Idyllwild Retreat

I’m now back to Europe and Amsterdam and I’d like to take a moment to tell you about the latest Listening Room International Songwriting Retreat I participated in.

Imagine a mountain. You’re driving up a winding road, the noise of the city (say Los Angeles, for instance) and the temperature are progressively dropping, you start noticing little birds in the trees.. as you drive along colourful houses and craft shops, a couple of hippy people walking by, you take a deep breathe… you are in Idyllwild!!

2017-06-16 14.25.00

Now you drive to the Idyllwild Arts Academy, where you get a bit lost – well, yeah all the trees and all the wooden cabins look a bit the same, don’t they? – you pass the library, the canteen, the swimming pool, and arrive at the meeting room, surrounded by individual wooden huts equipped with pianos where you will be able to work and co-write songs the whole week. That’s gonna be a fun week!!!! :-)


I started the week working with super talented Irish songwriter Grainne Hunt, with whom I wrote “Choices Are Mine”.

Kelly Kent-Stoll and I then wrote about those people who can’t wait “5 more minutes” when we get ready and those who always need “5 More Minutes” when we are in a hurry.. you get the idea. 😉 She performed it brilliantly at the concert at the end of the week. Very fun! Working then with the lovely Melanie Kwiatkowski, we started to talk about relationships and to write a beautiful and melancholic ballad, which title could be “I Need To See”.  I then explored the sweet and healing world of Brandi Whitaker, and we wrote about a mysterious woman torn apart between her speedy computer life and her child dreams trying to find herself in the “Strawberry Creek”. On the last day, I wrote with Brian Tracy in a very interesting new way: I started with writing some music and he then wrote lyrics on it. We then blended all that in “Heaven’s Blue”.


We had a nice group, with more people than I could write with: Po Ye (Bonnie) Hui, Dena Van Slyke and guests Jen Hajj and Alan Roy Scott. Towards the end of the week, we performed some of our newly created songs in a public concert on the Idyllwild Arts campus. We had a great audience and super atmosphere and feedback. A really lovely experience where all the songs became bigger!


I hope I can participate next year again. And you could join too!! :-)

3 thoughts on “Idyllwild Retreat

  1. Mary Moss McDonald from Idyllwild

    Magali, Thank you for sending me this link! I so much enjoyed all your recordings and singing! I was back in Missouri for 2 weeks and my sister (whom I was visiting) did not have Wifi or Internet so I could see that you sent me something but could not open it until I got home today!
    I called Greg (my husband who was at Jen and Shelly’s house at your concert that night) over to my computer and we watched together! It was so fun and you are such a talented musician so we watched more of the “Magali Magic”!
    Thanks again for sharing your videos with me. Love and hugs, Mary

    1. Post author

      Hi Mary! Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog post. It also took me a bit of time to see it due to travels, holidays and poor internet connection. I’m so glad you enjoyed my newsletter and the music. :-)

  2. Mary Moss McDonald from Idyllwild

    Dear Magali,
    Thank so much for taking time out of your crazy, busy schedule to reply to my email. I appreciate your responsive more than you know! : ))
    No need to respond to this one just wanted to thank you!
    Hope all is going well with you!
    Warm hugs from the Hill (Idyllwild),

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *