Tag Archives: Twitter

From Tweet to Song?

These days I’m experimenting with Twitter, because I was told by young, savvy marketing types that if I want to promote my music, I need to tweet.

So far, I’m not convinced. Maybe it’s a bit of a generational thing: the young like to tweet while us more, ahem, mature types tend to think Twitter would be better renamed Fritter.

As in, who’s got that kinda time to fritter away, to try to whittle meaningful messages – because frankly, I have no interest in reading or tweeting stuff like “Had 2 fried eggs 4 brkfast – yum!” — down to 140 characters, and to follow all the links in your fellow tweeters’ tweets, not to mention wade through endless cryptic messages full of mysterious symbols like #FF and @AddThis that I don’t have time to figure out?

But I digress. So far Twitter has been useful for one thing. One of my first experimental tweets was this: “Horses are the music of the animal world. Curves like melodies, muscles like chords. So am writing songs about horses. Seems fitting.”

And then it occurred to me that maybe those ideas and lines could fit into a song. Because I’ve written nine songs so far for a CD I’m planning that’s all horse songs. I figured I needed a tenth to make it a nice round number. And the one thing I was lacking was a song about big, beautiful draft horses, like the Clydesdales that pull the Budweiser beer wagons, or Belgians, Percherons, or Shires – the biggest of all the draft breeds.

Now it turns out the British band Jethro Tull may well have written the definitive song on the subject, appropriately titled “Heavy Horses,” but it’s a long, loud, progressive rock epic, so I decided there was room for another, more modest tune about these gentle giants of the equine world. And those lovely beasts DO have curves like melodies (those necks, those hindquarters!) and muscles like big power chords…

So I have in fact just finished a song called “The Heavy Horse Song,” and I’m in the studio these days recording it and other new songs. Here’s the chorus:

Curves like melodies, muscles like chords

And the heavy horse rhythms are steady and strong

Curves like melodies, muscles like chords

And the jingle of the harness is the heavy horse song  [© M.L. Hammond 2011]

 So stay tuned for the complete version of the song, which I’ll post somewhere when it’s done.  Meanwhile, if you insist, follow me on Twitter at @chevalgal!


Marie-Lynn Hammond is a co-founder of Stringband, a seminal Canadian folk group, and a critically acclaimed songwriter living in York Region. In past lives she’s written plays and magazine articles and hosted national CBC radio shows. In between working on two new CDs, she freelances as an editor of both fiction and nonfiction. www.marielynnhammond.com


Embracing the Power of the Internet

As a visual artist, I have noticed a lot of traffic in recent years to my website. The Internet is a powerful communications tool that is essential to promotion and awareness not just for big business, but also for the individual.

Due to my expertise I have been able to get my site ranked high in search engines, and because of this I have ‘met’ some interesting people and been involved in many positive  online activities. Each year I have been interviewed by university fine art students from across North America wanting to know what its like to be an artist from a philosophical standpoint to the technical. They are so appreciative of whatever knowledge I can offer. I have also been contacted by artists requesting ways to improve their own professional web experience. If I can point them in the right direction, I will. The world is a big place and there’s plenty of room for all of us. Most of my paintings have been acquired by collectors through the use of the Internet, from across the USA and Canada, and as far as Asia. This certainly brings the world community closer to home.

All it takes is a website and a little bit of knowhow. You don’t have to be a pro to do this. I have an artist friend who, without any prior skills, has her own website, blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts. The key is to be consistent and up-to-date. Its one thing to do local art shows, but its another to garner sales from the other side of the planet! Join as many user groups as you can and learn from what experienced artists have to say.

Don’t be scared of the Internet. There are some great no cost services that can get you started. WordPress offers great free blogging tools. Twitter and Facebook are free. You can even take credit card sales via the secure PayPal service.

If you want to stay far away from the technical side of marketing yourself, its best to hire a professional rather than use cousin Joe’s best friend’s brother-in-law.

Contact me or my colleague, John Stephenson. We’ve been doing this for a long time!


Franklin Beecham is a visual artist. His paintings are collected internationally. He has also created branding solutions for the Markham Arts Council and the York Region Arts Council.

Website:   “http://www.beechamcanada.comwww.beechamcanada.com

Web log:  “http://www.markhamartist.comwww.markhamartist.com