The 6th annual ASCAP Expo got musicians and songwriters out of the dark clubs and into the light for 3 days of check out panels, do some schmoozing and even hear a little music. The Renaissance Hollywood Hotel served as host from April 28-30 to attendees from around the globe. Over 2,500 badges were handed out to folks coming from 42 states and 14 countries. (Van Dyke Parks, Rufus Wainwright. All Photos by PictureGroup) This year’s theme was “I Create Music,” and the opening panel certainly featured two creative musicians: legendary songwriter/producer Van Dyke Parks and clever singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright. The two go way back - Parks helped Wainwright get his first record deal – and it showed in their fun rapport together. The sagacious Parks shared stories from his long career, revealing how he turned down joining the Byrds because he “didn’t want to be screamed at” by ardent concert-goers and that Randy Newman impressed him with the battle plan he had to create story-songs and avoided “the problem of self-revelation.” While Parks proclaimed that America totally succeeded in exporting rock around the world, he said his interests run to indigenous roots music, like calypso. He suggested that songwriters “go everywhere you need to go to be inspired,” adding that “individuality is a case that should be made in music.” Wainwright jokingly explained that one reason he likes opera is because “you don’t understand a damn thing.” He believes that high culture now offers a “bit of a refuge – (where there’s) music for music’s sake.” He described... Sign In to Keep Reading
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