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WhetstoneII
#1
I've been reading and thinking through your comments. Collaboration resonates with me too as a goal for the next Whetstone. Maybe this one should be titled "Helping Others Win"? I have in mind especially writers.

To clear the way, we would still gladly allow or consider finished tracks for Whetstone, but I'd like to raise the bar on "finished" to mean that no extra work is required by the label. I'm proposing to put the most time into "Whetstone Engagement Teams" as described below. Maybe "Whets" for short.

I'm thinking that we start by surveying the interests, experience and skills of those who want to participate. Then we put them (if they are willing) into teams with a few pre-designated roles such as producer, artist and lead engineer. 

**Artist** (which can be a singer or band)  I think part of the experience would be adhering pretty closely to industry roles, so the artist or band for a team is the client who has final approval (it's their name and face after all) on the song choice, song style, and production. Overall, I'm suggesting that we present writers with an opportunity to write for a specific artist or band that is in a position to make a pretty fair recording. I think it's good training, and I think we'll be more successful with that approach here rather than searching for an artist to fit a song... comments?

**Producer** I'd like each team to have a producer assigned to lead the creative process. I hope everything is done with as much harmony and consensus as possible, but the producer is there to make or resolve creative decisions when they are needed. I like the term chief engagement officer for this role because the goal beyond a song is to give each team member as much opportunity as possible to engage in the process. This is a role where we start delegating leadership instead of keeping it at the label.

**Lead Engineer** for mixing and recording, subject to pleasing the producer, the artist/client... My suggestion is not that you have to limit this to one person, but to be sure that each team has one, and has the general technical support it needs.

**Writers** To do our best to encourage engagement and co-writing, I propose that the writer's start writing from scratch after a team is formed. 

A free flowing Nashville style writing session would be cool via skype or google groups or something. I think it's hard to get that same dynamic and flow by Email or forum thread, but up to you. I would like the teams to require that each writer complete certain artifacts for their team during the process. I feel like for example that while your song title or idea may not have been the one your team chose to work on, the fact that afterwards you did the same amount of work on the song as anyone else by creating a lyric worksheet, an empathy map, and object writing ala Pat Pattison on the team's chosen idea - that those things inspire the team to go deeper and riff off of each other. Maybe that's not your normal working style, but an interesting ting to try?

I hope it provides a sense of ownership and belonging even if someone else has the perfect word or melody idea. IMO co-writing works best if no one is too concerned about who wrote what or how much, and maybe it helps to see that each writer put in the work. 

**Resource Pools** People or assets made available to all but not assigned to a particular team. We may have to figure this out as we go along but I'm thinking anything from a talented player, arranger, tools or sample library, etc. One thing I would like to protect a producer or artist from is to feel they MUST have 5 guitars, 7 horns and a partridge in a pear tree by assigning musicians to a team that they feel they have to use.  If you agree, pools let you focus on what the song needs and if that's just a piano... 

I wanted to give this a strong kick off but I don't want to dominate the conversation, so I'll save some other thoughts for a different post.

Warm regards,
Greg
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#2
So how do we determine who does what and how do we pick teams etc.I'm interested in taking part and like this new approach idea.My new handle is He is Lord and my old one for whetstone 1 was 4HisGlory.Thanks for posting this Greg.Blessings Chris
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#3
Hello Greg!
This sounds great and I'm excited to see how this comes together. I'm not the brightest candle on the cake but I'm a willing participant. I will continue to check this thread for interests & updates. Talk to you later God bless!

Good to see you here Chris!

Jordan
"A healthy Spiritual walk with God leads you down a Natural Path of worship."
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#4
I, too, would like to be involved. Most of what I do is write lyrics and tinker with the other aspects. I play a mediocre guitar & bass as well as a rookie at mixing. That's my main problem...I don't have the skills to produce what I hear in my head. What do you think about posting lyrics and having others decide if they want to join the project? Or, if a skilled musician has verse/chorus laid out with a working melody maybe a lyricist(s) could submit lyrics to be chosen by the musician and go from there? Just throwing ideas out there.
tony
soundcloud.com\ctonyp
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#5
Good Morning Chris and Tony. I thought I might answer both questions together. You can always post lyrics or whatever and ask for collaborators - but I'd suggest that those be your own projects that you submit.

I'm being open here so tell me what you think even (or especially) if its opposite of mine. I got a sense last time that there were more writers putting up songs that didn't get engaged, than there were those that got together and formed collaborations. That had to be frustrating. So... if building your own collaboration works for you then that's great but I was searching for a way to engage even more. And while Beagle's collab forums aren't visible to anyone but the participants, I've gotten a sense that he would like to grow them with more activity. Beagle? Want to comment or correct me?

Please no one take it as favoritism, but I had thought to eventually pick a few keys roles for the teams this first time around based on what I know of them, and especially on the advice of some others. Its what labels do, sigh. I want to be especially careful about producers because I want to put the teams pretty much in their care. i want to delegate partly because I don't like being this autocratic and would like Whetstone to grow into more of an org, partly because what I do here takes away from my own artistic pursuits, and partly because I would eventually like to engage a few professionals in some roles.

I'm leaning towards a governance committee made up of some of ya'll. but that's a side discussion. I do have a few professional producer contacts, but I don't think we've reached that level yet - When we say to producer X, hey you need to come listen - I want them to be blown away and see the mutual value in their participation without any selling on my part. Though maybe some of Beagle's Sponsors might volunteer some participation now.

If he won't mind me throwing him down, I will say for example that I would lean towards someone like Beagle whom I've seen deal with conflict, and that I'm confident would be fair and engaging as a producer. There are others. Any past experience you want to share about working with someone here might be helpful, but tell me privately. Being my personal favorite is not a requirement. Smile

Greg
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#6
Greg and all,
I have been reading this thread with great interest, but haven't responded yet because I've been considering a few things before I make any decisions.

I will say at this time, however, in response to Greg's comments above:

YES! I would love to see the collaboration forums grow. actually, I deleted them because I received no interest at all in them, but I can easily reinstate them if interest is brought back up!

As far as a governing committee and Greg "throwing me down" Big Grin that's not a problem and a committee might do well in a situation for a project like this as long as it didn't become a vehicle for destruction instead of construction with regards to the fellowship and networking that this forum is committed to doing.

it's very possible that some of the sponsors might participate. question for greg and everyone on that subject: would they need to be completely impartial? in other words, would anyone using their services be excluded from the project? I'm not sure if I would say yes or not to that, but discuss...what do you guys think?
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#7
(01-27-2017, 08:45 AM)JordanC Wrote: Hello Greg!
  This sounds great and I'm excited to see how this comes together. I'm not the brightest candle on the cake but I'm a willing participant. I will continue to check this thread for interests & updates. Talk to you later God bless!

Good to see you here Chris!

Jordan

Thank's Jordan,I'm glad to see you here also and proud to be on the first Whetstone project with you and the others.Hopefully we'll get to be on this one together also.
Chris
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#8
Hello Greg,
I've been considering what this project would entail and I'm praying that God would help to show each of us what our role would be. Having a professional & serious attitude steered by Grace and an expectation that God has something great in store. Thanks in advance for your commitment & desire to bring this to the table. I believe this comes at a timely junction in our lives as there are many here with much to offer who possess skills that can compliment one another with wonderful results. As well we need to be challenged to step out into other areas related to our craft and increase our dependency upon God.
Good to see everyone here! Beagle, Tony & Chris! God bless you!

Jordan
"A healthy Spiritual walk with God leads you down a Natural Path of worship."
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#9
(01-28-2017, 11:35 PM)HeisLord Wrote:
(01-27-2017, 08:45 AM)JordanC Wrote: Hello Greg!
  This sounds great and I'm excited to see how this comes together. I'm not the brightest candle on the cake but I'm a willing participant. I will continue to check this thread for interests & updates. Talk to you later God bless!

Good to see you here Chris!

Jordan

Thank's Jordan,I'm glad to see you here also and proud to be on the first Whetstone project with you and the others.Hopefully we'll get to be on this one together also.
Chris
Thank you Chris! This is a great opportunity to be a part of! God bless!

Jordan
"A healthy Spiritual walk with God leads you down a Natural Path of worship."
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#10
I have two new songs coming in this next month. I plan to put them on soundcloud so I can share them here, but I will be happy to take them down for a limited time once Whetstone ii comes together, should you choose to use them Smile
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