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Put Some Spring Into Your Songwriting!

International Songwriters Association member Murray Webster has announced details of the London Songwriters 2019 Spring Peak District Retreat week which will take place in Derbyshire, UK during the first week of April.

London Songwriters has hosted twelve highly affordable Songwriting Retreats for a total of over 150 happy writers from across the UK, USA Asia Australia and Europe. These retreats have been for up to 12 writers at a beautiful, spacious converted barn in the gorgeous Derbyshire Peak District countryside. Each writer has rated the experience 5 out of 5.

The 15% discounted early-bird price of £399 for International Songwriters Association members is inclusive of food, accommodation and comprehensive songwriting facilitation!

For further details, visit http://www.LondonSongwriters.org

NMPA Announces Top US Music Publishers

NMPA has announced the top music publishers for July as part of its Gold & Platinum Program.

In partnership with the RIAA's Gold & Platinum Program, NMPA finds and certifies the songwriters and publishers of RIAA-certified singles. RIAA counts both sales and on-demand streams towards its Gold (500K), Platinum (1M) and Multi-Platinum (2M+) thresholds.  Thousands of songwriters have been recognised since NMPA's program began in 2007.

The top publishers honoured include:

Warner/Chappell: 63 certifications
Gold: 17
Platinum: 22
Multi-Platinum: 24

Sony/ATV Music Publishing: 61 certifications
Gold: 22
Platinum: 11
Multi-Platinum: 28

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG):  51 certifications
Gold: 13
Platinum: 13
Multi-Platinum: 25

Fiona Harte Releases Debut Single

Fiona Harte. the 24 year old Northern Irish Singer-Songwriter is currently based in New York City. Her debut single "White Picket Fence" was inspired by the highs and lows people experience when in a relationship - "It's about being in love with someone but having the sense to know it isn't a promising or compromising relationship. The song focuses on how your desired person can control your emotions by doing so little. Even though the song portrays as sad, the White Picket Fence refers to having hope, perhaps for that love or another".

Fiona's poetic lyrics and emotional concepts are inspired by a combination of musical influences including Singer/Songwriters Joni Mitchell and Carol King.

Fiona was chosen as one of Pan-Arts Top Songwriters Of The Year in 2017, and this has led her to perform in various famous music venues including Nashville's Blue Bird Café. Her first Single "White Picket Fence" was released Sept 10th 2018.

JAY-Z To Present City Of Hope Honour To Jon Platt

Jon Platt, Chairman and CEO of Warner/Chappell Music, announced that Shawn "JAY-Z" Carter will be joining him in L.A. for the Oct. 11 City of Hope gala supporting the acclaimed non-profit clinical research and treatment centre for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. The visionary music mogul and twenty-one-time Grammy Award-winning rapper, producer, and Warner/Chappell songwriter will present the prestigious Spirit of Life® award to Platt. It was recently announced that Pharrell Williams will host the star-studded event.

Platt said, "It's no secret that I don't like being the centre of attention, that's for the songwriters, but when I accept the Spirit of Life award this fall, I can't think of anyone else I'd rather have presenting it to me. Jay is unquestionably one of the most giving and genuine people I know, not to mention one of the greatest songwriters on the planet. I feel lucky to call him my brother. October 11 is going to be a really special, unforgettable night."

JAY-Z will have just returned from the On the Run II Tour with Beyoncé, which began just as The Carters surprise-dropped their first joint album, Everything is Love. With the record for most Billboard No.1 albums by a solo artist, including last year's 4:44, JAY-Z boasts more than 100 million album sales worldwide. Last year he was the first rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, an award which Platt accepted on JAY-Z's behalf. This past weekend, JAY-Z held his annual Made in America music festival in Philadelphia, featuring top hip-hop artists like Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill, and Post Malone.

Each year City of Hope recognises a philanthropic leader whose work has fundamentally impacted music, film or entertainment. The coveted Spirit of Life® award is its highest honour, having been given to such noted figures as Quincy Jones, Mo Ostin, Clive Davis, Frances W. Preston, Shelli and Irving Azoff, Doug Morris, and Sir Lucian Grainge.

Anniversary Edition Of Feeling Strangely Fine Issued

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their seminal album Feeling Strangely Fine, Semisonic will release a deluxe edition reissue of the record on October 19th via UMe. The album will be released on deluxe edition CD and digital, as well as a limited edition gold vinyl pressing, which marks the first time ever a Semisonic album has been pressed to vinyl LP.

In addition to hits like "Closing Time," "Secret Smile" and "Singing In My Sleep," the deluxe edition features four B-sides taken from international CD singles that were released at the time of the album. Find a full tracklist below.

"When I started writing songs for the album that would become Feeling Strangely Fine, John Munson and Jake Slichter and I were living in South Minneapolis. I had decided a while back that my best songs were about me and the people I loved or admired and our adventures and troubles, and the new songs really reflected that ideal. I was writing about our lives," reflects Dan Wilson. "I remember telling Jake I wanted to make a record that had the folk music simplicity of Simon & Garfunkel but also the loudness of U2 and Nirvana. I wasn't thinking that these songs would become the soundtrack for so many people's lives. We definitely weren't thinking that these songs would still be played on the radio 20 years later."

Last year, Wilson released Re-Covered, a unique album that finds the Grammy-winning songwriter reinterpreting songs from his storied career that he wrote for and with other artists.

BMI To Honour Film Composer Harry Gregson-Williams

BMI has announced that composer Harry Gregson-Williams will be named a BMI Icon at this year's BMI London Awards.  Gregson-Williams is receiving the honour in recognition of his unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.  The private event will be held at the Dorchester Hotel on October 1st and will be hosted by BMI President and CEO Mike O'Neill.

In receiving this award, Gregson-Williams joins an elite group of composers and songwriters who have received the BMI Icon for their exemplary contributions to the art of music. Previous recipients include Sting, Graham Gouldman, Sir Tim Rice, Queen, Ray Davies, Van Morrison and Bryan Ferry, to name just a few.

"BMI welcomed me into their fold well over 20 years ago, just as I began my somewhat speculative journey as an inexperienced yet hopeful film composer in Los Angeles. Their extraordinary support and encouragement has never wavered, both on a practical and personal level, and has always been something for which I am immensely grateful. Thank you, BMI!," stated Gregson-Williams.

"Harry Gregson-Williams' compositions bring the screen to life, and over the course of his illustrious career he's made a lasting impression on music, film and television lovers across the globe," stated O'Neill. "BMI had the pleasure of honouring him in the heart of the Hollywood film community in Los Angeles, and we're so thrilled we can extend that tribute to the United Kingdom.  We look forward to what we know will be a wonderful evening celebrating Harry and his prolific body of work."

Gregson-Williams received the Richard Kirk Award at the 2006 BMI Film & Television Awards for his outstanding career achievements in film music including for films as diverse as Shrek, Man on Fire, Kingdom of Heaven, Spy Game, Chicken Run and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Since then, the multiple-award-winning composer has continued to add to this varied portfolio, scoring films such as The Martian, The Equalizer series, The Meg, The Town, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Total Recall, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Gone Baby Gone and Early Man. Future projects include the forthcoming live-action feature film Mulan scheduled for release in 2020. He has also scored video games such as the highly successful Metal Gear Solid series and the top-selling video game of 2014, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare earning him various music gaming awards.

In addition to BMI's Richard Kirk Award, Gregson-Williams has also been presented with 22 BMI film and television awards and received many prestigious honours including an Annie Award (2001), World Film Award (2005) and Satellite (2005). His numerous nominations include a BAFTA, Golden Globe, GRAMMY and World Soundtrack Award and this year marks his first Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie or Special (Original Dramatic Score) category for "The Commuter" episode from Amazon's sci-fi anthology series "Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams."

The annual gala will also pay tribute to the U.K. and European songwriters, composers and publishers of the past year's most-performed songs. The Million-Air Awards, Song of the Year, and awards for Pop, Dance, Film, Television and Cable Television Music will also be presented throughout the evening. Last year's recipients include David Bowie, Queen, Ed Sheeran, Fraser T. Smith, Naughty Boy, Foals, Jamie Scott and MØ, and Bipolar Sunshine.

Canadian Publishers Initiative Expands To Copenhagen

On the heels of Create Germany 2018, the first ever Create Denmark will take place September 24-27 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Nine Canadian songwriters and representatives from five Canadian music publishers will be travelling to Copenhagen for Create Denmark.

Create is a dual-purpose music publishing export initiative that connects Canadian talent with songwriters in international territories and links music publishers with key business contacts in global markets.

The Canadian songwriters will be writing together in an intense four-day songwriting camp, writing new songs each day and building creative partnerships with 18 Nordic songwriters and artists. With 27 writers participating, this will be the largest Create song camp to date. For the B2B portion of Create Denmark, participating Canadian music publishers will be meeting with Danish music publishers, labels, managers, tv and film companies as well as key music industry people from Norway and Sweden, and more than 20 music supervisors from all over Europe.

Create Denmark participating Canadian songwriters include: Kate Morgan/Aria Hennessy (UMPG) originally from Kamloops, British Columbia; Frank Kadillac of Neon Dreams (Hyvetown) from Halifax, Nova Scotia; Maurice Moore (Warner/Chappell) from Ottawa, Ontario; and Thomas D'Arcy (Arts & Crafts), Nathan Ferraro/Nate J (Hyvetown), Alexandra Soumalias/Ally Sou (ole), Melissa McClelland of Juno Award-winning duo Whitehorse (peermusic Canada), Tom Probizanski/Zanski (Red Brick Songs), and Kayla Diamond (Slaight) from Toronto, Ontario.

Participating Music Publishers include: Gord Dimitrieff (Aporia Records), Jodie Ferneyhough (CCS Rights Management), Patrick Zulinov (Hyvetown), Kim Temple (Six Shooter Records) and Ali Slaight & James Campbell (Slaight).

"We're building relationships--on a business level as well as a creative level" says Margaret McGuffin, Executive Director of the Canadian Music Publishers Association.

The Canadian Music Publishers Association acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada (through the Canada Music Fund), the Canadian Embassy in Denmark, and Music Export Denmark. The Canadian Music Publishers Association also thanks GL Music, One Seven Music, The Bank Publishing, Donkey Republic and Mikkeller Beer for their support of Create Denmark.

Music publishers are innovative entrepreneurs. They have expanded the scope of their roles to fill any kind of gap they can for their songwriters, for example in marketing and development, if it means increased publishing activity in another market. "Export Ready, Export Critical" study showed that the share of foreign-sourced revenues from total industry revenues grew from under one third to over two thirds in that same time period, making the value of export to music publishers very clear.

Music Community Comes Together on Modernisation Act

SiriusXM joined with Azoff Music Management, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), to announce an agreement on the Music Modernization Act.  The changes build upon existing language to confirm in law that artists will receive 50% of performance royalties from SiriusXM for pre-1972 sound recordings, and confirm that the existing sound recording royalty rate for satellite radio will remain in place unchanged until 2027, an additional five year period.

Greg Maffei, President and CEO of Liberty Media stated, "We are pleased to join with the music community in sponsoring amendments that protect artists in this legislation.  It is important that the music industry move forward so that artists can showcase their work throughout the United States."

Jim Meyer, Chief Executive Officer of SiriusXM added, "SiriusXM is a platform that respects and actively supports artists and all music creators, and we are delighted to have reached this agreement to help pass this bill."

Irving Azoff, founder, Azoff Music Management, said, "This is a monumental occasion for artists and songwriters who are now assured - in law - that they will receive their deserved royalties.  We are proud to be a part of this critical consensus and the ongoing fight for artists' rights."

Mitch Glazier, President, RIAA: "We are pleased that SiriusXM and the music community have come to an agreement that ensures the protection of artists, songwriters, publishers, labels, producers, and all music creators who will benefit from this long-sought, consensus legislation."

David Israelite, President & CEO, NMPA:  "On behalf of the publishing community, we are grateful to have reached this agreement which finally puts another objection to this groundbreaking bill to rest, and are united around a key goal of protecting all those in the music ecosystem."

Dina LaPolt, attorney, NMPA:  "I am ecstatic over the passing of the Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act through the U.S. Senate today.  After 5 years of collaboration and helping to bring people together from all parts of the music business, we have finally harmonized as an industry.  This is a historic occasion for the music industry, copyright reform, and marks the beginning of a new era for music creators in consensus with stakeholders industry-wide."

The Music Modernization Act, S. 2823, including the CLASSICS Act, updates music licensing laws for the streaming era.

Lee Ann Womack To Be Honoured With Golden Npte Award

Country music's finest will join ASCAP in honoring GRAMMY, CMA, ACM, AMA and Billboard Award-winning artist and songwriter Lee Ann Womack when she accepts the prestigious ASCAP Golden Note Award at this year's ASCAP Country Music Awards on Monday, November 12. The exclusive, invitation-only gala, which celebrates the songwriters and publishers of ASCAP's most performed country songs of the previous year, will draw hundreds of country songwriters, artists and industry VIPs to the event in downtown Nashville.

The ASCAP Golden Note Award is presented to songwriters, composers and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones. Previous Golden Note recipients include Don Williams, Garth Brooks, Kenny Rogers, Lindsey Buckingham, Lionel Richie, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire and JD Souther, among others.

"Lee Ann Womack's music celebrates the emotional storytelling of country's traditionalists," said ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President Paul Williams. "Her sweet and smoky croon and songs that pull you in and don't let go have won the hearts of her country peers and fans all over. We are so pleased to present the ASCAP Golden Note Award to Lee Ann."

Womack's 2017 release, The Lonely, The Lonesome and The Gone, earned spots on many year-end "best-of" lists including NPR, Rolling Stone and Garden & Gun. Recorded in her home state of Texas, the collection is a breathtaking hybrid of country, soul, and gospel and blues and showcases her songwriting talents as well.

Praised by everyone from The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, New Yorker and more, Womack has sung for multiple Presidents, performed award-winning duets with everyone from Willie Nelson and John Prine to John Legend, and others. She has built a career on songs that slice life wide open to let the pain and desire pour out; her music is the ultimate form of connection, unvarnished and true. With six albums and international chart-topping singles to her credit, Womack has earned six Country Music Association Awards (including Single and Album of the Year), five Academy of Country Music Awards, a Grammy, and much more.

Signed to Tree Publishing in 1995, Womack immediately found herself co-writing with the likes of Ricky Skaggs, Bill Anderson and Mark Wright; some of those songs were recorded by both Skaggs and Anderson. After spending a few years as a professional songwriter, Womack was signed to Decca Records, becoming one of the breakout contemporary country stars of 1997 with her eponymous Top 10 debut album.

From that first release critics hailed her forthright and traditional approach to country music and she amassed such Top 5 singles as "The Fool," "You've Got to Talk To Me," "A Little Past Little Rock," and "Ashes By Now." Her '00 single "I Hope You Dance," - from the triple-platinum album of the same name - enjoyed international crossover success as well.

Womack remains an in-demand guest vocalist and has been featured on projects by Dolly Parton, George Strait, Willie Nelson, Don Henley and Rodney Crowell, among others. She is currently on tour.

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