Monday October 09, 2017
Why Amelia Curran became a songwriter
more stories from this episode
- How Rupi Kaur pushed through writer's block to create her second collection of poems
- How 1960s California and the male gaze inspired Eliza Robertson's debut novel
- The powerful stories Jen Sookfong Lee found in writing from immigrant women
- Zoey Leigh Peterson on her oddest job
- Why Amelia Curran became a songwriter
- Why Nick Mount wrote a book about the history of Canadian literature
- Full Episode
Amelia Curran is an award-winning songwriter from St. John's, N.L., who began writing music as a busker. In 2010, she won a Juno Award for her album Hunter Hunter. Her book, Relic and Tunes, catalogues the music of her first five albums from the lyrics to the chords.
From playwright to songwriter
"I just landed in songwriting. It was a pretty organic, born out of necessity career path for me. I started out writing plays — and I still love writing for theatre — but songs arrived because I was a busker and I needed the money. I could only play that Sarah McLachlan song so many times in a row, before I was tired of myself and started making things up. [Songwriting] was born out of necessity. But as a medium, I feel it is integral to this desperate attempt to explain oneself. Desperately trying to explain, spirit to spirit and soul to soul, our human nature and these broad themes of compassion and humanity."
The power of a songbook
"I wanted to include the chord progressions for two reasons: first, because I keep insisting lyrics are not poems and second, because I wanted people to be able to play these songs for themselves if they so choose. I want these humble songs to be accessible. It's potentially another life for them beyond on the recordings."
Amelia Curran's comments have been edited and condensed.