Local songwriting retreat group release compilation album

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – Over the past two years, more than 30 local musicians have attended Terra Ohio City’s four songwriting retreats, writing more than 100 new songs while in isolation at a local rental home, working together.

Now, a taste of the new music will be available for one day only, Friday, December 3. Terra’s “Retreat Sessions, Vol. 1 ″ is available for download on Bandcamp today only, for $ 10.

The compilation includes songs from Mikey Silas, Milan, Alex Zinni, Corry Michaels, Hannah Stak, Madeline Finn, Carolyn Spaulding and more. Some of the tracks are simple voice memos of song ideas, while others are more fleshed out performances from a performance circle, said retreat organizer Elijah Bisbee.

“They’re really raw by design. Many of them were recorded moments after they were written, ”Bisbee said. “Those voice memos, those momentous moments.”

Proceeds from the sale of the compilation will benefit Terra’s compensation and pay gap programs for musicians participating in future songwriting retreats.

Bisbee, a local musician and owner of the Terra Ohio City Hall, kicked off the Songwriting Retreat series in 2020, with the goal of igniting new collaborations and creativity in the Cleveland music scene – and offering a peaceful escape space for creative people.

However, the pandemic has caused some interruptions in Bisbee’s plans.

“It was literally the worst year to start this idea of ​​getting together in a house with people, during the pandemic and everything,” Bisbee said. “It was a weird time to start it, but I was lucky with the timing of them in 2020, as I got to do them when things started to open – before that they do not close again. “

After hosting four events between 2020 and 2021, Bisbee plans to scale up Terra’s songwriting retreats, with the goal of hosting at least one songwriting retreat per quarter, and possibly moving to a retreat. every two months.

Retreats cost $ 500 per person and include accommodation, food, and weekend programming. Terra also has its pay and wage gap programs to promote fairness and accessibility to musicians in Northeast Ohio.

“When I first started these retreats, there was and still is a lot of conversation about inequality at all levels,” Bisbee said. “What could I do in my small world to help bridge the gap? The pricing of the pay gap seemed to be a step in that direction.

The pay gap model is based on 2021 data collected by the National Partnership for Women and Families, showing pay differences by gender and race. Terra encourages musicians from different backgrounds to submit to lower take-off rates based on the information.

The “pay what you can” model also allows songwriters to get a discount if they are unable to cover the full $ 500 cost of a retreat.

“In the creative group of concert workers and folks in the service industry who are typically the type of people who will come to this retirement as songwriters, whether seasoned or aspiring, it’s a group of people who are known to not have a lot of money – ‘starving artists,’ Bisbee said. “In order not to exploit this, but to make it accessible as much as possible, I just decided to do a ‘pay what you can’ model, so that the money is not a reason nobody could participate. pensions. “

Funds from Terra’s first compilation will go to both of these discount programs, allowing more musicians to access future pensions, Bisbee said.

As Bisbee expands Terra’s retirement offerings, he hopes to see more cross-collaboration in Cleveland’s music industry. His next retreat is scheduled for January 20-23, Stanford House at Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

“The most powerful thing about the retreats that I have experienced is not just the songs that are written, but the community that has been built,” said Bisbee. “There have been many songs that came after the retreats that created new friendships and connections during the retreats. It all sounds really special – it’s proof of continued success.

Find more information about Terra’s songwriting retreats at terraohiocity.com.

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