Your voice is as unique to you as your face, your fingerprints. So why waste time trying to sound like anybody else?
Explore the connection between your writing, speaking, perhaps even your singing voice in this week-long course delivered by award-winning writer and performer, Ben Mellor.
Using a range of writing, vocal and physical exercises you will spend time identifying the individual brilliance of your voice – your use of language, dialect, accent, tone, timbre, rhythm and style.
Using examples of unique voices in writing and performance as a stimulus, we will work with existing texts and create new pieces of poetry and spoken word – aiming to compose not on the page, as Ferlinghetti said, but on the tongue.
Suitable for those finding their voice for the first time, and equally for those who feel they’ve misplaced theirs and need a rummage down the back of the sofa.
|Tutor: Ben Mellor – Writer/Performer
Ben Mellor is an award-winning writer and perfomer who has performed his work at theatres, festivals, schools, colleges and prisons nationally and internationally.
He has created and toured a number of solo and collaborative shows incorporating spoken word, storytelling, theatre, live music, beatbox and vocal looping and has produced two poetry collections with accompanying spoken word albums, Light Made Solid and Anthropoetry.
He has also featured on BBC Radio 4, 4 Extra, the World Service and a variety of poetry podcasts and has had poetry, fiction and articles published by Poetry Review, Route, Corporatewatch, Puppywolf, Tongue Fu and Inc Magazine.
|Guest on Wednesday evening: Ian McMillan – Poet/Broadcaster/Comedian
Ian McMillan is a writer and broadcaster who presents The Verb on BBC Radio 3 every Friday night; he’s written poems, plays, a verse autobiography Talking Myself Home and a voyage round Yorkshire in Neither Nowt Nor Summat. He watches Darfield and Yorkshire Cricket Clubs and the only time he played cricket, at Low Valley Juniors in 1963, Mrs Hudson told him to take his balaclava off or she’d make him wear his mother’s Rainmate.Ian is poet-in-residence for The Academy of Urbanism, Barnsley FC and now Barnsley Poet Laureate. As well as presenting The Verb every week, he’s a regular on BBC Breakfast, Coast, Countryfile, Pointless Celebrities, Pick of the Week, Last Word and BBC Proms Plus. He’s been a castaway on Desert Island Discs. Previously, he was resident poet for English National Opera, UK Trade & Investment, Yorkshire TV’s Investigative Poet and Humberside Police’s Beat Poet. Cats make him sneeze. @IMcMillan www.ian-mcmillan.co.ukIan’s latest collection To Fold The Evening Star – New and Selected Poems (Carcanet) was published on 28 April. Ian has just been awarded The Freedom of Barnsley.’world-class – one of today’s greatest poetry performers’ Carol Ann Duffy
‘inching towards the status of a National Treasure’ Andy Kershaw‘Ian McMillan, owner of one of the finest broadcasting voices currently gracing the airwaves’ -Radio Times
‘the verbal gymnastics of a north country Spike Milligan coupled with the comic timing of Eric Morecambe’ – Martin Dimery, Frome FestivalPhoto: www.turningimages.co.uk
|PRICES||Fee includes all day and evening tutored workshop sessions, readings, accommodation and full board (not including alcohol).
Single – En-suite room £750
|WHAT TO BRING||
|START TIME||Please arrive between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm on Monday 4th September.|
|END TIME||After breakfast, 10:00 am on Saturday 9th September.|
|LOCATION||The Garsdale Retreat, Clough View, Garsdale Head, Sedbergh, Cumbria LA10 5PW|
The Garsdale Retreat provides an inspiring place to develop as a writer. Our courses offer opportunities for new, emerging and experienced writers. The tutors, all professional writers, lead group work and also give one-to-one tutorials to help the individual student. In the remote and beautiful setting of The Yorkshire Dales, The Garsdale Retreat gives a wonderful opportunity to escape from the daily stresses of life and to draw inspiration from fellow students, tutors and the landscape itself.
All courses start on Monday afternoon, arrival time 4.00 – 5.30pm and finish after breakfast on Saturday, 10.00am
Although there will be slight variations, according to the type of course, students can generally expect the following outline.
Each day begins with a morning workshop at 9.30am where students explore particular aspects of the chosen genre and take part in writing exercises to further their understanding and expertise. Tutors also write alongside the students, sharing and developing work with participants. The immediacy of hearing or reading an expert’s emerging work gives invaluable insight and inspiration into the art of writing. All students have opportunities to share their work with the tutor and fellow writers in a safe, supportive and nurturing environment in which individual work is respected and confidence developed.
There is a mid-morning coffee break and the session finishes at lunchtime (1.00pm)
After lunch, participants are free to do whatever they like, such as: relax, go for walks, enjoy The Dales, nap, draw, paint, read or work on individual writing projects.
All students have at least one individual tutorial which usually takes place in the early evening after tea and homemade cake.
Each evening there is an after-dinner event. The precise nature of this vary varies according to the type of course but participants can typically expect a tutor reading on Tuesday followed by a reading from a guest writer on the Wednesday evening. There is an informal activity on Thursday such as a student ‘open-mic’ night, or a tutor devised activity. On Friday, students and tutor take part in a reading of their work from the course-produced anthology. This is followed by an informal celebration where participants are welcome to play music or sing etc. The Retreat has a grand piano, key-board and acoustic guitar but students are free to bring any instruments along with them.
After-dinner events for performance style courses will usually involve workshop performances by participants of work accomplished in the day.
All courses will conclude after breakfast on Saturday.
Writing Course Anthology
An integral part of a course, is the production of an anthology of the week’s writing. Tutors and students have an equal allocation of pages (usually two sides ofA4) and select the work they include. These pages can be illustrated or decorated. Each participant takes ownership of their pages and is free to determine the overall look and style which may be hand-written or word-processed. It is, of course, accepted that work may not be completely polished and there is an element of work-in-progress about it. However, the aim of the anthology is to reflect a flavour of the work accomplished on the course by both tutor and participants and to provide them with an attractive record of their time at Garsdale. The Retreat stores copies of anthologies in the library, providing pleasure and inspiration for future students.
Musical Theatre Courses
These are essentially the same as the writing workshops in terms of the structure of the day. The main difference is that the evenings are devoted to performance of work produced each day. An informal concert of work produced over the week is given on the Friday evening.
Musical Theatre Course Recording
For musical theatre and performance poetry based courses, an audio anthology is produced. Each student selects work they’ve produced over the week to be recorded. As with the written anthology, the audio version is not expected to be a complete and polished work but more of a work-in-progress which reflects the week’s endeavours. A copy of the anthology recording is given to each student at the end of the course. The Garsdale Retreat will archive the anthology, providing pleasure and inspiration for future students.