In late September, 18 top songwriters travelled to the Périgord Vert region of Dordogne, France for an ASCAP Songwriters Retreat at the medieval Château Marouatte. The Retreat brought together topliners, producers and artists from both sides of the Atlantic for a week of intensive writing sessions, mixed with relaxation on Marouatte's picturesque grounds.
The ASCAP Songwriters Retreat focused on developing songs with real hit potential. Each day, songwriters got together in groups of three to write and record a song for one of the artists in attendance. Six workstations were set up with gear provided by AVID, Sony, KRK Monitors, Taylor Guitars and Casio. The result was dozens of professional-grade recordings, each one ready to be pitched to labels, sent to publishers or synced on film/TV projects.
Participating songwriters were Jenna Andrews, Claudia Brant, Chris DeStefano, Jayson Dezuzio, Julian Emery, Theron "Neff-U" Feemster, Fran Hall, Tom Higgenson (Plain White T's), Nick Hodgson, Brett James, Kerli, Hillary Lindsey, Jodi Marr, Needlz, Justin Parker, Mike Posner, Priscilla Renea and Stefano.
ASCAP brought the Château Marouatte songwriting sessions out of a decade-long dormancy for its 2011 Songwriters Retreat. Owned by Miles Copeland, founder of IRS Records and former manager of The Police and Sting, the Château Marouatte has a long history of welcoming the biggest names in music. Previous retreats have included legends like Carole King, Jeff Beck, Jon Bon Jovi, Cher, Belinda Carlisle, Zucchero, Stewart Copeland, Keith Urban and Desmond Child.
The 2012 Songwriters Retreat was sponsored by Cain Foundation, AVID, Sony Electronics, KRK Monitors, Taylor Guitars and Casio.