Internationally-acclaimed Songwriter,
Performer and Recording Artist
from County Durham, England

Gary Miller Songs

"As a song poet there are few in the world today to match him"
Green Man Review, USA

Sing For Your Life (2004)

'Sing For Your Life' was a songwriting, recording and performance project for ‘Coming of Age’, celebrating 21 years of Beverley & East Riding Folk Festival.


A series of 6 full-day workshops took place at the Memorial Hall, Beverley in May-June 2004, led by Gary as Host Tutor, assisted by Jennie Beasty and Nick Stubbs. In addition, Gary arranged for the following internationally acclaimed singer-songwriters to each deliver a session as guest songwriter - Brendan Croker, Sid Griffin, Alistair Hulett (R.I.P.), and Karine Polwart.


Some of the songs written during the workshop sessions were performed at Beverley & East Riding Folk Festival on 18th June 2004 and some were recorded in a professional recording studio. A 6-track commemorative CD and book were also produced.

 

"The aim of the project was to give the participants the opportunity to develop their songwriting skills. They were to be given the opportunity, in a safe and supported environment, to investigate new ways of working within the folk music genre - using local song tradition as a focus. They were to be encouraged to create new song compositions by either working alone, with supervision and support from the workshop leader, or on collaboration with others.


The results far exceeded my initial expectations. The group was extremely enthusiastic, creative and talented. Albeit a smallish group of just six people, they quickly bonded and worked well in solo, duo and ensemble formats. They were keen to learn and take direction but were also forthcoming with their own creative solutions.


The environment was ideal for developing self-esteem and confidence. I was ably assisted in this by Jennie Beasty, Nick Stubbs and our visiting singer/songwriters - Sid Griffin, Alistair Hulett, Karine Polwart and Brendan Croker - each of whom were able to bring their own focus and a fresh perspective throughout the course.


Some of the songs that were written during the workshops sessions were recorded by the group in a professional recording studio. This was a first-time experience for all the participants. They approached this with enthusiasm and commitment. The results speak for themselves, as witnessed by the CD 'Playhouse', which was produced as a souvenir of the sessions.


The participants performed their own compositions in two different settings. This was nerve-wracking for each of them but they took a professional approach, rose to the challenge and were extremely proud of their achievements."


(Gary Miller, Host Tutor, June 2004)



“I’m absolutely delighted with the track… it came out fantastic. I’m so pleased; I’m recording another of my songs to enter the BBC Radio 2 song contest. I’m also writing a musical for the professional stage. So you see the workshops really did inspire me.”  (Chris Green, Participant)

 
 

The Final Curtain Call - Group Song

The Final Curtain Call
Miller, Gary [Community Projects] (Playhouse)
0:00/4:24

Without so much as by your leave, discussion or debate

It seems the powers that be have brought you down and sealed your fate

Though papers wrote of glory days when you stood both proud and tall

Now your velvet sheen has faded as the final curtain falls


Come tell us of your story and come tell us what you saw

When people came from miles around to line up at your door

They filled the old dress circle and the balcony and stalls

When they cheered you to the rafters as the final curtain fall


They rolled up for my matinee, kids, sweethearts and all

I rolled out their dreams for them with Bogie and Bacall


In later years, they changed the type of role you were to play

The only things now showing are the signs of your decay

They can fill the cracks and save your face but what about your soul?

Now it’s eyes down for the last time as the final credits roll


They rolled up for my matinee, kids, sweethearts and all

I rolled out their dreams for them with Bogie and Bacall


Sitting in the shadows, feels like time is closing in

Hear the words and music; see the stars you shared within

Close the gates behind you, still standing proud and tall

Making keepsakes out of memories, as the final curtain falls


They rolled up for my matinee, kids, sweethearts and all

I rolled out their dreams for them with Bogie and Bacall


They rolled up for my matinee, kids, sweethearts and all

I rolled out their dreams for them with Bogie and Bacall


(Jennie Beasty, Chris Green, Dave Holmes, Alistair Hulett, Rebecca Hemmerman, Angela Jackson, Valerie Marshall, Gary Miller, Nick Stubbs)

 
 

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