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also is a musician. They met seven years ago at a songwriting event where a friendship blossomed and they started doing shows together. Before long they were co-writing songs and getting married in the Elvis Chapel in Las Vegas after she popped the question. Wanting to spread the joy Guitar solo. that comes from songwriting, Perkins created the Listening Room International Songwriter Retreat back in 2002 having been a participant of other retreats for a number of years. These retreats gave him the chance he explains: “to experience both the joy and power of community and also come unfortunate elements of competitiveness and hierarchy.” The latter more negative experience is something he found to be counterproductive to the creative process which served to encourage him to go ahead with founding his own more nurturing structure and environment. The retreats take place four times a year in four different locations: California, Denmark, Ireland and Sweden, each lasting one full week with each retreat location being chosen for unique and inspiring, isolated natural settings. “The nature and the quiet,” says Perkins “But choosing has also been a largely intuitive process about certain facilities having the right vibe for hosting a group of writers since we can be a bit quirky.” What participants can hope or expect to get out of any one retreat understandably differs from person to person. For many it’s a chance to take some time to recharge their passion and commitment to the art and craft of songwriting. Perkins goes on to explain that, “A large part of attending an

event like this is breaking the isolation of the writing process which can often be a lonely process for many writers.” A chance to meet similar-minded people, the retreats along with writing some great songs have also resulted in strong friendships being formed and new recording and touring opportunities arising. “Many of the songs written over the past 35 retreats have also ended up on commercially released albums.” Having being a songwriter for over 30 years, Perkins admits that the process has become a whole deal easier. “I can write on assignment, but what inspires me is often a feeling first that is lacking words, until a melody comes along to draw them forth,” he says. For those who are self-doubting and unsure that they are capable of the challenge, Perkins firmly believes that, “that everyone has the need for self-expression and that songwriting is a path that’s available to virtually all to follow.” A maximum of 20 participants can partake on any retreat so it’s advisable to book early to avoid disappointment. For any queries or more information go to: listeningroomretreats. What Past Participants say: “Brett Perkins’ Listening Room Retreats have created some of the most magical and productive moments in my life as a songwriter. I would recommend it to anyone who want to grow as a songwriter/artist and human being.” - Simon Lynge.

Profile for Aoife  O' Connor


Prototype folk music magazine


Prototype folk music magazine