It's All in the Song II - Songwriter and Producer
What's the program like?
The Songwriter and Producer program will provide you with an opportunity to learn about the most current songwriting and production techniques used by successful artists. You'll gain perspective on the most recent evolutions and developments in the industry and their impact on modern music making.
Berklee will be sharing this content in a unique format for the first time at a world-renowned industry landmark, The Village Studios, in Los Angeles.
Classes will include Listening Like A Producer; Production Masterclass; Songwriting Analysis: Melody, Harmony and Arranging; Electronic Production Techniques; Music Production with Ableton Live; Song Demo Production and more.
Location: The Village Studios, 1616 Butler Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Who are the instructors?
Mark Cross is a successful producer, composer, and mixer with an extensive discography in both film and television that spans over two decades. He currently composes for the NBC prime-time hit show Last Comic Standing, and contributes additional music to the Fox prime-time hit series American Idol, HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D List (on Bravo), and Denise Richards's It's Complicated (on E!). Other recent projects include composing for NASA and The X-Prize Foundation, scoring the award-winning short Undefended for the Directors Guild of America, and working with James Newton Howard, Martin Davich, and Youssou N'Dour on the score for I Bring What I Love, a documentary on N'Dour's career, focusing on his controversial Grammy-winning album Egypt. Cross has created musical themes for Nickelodeon's Wow Wow Wubbzy, the Seinfeld Season 8 DVD, as well as producing and performing with Grammy winner John Legend on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. He has worked on numerous albums, film scores, and television episodes, including the Grammy-winning I Am Shelby Lynne, Randy Newman's Oscar-nominated and Grammy-winning Cars and Meet the Parents score and soundtracks, along with mixing hundreds of episodes of the NBC prime-time show ER. Cross has been a voting NARAS member (Grammy Awards) since 2000 and served in the NARAS Producers & Engineers Wing from 2007 to present (he is currently Committee Chair). He now sits on the 2008-2010 NARAS Board of Governors.
Michael Farquharson spent his career as a freelance bassist, writer, producer, and engineer in Toronto, Canada until moving to Boston in 1996 to take a position as professor of contemporary writing and production at Berklee College of Music. During his time in Toronto, he wrote, engineered, produced or performed on over 170 albums, 600 jingles and countless other TV, film, radio and multimedia recordings. He also owned and operated his own 24-track studio for over ten years. Farquharson has toured, recorded with, and performed with the likes of Michael Brecker, Brian Auger and Eric Burden, BS&T, Tom Jones, Dionne Warwick, Marc Jordan, the Toronto Symphony, and Canada Pops Orchestra. He has recorded four solo albums, one of which, the self titled album Michael Farquharson, was nominated for a Juno award in 1993 as Best Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year. He is currently working on a new album in collaboration with Matthew Nicholl, a friend and colleague from Berklee. He has received two prestigious Canada Council arts awards for composition, one Ontario Arts Council Award, and was nominated on several occasions for the Toronto Music Awards. He is also the author of the Berklee Press book, Writer, Producer, Engineer and has been a regular contributor to the periodicals Canadian Musician and Bassics.
Dawaun Parker is a multi-platinum musician and record producer. Parker is a staff songwriter and producer for Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment label. After receiving his first formal credit on 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ soundtrack, Parker contributed to several songs on Busta Rhymes #1 album, The Big Bang, as well as Jay-Z’s return record, Kingdom Come.
Parker was born in Providence, Rhode Island and grew up between there and Newport, Rhode Island, where he attended Rogers High School. In 2002, he moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music. After auditioning for the chair of the Piano Department, he received a full scholarship to Berklee, where he majored in music business. He quickly became a strong presence at Berklee, playing in various high profile shows and studio sessions and building the brand of his hip-hop group, The GodBody (in which Parker produces and rhymes as MostArt) that was birthed in 2001.
Just a day after graduating Berklee in 2005, Parker’s manager got a call from Warner A&R telling him that Dr. Dre needed a writer/keyboard player to help make tracks for his forthcoming album, as well as other artists on Dre’s label. Shortly after arriving, Dawaun was offered a production deal with Aftermath/Interscope records.
Parker has been hard at work building his imprint High Renaissance. In addition to The GodBody, its list of artists includes Britten Newbill, a blue-eyed soul singer. In the meanwhile, he has worked on or is working on projects for artists such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Nas, Stevie Wonder, Stat Quo, Dave Matthews Band and the much anticipated, rumored to be final, album Detox by Dr. Dre.
Makeba Riddick attended Baltimore School for the Arts before graduating from Berklee College of Music with a bachelor's degree in music management. Her early break came from songwriting and singing background vocals for 3LW, Jennifer Lopez, and B2K. Riddick is perhaps best known for her work with multi-platinum selling pop artist Rihanna, for whom she has vocally produced and collaborated on three albums, including A Girl like Me, Music of the Sun, and Good Girl Gone Bad. She co-wrote and vocally produced the star's reggae influenced song “Rude Boy” from Rihanna's fourth studio album, Rated R. She also produced vocals for all the remaining tracks on the album, and co-wrote the intro track "Mad House". Riddick produced Rhianna’s vocals for Eminem’s single “Love the Way You Lie.” She has also collaborated with French DJ and producer David Guetta on the song "If We Ever" from Guetta's Grammy-nominated album One Love. She is also working with Guetta to produce tracks for alternative-R&B singer Kelis’s upcoming album Flesh Tone. Riddick's other writing and production credits include Danity Kane’s eponymous album; Beyonce’s U.S. radio hit “Get Me Bodied” from her second album B’Day; Braxton’s 2005 album Libra and Jennifer Lopez’s 2005 album Rebirth. Riddick is set to release her debut solo single titled "Change Up," which will be produced by Darkchild and will serve as the lead single from the producer's collaborative project, The Writersproject Volume 1. She is managed by Jay-Z’s record label and production house, Roc Nation.
What's the schedule?
Clinics generally will run from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with some special events in the evening.
Listening Like a Producer: Whether you are programming dance tracks, writing songs, making hip-hop beats, or producing records, development of your listening skills can transform your musicianship and take your art to new levels. This seminar is packed with concrete, practical tools to help musicians of all levels respond to music the way top producers do.
Production Masterclass: Each participant will receive professional, personal feedback of their CD, demo, or live performance. Feedback includes strengthening your material, focusing your artistic vision, finding your voice, refining arrangements to emphasize your strengths, and realizing professional standards of production and engineering. Recordings can be in any style of vocal or instrumental music.
Songwriting Analysis: Melody, Harmony, and Arranging: Songwriting is an inspirational process, but also one that relies on strong musicianship craft. This session will address many considerations related to popular music harmony, melody writing, song form and arranging in order to help you better produce your music.
Electronic Production Techniques: Electronic programming plays an important role in the development of original sounds and effects for a broad range of entertainment media, from pop songs to television and film. This session will provide an introduction to the building blocks of programming a synthesizer, examine different types of synthesis technologies, and present examples of sound design in a variety of production settings.
Special Lectures: Presentations on Song Demo Production, Production Considerations for the Performer, and more.
Where will I eat and sleep?
Students are responsible for researching and booking their own lodging. There are a number of lodging options within walking distance to the event location. Students are encouraged to research these options online. Lunch will be included as part of the program. Students are responsible for their own breakfast and dinner.