To follow up from our Songwriters weekend, I want to let you hear from Incubator recording artist, Judy Deans
. We are blessed to work with her and I'm pretty sure you're going to find her enthusiasm contagious!
Vice President, A&R
Incubator Creative Group
Now here's Judy
It was SUCH an incredible time with my Songwriting Coach, Producer, Incubator
Executives, and six other artists in the coop!
God enabled my artist’s heart to soar beyond the skies on account of this amazing Incubator
Family and Songwriting Retreat! With excitement as a little child, I flew to the Incubator campus, located on the other side of the country. Appropriately called the ‘Villa Ingineux’ (meaning ‘House of Ideas’,) the accommodations were created specifically for artists! As I was whisked away to the dreamy Villa, I knew this was going to be a visit like none other …and that it was! Getting special time with Sheryl, my Songwriting Coach, and Leon, my Producer was more than a delight. I’ve been working with them in creating my original material remotely for quite some time now, have prayed for Sheryl as she underwent Lymphoma last year, and have gleaned from she and Leon’s vast expertise from many miles away. Now, tangibly seeing them; hearing their hearts and knowledge from training sessions, personal song critiques, and over meals and breaks was an experience I could never replace, for lack of better words. Though my brain felt much like mush at the end of each day, God filled this heart with such encouragement and a new found sense of excitement along with an ‘I can do this …yes, I am a songwriter!’ The enemy really likes to battle my creative soul when it comes to this songwriting department, but God beautifully showed me the lies I was unconsciously bending toward and His truth which supersedes them, like only He can! That alone was worth the entire weekend!
Another tangible way God worked deeply on my heart in this same manner was through the other artists present. My very first session upon arriving at the Villa was with Shine
, two special Washington and Arkansas gals whom I met in my early days with Incubator
and are now at similar stages in this songwriting/recording process. The Lord’s love penetrated my heart in this first session, as we giggled like giddy girls, heard Shine
new singles; mine will be coming out next …yay!), and brainstormed further songwriting possibilities with Sheryl, Leon and Nate, Incubator’s
servant-leader President. God continued to penetrate deeper to my core with my sweet, suite mate, Lisa
too. He couldn’t have worked out our ‘meeting’ more perfectly, from the moment she arrived after her late flight from Maine. Aside from our commonality in being Incubator
artists, we also share the same ministry focus and are worship leaders for our contemporary church families back home. We are already planning a get together for continued songwriting, and marvel at how our ‘connecting’ was all but a coincidence as God worked on our hearts in such similar fashions in the co-writing process too.
Yes, speaking of co-writing, one of the tangible exercises created to put to practice the songwriting skills learned especially throughout the weekend was writing, rewriting and recording a song together! That’s right, after working as a large group on brainstorming what we’d focus on, song structure, etc. we were split into two groups to begin writing the lyrics and melodies of our songs. After group critiques of each song, and some training in rewriting and arranging, we spent some time rewriting, and then recorded a ‘work audio’: guitar, piano and vocals, to capture what we had so far and what we could continue to improve on and rewrite in the days to come. That alone was a priceless experience, and one that will also help tremendously in my personal songwriting in the days ahead.