New Album ‘This Can Be’ Now Available!


I’m pleased to announce an album I’ve been commissioned to compose and produce has just been released on CD and iTunes! The songs were mixed/mastered by Grammy winning recording engineer Dave Darlington of NYC (credits include Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Sting, David Guetta, Avicii), and recorded by Juno winning recording engineer Philip Shaw Bova (credits: Feist, Bahamas, Twilight Breaking Dawn soundtrack) and Jason Fryer and Tom Joanisse of Tone King Records. It features the vocal talent of Amanda Keeley, Caroline Addison, Sappho Hansen Smythe, Ariel Fiess, Mark Bergman, and yours truly. On drums again are Philip Shaw Bova and Tobias Smith (of LA’s Atomic Tom, as seen on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Lopez Tonight). Alyssa Wright also plays a mean cello. Truly an all star team!

buynow_offBuy CD Now! ($10 cdn + shipping)

get_it_on_itunes_badge_us_1114Download the album on iTunes Now!

Hear excerpts of the album below!

“Waste Away” (Commissioned by Scott Glenen; Lyrics by Scott Glenen; Composed and Produced by Bryne Carruthers; Vocals by Sappho Hansen Smythe; Drums by Philip Shaw Bova; Recorded and Mixed by Philip Shaw Bova; Mastered by Dave Darlington)

Download Waste Away on iTunes

“Hear Her Tears” Excerpt (Commissioned by Scott Glenen; Lyrics by Scott Glenen; Composed and Produced by Bryne Carruthers; Vocals by Amanda Keeley; Recorded by Tommy Joanisse; Mixed and Mastered by Dave Darlington)

Download Hear Her Tears on iTunes

“This Can Be” Excerpt (Commissioned by Scott Glenen; Lyrics by Scott Glenen; Composed and Produced by Bryne Carruthers; Vocals by Amanda Keeley and Caroline Addison; Vocals Recorded by Jason Fryer; Drums Performed & Recorded by Philip Shaw Bova; Mixed by Philip Shaw Bova; Mastered by Dave Darlington)

Download This Can Be on iTunes

“If I Could Be With You Tonight” Excerpt (Commissioned by Scott Glenen; Lyrics by Scott Glenen; Composed and Produced by Bryne Carruthers; Lead Vocals by Amanda Keeley; Recorded by Tommy Joanisse; Mixed and Mastered by Dave Darlington)

Download If I Could Be With You Tonight on iTunes

“Too Much For Too Little” Excerpt (Commissioned by Scott Glenen; Lyrics by Scott Glenen; Composed and Produced by Bryne Carruthers; Vocals by Sappho Hansen Smythe; Drums by Philip Shaw Bova; Recorded by Philip Shaw Bova; Mixed and Mastered by Dave Darlington)

Download Too Much For Too Little on iTunes

“I Promise You” Excerpt (Commissioned by Scott Glenen; Lyrics by Scott Glenen; Composed and Produced by Bryne Carruthers; Vocals by Sappho Hansen Smythe; Cello by Alyssa Wright; Recorded by Don Bray and Philip Shaw Bova; Mixed and Mastered by Dave Darlington)

Download I Promise You on iTunes

“Lost Angels” Excerpt (Commissioned by Scott Glenen; Lyrics by Scott Glenen; Composed and Produced by Bryne Carruthers; Vocals by Ariel Fiess; Drums by Tobias Smith; Recorded by Philip Shaw Bova and Eric Espiritu; Mixed and Mastered by Dave Darlington)

Download Lost Angels on iTunes

“Fire” Excerpt (Commissioned by Scott Glenen; Lyrics by Scott Glenen; Composed and Produced by Bryne Carruthers; Vocals by Amanda Keeley, Bryne Carruthers, Mark Bergman, and Caroline Addison; Recorded by Jason Fryer; Mastered by Dave Darlington) As heard on JRFM 104.9 Soft Rock.

Download Fire on iTunes

Song Mixed by NYC Recording Engineer!

Neve 5432 Mixing Console

Ye Olde Neve 5432 Analog Mixing Console

Hey y’all, I’m pleased to announce the first of several songs I’ve been working on the past year has been completed!

Entitled “I Promise You”, the song was commissioned by a friend of mine (Scott Glenen). Featuring the vocal talent of Sappho Hansen Smythe, and the cello work of Alyssa Wright, it was mixed and mastered by NYC-based Grammy Award winning mixing engineer Dave Darlington (Wayne Shorter, Sting, and the Sonic the Hedgehog music team). The vocals were recorded by Philip Shaw Bova (Feist, Bahamas, CBC As It Happens Theme) on a vintage Neve 5432 mixing console that was previously owned by Jimmy Shaw of the Canadian band Metric, who used it to record/mix drums and guitars on several of the band’s albums, including 2009’s best seller Fantasies.

I’ve included an excerpt below. Hope you enjoy!

Ottawa U Faculty of Education iPad Music Workshop (and More Recording)

Hi y’all!

Today I’m pleased to announce I did a 90-minute iPad music creation workshop for approximately 40 teacher candidates at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Education, which was an absolute blast! These aspiring teachers are now set to teach their future students how to make their own original music using Garageband for iPad and my top-secret music writing techniques! My plans for world domination, including raising an army of 21st century music teachers, are well underway!

Faculty of Ed (Serious)

The next generation of music teachers…

Faculty of Ed (Goofy)

..or a bunch of Jack Black inspired goofballs? You decide.


In other news, I’ve been back at Bova Lab studios this past week, this time with one of my students who is well on her way to becoming a bona-fide recording artist! On the latest track entitled Waste Away, Sappho made her very respectable studio recording debut as a vocalist, while Phil played and recorded the drums (which sound awesome) and I’ve been busy bossing everyone around as per usual (“That take was perfectly good, now do it again!!”). We we’re going to mix the song today but Phil and his kids were sick and he’s very busy recording the rest of the week, so the world will have to wait to hear the song until next week, alack and alas. After this we just have one more track to redo the vocals for and this 4-song project will be ready for the airwaves. Prepare yourselves!

Sappho Goofy

Sappho in the studio during one of her more sombre moments

Other than that I’ve just been keeping plenty busy teaching (my schedule is almost full other than Saturday afternoon and a few weeknight spots) and doing workshops (I was at SFDCI this past Friday and BCI and Sweet’s Corners ES are up next amongst many others!). That’s it for music-related news folks, stay warm for those in the frosty province of Ontario!


iPad Music Workshop Fall 2014/2015 Semester in Review


iPad Music Creation Workshop at Gananoque Secondary School (part of a series of 10 workshops for all the Grade 7/8 classes)

Hey y’all! Been real busy lately!

This semester I did over 50 iPad music creation workshops for over 1000 students at the following schools:

General Panet High School (Petawawa)
Renfrew Collegiate Institute
Opeongo High School (Douglas)
Caldwell St. Public School (Carleton Place)
CPHS (Carleton Place)
Russell High School
Morrisberg Public School
Pakenham Public School
R. Tait Mckenzie Public School (Almonte)
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School (Russell)
PDCI (Perth)
Lombardy Public School
Char-Lan District High School (Williamstown)
Naismith Memorial Public School (Almonte)
Beckwith Public School (Carleton Place)
Toniata Public School (Brockville)
Centennial 67 Public School (Spencerville)
Lyn Public School
Thousand Islands Elementary School (Landsdowne)
Prince of Wales Public School (Brockville)
Gananoque Secondary School
St. Mary’s Catholic High School (Brockville)
Westminster Public School (Brockville)
Wellington Elementary School (Prescott)

Basically, I’ve been teaching students Grades 3 thru 12 (and adults in some cases) how to create their own original music using Garageband for the iPad, without any prior musical experience. So far I haven’t encountered anyone who hasn’t been able to do it, and in some classes I’ve taught kids with severe learning and behavioral disabilities (including Grade 6s with a Grade 1 reading level). It has been a very rewarding, fun, and lucrative experience so far, and I’ll be doing plenty more workshops next semester, including one at the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa for teacher candidates.


Pakenham Public School iPad Music Creation Workshop (Grade 4/5)

So because of this (and teaching private lessons 5 days a week) I haven’t posted much here recently.

Excuses, excuses, I know!

But to show that I haven’t been slacking off completely in the music department, I was just in the studio this week with my good friend Phil Bova Jr. (credits include Feist and CBC Radio’s As It Happens theme remix) working on some tracks for a client (which are sounding pretty darn good I might add).

You can have a preview listen to what we’ve been working on below. Phil has been doing double duty as recording engineer and drummer, with yours truly producing. Hope you enjoy!

This Can Be (Scott Glenen lyrics and executive producer; Bryne Carruthers music; Amanda Keeley lead vocals; Caroline Addison backing vocals; Phil Bova Jr. drums & recording engineering)

Too Much For Too Little (Scott Glenen lyrics and executive producer; Bryne Carruthers music & backing vocals; Amanda Keeley lead vocals; Phil Bova Jr. drums & recording engineering)

Anouncing Interactive Music Creation Workshops for iPad!

I’m pleased to announce  I am offering interactive workshops on creating music for the iPad at high schools across the Upper Canada District School Board, Limestone District School Board (Kingston area), and Ottawa Carleton District School Board.

I am using 8 iPad minis, which allow high school students to instantly apply the songwriting and production concepts I teach them, and to share their music with other students in class and via the internet.

I am offering 1 hour workshops for Grade 7/8 intermediates and Grade 9/10 high school students on composing music for Garageband for iPad.

I am also offering 2 hour intensive workshops for Grade 11/12 students, including those enrolled in Arts & Culture Specialist High Skills Major Programs. This intensive workshop can fulfill part of the curriculum requirements for Arts & Culture SHSM students. In addition to covering creating instrumental and vocal music in Garageband, it will also include instruction in creating electronic dance music using Propellerhead Software’s (makers of Reason 7.1, which virtually all the musical examples on my website are made from) ReBirth or Figure.

I am also offering 8 week courses on writing music for Garageband for the iPad here in Brockville. Stay tuned for more details!

Also, I’ve updated this website’s Bryne’s Music page to include excerpts of songs (most of which were featured as musical examples in recent music writing workshops incidentally) from an upcoming album for a client of mine, including the single Fire, which is available for download on iTunes. Hope you enjoy!


Student Song About Ants!

I’ve got something special to share in this entry, this is a song written, produced and recorded by one of my keyboard students, the über-talented Sappho Hansen-Smythe, who is studying music theatre performance at Saint Lawrence College here in Brockville.


It’s a song about love gone wrong, using a species of parasitic fungus (cordyceps) which takes control of the behavior of the ants it infects as an analogy. Also known as the “zombie fungus”, it causes the infected ant to find a spot in the forest with the right temperature and humidity for the fungus to grow when the ant dies.

It was written using my “six easy steps” to compose and record a song, which I teach at my Technology Assisted Music Creation workshops.

Sappho wrote the lyrics, produced the music in Logic Pro X, and recorded the vocals using an Apex 181 condenser mic. I just did a bit of audio post-production and editing in Logic and Reason 7.1.

You can hear more of her music here:

Hope you enjoy the following excerpt of the song!

“Ants” Excerpt by Sappho Hansen-Smythe (©2014)

“Ants” Excerpt Lyrics
By Sappho Hansen-Smythe

I recall
Walking through the halls
Believing what I was told

But no more
Will this game of yours
Keep it’s hold

And the ants
Are so much like us
You’re carrying
The cordyceps
Into our heads

To the queen
Our mother goddess.
You’re carrying
The cordyceps
And loving the dead

And the ants
Are so much like us
You’re carrying
The cordyceps
Up to the trees

And to think
That I’d trust a soldier
Although the spores
Can be ignored
I won’t let them near me

Avril’s Little Secret… Deconstructed and Remixed!

Avril Lavigne PhotoShe’s back! Or at least her little musical secret is…

But before I get into that, last week I did two successful workshops on technology assisted music creation at Brockville Collegiate Institute (BCI); a one-hour workshop for the grade 9-10 music class and a two hour workshop for grade 11-12 arts and culture Specialist High Skills Major students. We covered my six easy steps to compose and record the music for a song; I demonstrated how the music software I use works (including Reason 7 and Logic Pro X); we also started creating some music in class, including a dance remix of a chord progression one of the students offered (which we’ll discuss in more detail shortly) and an instrumental arrangement of a song one of the students wrote, which is going to be a great pop song I reckon.

One of the recordings I used as a musical example during the workshops is a preview of a song by a keyboard student of mine who is also a BCI graduate. My student wrote the lyrics and most of the melody, and I added the chords and altered the melody in the chorus. It features vocals from my good friend Amanda Keeley, which were recorded at Tone King Records, in Cardinal, ON. It can be heard below:

(“Let It Rain” Lyrics and Music ©2014 Allison Caldwell)

Song vocals recorded on this bad boy (Neumann KMS 105 Condenser Mic)

Song vocals recorded on this badboy (Neumann KMS 105 Condenser Mic)

I thought I’d use this track as an example here of two ways to use a standard chord progression pattern in a song, in this case the Avril Lavigne Secret Chord Progression, or Avril Lavigne progression for short.

One is to just use the chord pattern as is. The other is to add intermediate chords to the chord progression to somewhat disguise it.

In the key of F, the Avril Lavigne progression is as follows:

||: D- Bb | F C :||

As mentioned in previous entries, I don’t normally use the Avril Lavigne progression in the songs I write, in part because it is arguably the most over-used progression in contemporary popular music.

In this song however, this is the exact progression I use during the pre-chorus (0:17-0:25), and later at the end of the chorus (0:54-1:02). I wanted this song to have a contemporary pop sound, so the Avril Lavigne progression seemed the logical choice. It fit with the melody too, which always helps.

In the first four bars of the song’s chorus (0:37-0:45), it may sound like a completely different chord progression is used, but it’s actually an extended version of the same progression using some first inversion triads, notated below as ‘slash chords’:

| D- D-/F | Bb | F F/A | C |

which translates to:

| D- | Bb | F | C |

I didn’t intend to use the same progression here, these are just the chords I thought sounded best for that particular melody (which was derived from the verse of the song, which features a completely different chord progression than the pre-chorus). As an unintended consequence, using an elaborated and/or disguised version of the same chord progression gives the song a greater sense of musical coherence in my humble opinion.

I could talk about this sort of thing for hours, but that’s as nerdy as I’ll get on this subject… for now.

I’ll conclude this entry by sharing an excerpt of the dance remix from the above-mentioned hour-long workshop last week. Incidentally, the chord progression offered by the student to be remixed was of course (as she soon learned) the Avril Lavigne progression. There’s nothing new under the sun it seems.

(“Avril Lavigne Dance Remix” © 2014 Bryne Carruthers)

New single available on iTunes

Fire Single Cover

I’m pleased to announce the release of my first single entitled “Fire”. It is now available for download on iTunes and and CD Baby (where 99% of the sales revenue goes directly towards the artists) amongst various other online music stores. An excerpt of the song was featured in a video to raise money for a local non-profit group which supports local artists and eco-friendly living. Half the proceeds of the single will go towards the same non-profit group. The song can be previewed and downloaded here for $0.99.

I wrote the music of the song for a client for whom I’ve written 12 songs so far (we are in the midst of recording an album featuring the 10 best tunes of that bunch). I did the music myself and recorded the vocals at Tone King Records in Cardinal, ON. The song features vocals from Caroline Addison of River City Junction, Brockville guitarist/singer/songwriter Mark Bergman, Cardinal singer/songwriter Amanda Keeley, and yours truly of course.

Fire Recording Session Photo Mar 16 2014

Credits (left to right): Jason Fryer (recording engineer); Bryne Carruthers (producer/vocals); Mark Bergman (vocals); Caroline Addison (vocals); Amanda Keeley (vocals). Not pictured: Scott Glenen (lyrics and executive producer); Donald Armstrong (artwork)

We released a signed and numbered limited series on CD last Saturday at a local art show. We produced 50 copies and we’ve sold at least 40 so far (one of which was bought by our local MPP). As a bonus track the CD includes a vocal recording of an instrumental track used in the voiceover section of the same video entitled “This Can Be” (which we plan to release shortly as a single for digital distribution also, in collaboration with recording engineer extraordinaire Philip Shaw Bova). CDs are $5, half proceeds go towards same non-profit group. If you are interested in a copy please contact ASAP, they will not last long.

I’m also pleased to announce I’ll be doing a workshop on writing and producing music for the grade 9/10 music students at BCI on June 12, which will in part cover how the song Fire was created.

The lyrics of the song can be downloaded for free below:

Fire Lyrics ©2014 Scott Glenen

Hope y’all enjoy the song!


Now Teaching Guitar Lessons in Brockville at Canada Music Academy

I’m please to announce I am now teaching guitar lessons through the Canada Music Academy in Brockville Ontario, located at All You Need Music, 2117 Parkdale Ave., right next to Tait’s Uptown Bakery and Deli. I am accepting new students, ages 6 and up.  Samples of my guitar playing can be heard on the Music page of this website.

You can register for lessons online at;cityID=34

CMA logo

I am also now offering one-on-one guitar lessons via Skype (in addition to keyboards) for a limited time at the low price of $20/30 minute lesson. Please email for more information or go to the Teaching Services page.

In other music-related news, I’ve written 11 songs so far for a songwriting coaching client, four of which are in the process of being producing into recorded tracks. Everyone I’ve played the preliminary tracks for loves them, and I will post samples soon.

One of the tracks will be featured in a promotional video I’m doing the music for.  The video will help raise money for starting up a local non-profit organization in Brockville. The track will be available for download on iTunes and a portion of the proceeds will go towards the organization. Shooting of the video should be done by now apparently, and it should be edited by mid-March, at which point I’ll start on the music. Rest assured I will keep you updated on everything!

Until next time,

Extreme Songwriting Experiment: 12 Songs in 12 Hours

Some people are driven to do extreme things.

On Sunday I was working on setting lyrics to music for a client, and I wrote the music to three songs in one day, which was a record for me.

This reminded me a while back I had seen the ‘Song a Day’ YouTube Chanel by Jonathan Mann.

I considered for a moment writing a song a day for a year, but that had already been done before, so I thought I’d try something different.

Why not try writing the music to 12 songs in 12 hours?

I needed lyrics that would be easily set to music, so I chose William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, the songs of Innocence from the first half of the collection in particular.

songs of innocenceI read that Blake composed melodies to these poems, but never wrote them down. In any event, they have a predictible meter and rhyme structure, which is exactly what you want if you’re planning on setting lyrics to music in a hurry.

I decided I would write the chords above the lyrics of each song, and record a ‘scratch vocal’ version of it with a simple piano arrangement (closed position keyboard style of course) and vocals sung all the way through. This is the sort of quick and dirty recording I would give to a client after I wrote the song so he/she could start learning the song ASAP.

I had the day off Monday, so I started around noon, and I was done before 11:00 pm.


‘Veni, vidi, vici.’

It wasn’t as difficult as I thought.  I did intentionally choose the shorter poems, which helped.

The thing that surprised me is that I didn’t run out of musical ideas or write the same music over and over.

Maybe if I’m up for a real challenge I’ll try writing 24 songs in 24 hours.

Normally I wouldn’t post ‘scratch vocal’ recordings here, since they are pretty rough sounding, but they will serve as evidence that it is possible to write a lot of music in a short period of time, if you set your mind to it.

The Shepherd Lyrics & Chords

THE ECHOING GREEN lyrics & Chords

The Lamb Lyric & Chords

THE BLOSSOM Lyrics & Chords



LAUGHING SONG Lyrics & Chords

THE DIVINE IMAGE Lyrics & Chords

Spring Lyrics & Chords

INFANT JOY Lyrics & Chords

NURSE’S SONG Lyrics & Chords