Composing lyrics is one of the most challenging forms of creative writing with the added task of matching them to the overall melody.
Ask Ian Smith.
Leading guitarist, singer and songwriter for several decades, Scotland-born Ian has traveled throughout the world enthralling audiences with his diverse collection of songs, ranging from lively, toe-tapping melodies to heart-breaking ballads. In a special bonus for participants on the Wild Atlantic Way ‘Ireland Writing Retreat’ in the Donegal Gaeltacht beginning at the end of this month, Ian will not only perform many of the compositions from his three excellent albums ‘Restless Heart,’ ‘Keadue Bar’ and ‘A Celtic Connection’ in an exclusive concert but will also explain how the songs originated and some of the methods he uses to find the right words for the right sentiments. Born in the east Ayrshire town of Kilmarnock, a melting pot of creativity that has produced such well-known artists as Gerry Rafferty, Billy Connolly, Gallagher & Lyle, and Barbara Dixon, Ian has developed a broad base of musical tastes ranging from The Beatles to the Clancy Brothers.
After playing lead guitar with a number of local rock bands including ‘Nessie,’ with original songs and cover versions of groups such as Steely Dan and The Eagles and travelling throughout the continent, Ian met and fell in love with Breda Ward, whose family had moved from Keadue, west Donegal, to England.
X number of years and two fine, strapping sons later, the couple are happily ensconced in the pretty coastal area, Ian’s passion for the place reflected in such thought-provoking songs as ‘Keadue Strand’ and ‘The Brightest Sky Blue’ Ian’s songs and soothing lyrics, however, take listeners far from Ireland, to Scotland and to beyond such as the US with ‘When It Snows in New York City.’
No doubt about it – participants to June’s ‘Ireland Writing Retreat’ are in for a real musical and lyric-writing treat. Register here.