Listening: Psalms for Songwriting

Fri 10:00am - 10:50am

Venue: River


Lifelong songwriter Charles Pettee’s original songs were a staple for Flying Fish Records artist The Shady Grove Band, with whom he toured internationally for over thirty years. His work composing original settings for over four Cds-worth of Biblical Psalms (“FolkPsalms”) led him to a deeper understanding of the importance of the fundamental spiritual practice of “listening” and the craft of songwriting. Charles’ practice of listening intently to the prayer-poems of the ancient Hebrews unexpectedly prepared him to hear anew the stories and dreams of people for whom he and his colleagues were serving in ministry, e.g., refugees served by his home church, a friend living in sanctuary from deportation, and other difficult situations that reach well beyond his personal life experience. This session will use Psalms and new songs to provide a glimpse of this process with the hope that participants can apply the principles to their own craft, whether that be songwriting, prose, visual art, podcasting, journaling, etc.