Flip Grater takes up residency at CPIT’s Music Arts

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10 Aug 2015

The next generation of New Zealand songwriters will have the chance to work one-on-one with well-known singer-songwriter-musician Flip Grater at CPIT this week.

The talented, critically acclaimed songstress is the 2015 APRA Songwriter in residence at CPIT and will work with CPIT's MusicArts songwriting students during two days of workshops on 12 and 13 August.

"I'm looking forward to being inspired by them and hearing what the new wave of Christchurch songwriters have to say," Grater said.

It will be full circle for Grater, whose musical career was kickstarted at CPIT.

"I actually did a weekend course at CPIT back in the early 2000's with Andy Thompson. It was what got me excited about songwriting and made me feel like writing original music was something anyone could try, even me," she said.

Four albums, hundreds of gigs and a loyal fan base later, Grater has a wealth of experience to share with the students. She describes her style as "highly personal, nostalgic and at times melancholic indie-folk songs". Her fourth album, Piaglle, is grittier than the three previous acoustic albums; it was written and recorded in Paris with Grater's French band including trumpet, electric guitars, piano and chamberlain by French artist Babx and vocal backing from Poni Hoax's Nicolas Ker. 

There may be no magic formula for good songwriting but Grater certainly has thoughts to share on the creative process.

"Considering the circumstances, this is an odd thing to say but I don't believe songwriting is something you can teach. I think it's something you have to practice but it's not necessarily an intellectual process. However in my experience, spending time talking with other songwriters and having the time and space to experiment and collaborate is invaluable."

Grater's residency will culminate in a concert of the students' new and improved songs.

CPIT Music Arts continues to attract New Zealand's best songwriters to work with songwriting students. Prominent New Zealand musician Warren Maxwell was CPIT's APRA 2014 Songwriter in Residence. Maxwell shared his years of experience from bands that have defined the New Zealand music scene such as Trinity Roots, Fat Freddy's Drop and the Little Bushman. The residencies would not be possible without the support of APRA.

APRA supports the New Zealand music industry in many ways such as by investing in projects, running awards to recognise excellence and providing professional development opportunities. The annual CPIT APRA Songwriter in Residence programme enables musicians to work with the students in the studio and share insights about making it in the local, national and international music industries.

Flip Grater musician