given myself a break from writing today as I wanted to get this post written, but I’ll be back into FAWM mode tomorrow.

As Pablo Picasso once said… “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

Peace,

Corey 🙂

I reckon, the best way to stimulate your songwriting process is to have some sort of goal, challenge or deadline to achieve and one of the best ways to do that is to tackle the FAWM Songwriting Challenge which is kicking off tomorrow, February 1st.

FAWM stands for February Album Writing Month and the concept of this songwriting challenge is very, very simple…

Write 14 songs in 28 days.

You can either do the challenge by yourself or, you can collaborate with the hoards of other songwriters that you can connect with through the website.

I’ll be tackling FAWM again this year.

For me, FAWM is a great opportunity to put all of my songwriting ideas, knowledge, techniques and processes into action. It’s also a fantastic exercise in chasing down inspiration through doing the work rather than waiting for inspiration to knock at your door by doing nothing.

Now, in the past (I’ve participated since 2008) I’ve found FAWM a very difficult challenge to complete but this time I reckon I have everything set up to take FAWM head on.

My home recording studio is ready, my collaborators are ready and my songwriting process is ready to tackle the extra workload needed complete the tasks at hand.

I’ll also be blogging about my progress and uploading the songs I create for FAWM so watch this space.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

One of my primary songwriting goals of 2017 is to never be afraid of words ever again.

Ideally, what this means for me is that by conquering my fear of words or, more accurately, the fear of my words being judged by others, I will be able to increase my ability to finish my half completed songs because at the moment a distinct lack of lyrical material is what is standing in the way of me finishing the songs that I start.

I know I’ve been doing a lot of collaborating with other songwriters for a time and while I’ve enjoyed this immensely, I still notice that for most of the time I end up doing most of the music/arrangement parts and the other collaborator takes care of the lyrics.

I really have no idea how I came to the misguided conclusion that writing lyrics is not one of my strong points but that is how I currently see myself as… A musician first and a lyricist (a very distant) second.

I think I have said this to myself so many times now that my subconscious actually believes it. It’s like I’m fulfilling some sort of prophesy about my lack of finished songs.

The biggest problem I have with my with lyric writing process is that I censor myself far too early in the piece. I really need to give myself the permission to put down on paper whatever comes to me, to write what is inside of me no matter whether I consider it crap or not and no matter how bad it might look on paper.

I’ve succumbed to the belief that I have nothing of value to say to the world through my lyrics. What a way to sabotage my songwriting and my creativity as a whole.

Yes, I’m pretty good at doing that.

Even though words have the power to change things and therefore, need to be treated with the respect they deserve, they can’t really hurt me and this totally irrational fear of them should never silence me.

The best thing I can do is to roll up my sleeves and just write songs and I know that by doing this I will in time, conquer my fear of words.

One song at a time…

Peace,

Corey 🙂

This song was inspired by one of the most significant events in my musical career which happened while I was living in Sydney between 1994 and 1999.

The event was a five day songwriting seminar that I spontaneously went to called Creative Options which was run by songwriter/musician Kerry Lambe.

This song was one of many songs written initially as an exercise in automatic writing and it’s the combination of a fully composed lyric and a full composed song arrangement marrying together in perfect harmony.


Don’t Turn To Me Now
(c) C. Stewart 1999

Looking at yourself in the mirror
Is what you see lies?
Thinking about yourself even clearer
Is something you despise?

Don’t turn to me now
Coz the time’s too late to change your mind
Don’t turn to me now
Coz that’s what you get when you don’t ask
Anybody’s help along the way

Why is there so much loneliness
When there’s so many people here?
Are we all afraid of each other
Coz there’s no reason to be scared

Don’t turn to me now
Coz the time’s too late to change your mind
Don’t turn to me now
Coz that’s what you get when you don’t ask
Anybody’s help along the way

Don’t you think it could’ve been better
With the choices that you made?
Coz all your life you were searching for pleasure
But all you got was pain

Don’t turn to me now
Coz the time’s too late to change your mind
Don’t turn to me now
Coz that’s what you get when you don’t ask
Anybody’s help along the way

Help along the way
Help along the way


Even to this day I’m still not really sure what this song is about but I do know that it means something different to everyone who hears it.

Peace,

Corey 🙂

This video I’m about to share with you is for me, the single most inspirational piece of media I have ever witnessed.

I would go so far as saying that if I hadn’t stumbled across this video then my musical journey would’ve turned out a lot different to what it is now.

I can remember where and when I saw this just like it was yesterday.

I was still in High School at the time when I saw the beginning sequence of the video played on the classic ABC music show Rock Arena (do you remember that program) and I experienced the what could be described as the closest thing to a religious epiphany.

This video literally blew my mind. I had never heard music like this before and I was hungry for more.

I hunted down the video and once I had it in my hot little hands I went over to my music teachers house and we both watched it in awe of the music and the musicians that played it.

To put things into some sort of perspective I want to give you some background as to what was happening for me at the time as I was in a world of confusion and pain regarding where I was going in my music.

I was studying music composition and clarinet (as well as everything else) at High School and I was being groomed by the school to go to the Adelaide Conservatorium Of Music to get my Bachelor of Music degree and become either a music teacher or, an orchestral player (music teacher was looking the most likely path).

Everyone else had my musical life planned out for me, except for ME.

I was just starting to learn guitar at that stage and I didn’t know what I should do but once I saw this video, I made my choice and for the first time in my life I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

I wanted to do what THEY were doing.

This video has been long lost from my possession but I was beside myself when I recently stumbled across the full version of it on YouTube so here is King Crimson – Three Of A Perfect Pair: Live In Japan in its entirety just for you.

Enjoy…

I’ve always considered King Crimson’s “Discipline” trilogy of albums, starting with Discipline in 1981, Beat in 1982 and lastly (my all time favourite) Three Of A Perfect Pair in 1984, as my most favourite albums of all time.

It’s influenced my playing style on both guitar and bass as well as shaped my musical approaches and attitudes in more ways than I can imagine and I’m so glad that I can share this video with you all.

Peace,

Corey 🙂