What it is

The house in Pompadour is the home and workplace of Maureen O'Shaughnessy and Martin Armiger; a writing workshop and a screen music studio; a space for a live-in residency where you can work on your own or with feedback and mentoring; and the venue for a series of seminars and short courses to do with story, film, music and writing.

Retreats: the residential space is a self-contained gîte at the rear of the main house. A one-time servants' quarters has been fully refurbished in simple, rustic style, with bedroom, kitchenette and workspace under the one roof. The building looks onto the garden and has its own entrance. 

Music: the first of these courses concern themselves with aspects of music for the screen. The widely-heard but little-noticed art of the film score becomes a window into the entire world of narrative representation. Drawing on cultural studies, film analysis, and personal experience, these workshops will examine how the film experience works, and how music and sound contribute to its affect. As a prequel to the creative moment, the practitioner will be offered an approach to the craft, whether creating, choosing or editing the the soundtrack.

Writing: Introduction to Creative Writing. At the basis of all good writing there is story. This course is designed to combine analysis, experimentation and application so as to give participants the tools and confidence to get down to writing that story. With an emphasis on critical thinking and workshopping, you will discover the skills necessary to shape a reality for the world you are looking to create, while building confidence through exploring some unconventional approaches that you can use to transform ideas, observation and experience into story.  It’s about discovering the form and voice that best suits what you want to say.

The first course was held at Excideuil on September 9th, 2018. 

Further seminars, workshops and events to be advised.
The lyre of Orpheus, in the old stories, was the instrument that allowed music to develop from primitive pan-pipe and percussion monodies to an expressive, harmonic and affective form. The songs of Orpheus, according to Herodotus, were so touching that they made the trees move and the stones cry. That's what we want: music and words that affect the body while engaging the mind – though we're not averse to a bit of primitive pulsing along with it.   


Pompadour is in the Corrèze in South-West France, a small town in the foothills of the grand massif dominated by the famous chateau – now a centre for all kinds of activity, mostly involving horses – and surrounded by mediaeval villages. A glorious spot for holiday/study.​​ The house is in the heart of town and Pompadour is lively in summer with vistors to the racetrack and tourists (mostly french) visiting the area. We are close to the Vallée de la Vézère with its unequalled richness of prehistoric sites.

There are hire cars available in Pompadour but if you want to get around and see the country it's advisable to book beforehand.

Getting here:
Flights to Limoges or Brive-la-Gailliard from London Stansted Airport.
Trains from Paris to Limoges or Uzerche (4 hours).
Trains or buses from Limoges or Brive to Pompadour (1.5 hrs).
Hire cars from Limoges Bellegarde Airport or Brive.


Maureen O'Shaughnessy

Martin Armiger

Who it is

 Martin Armiger, for the last twelve years foundation Head of Screen Music at the Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney, and recent winner of the inaugural APRA/AGSC Distinguished Service to the Australian Screen Award, has long been writing music for film, TV, radio and the stage.  He is composer of the on-air music for ABC TV News among a few hundred other projects, including feature films, television miniseries, documentaries, animations, tele-movies and long-running series. He has written, performed or produced many best-selling records and has written for a variety of magazines and journals. Before all this he played guitar, produced records and wrote songs for a living. For a full list of credits and awards visit martinarmiger.org. 

   Maureen O’Shaughnessy is the author of the novel, Lakeland, (2015) and the verse novella, The Truth about A (2017). Previous work has been published in various journals including Best Australian Essays, Island, Blue Dog, Wet Ink, Best Music Writing under the Australian Sun, and The Australian Poetry Journal. She has been a finalist in several prizes, including the Newcastle Poetry Prize, and her poem, Thursday, July 15 was awarded the Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize (2010). She has taught at Wollongong TAFE and Sydney University, and was a manuscript supervisor and assessor for several years with the Manuscript Appraisal Agency (Australia). She is currently engaged in a creative writing doctorate at Western Sydney University and is working on her third novel.     

Where it is


What else is on here?

Autumn means the winding up of the weekly local producers' markets. The weather is still beautiful – warm afternoons, cool mornings and evenings – and the town is still attracting a fair number of visitors. Our regular market keeps going through the reat of the year on Saturday mornings, and the cabarets and shows at the Chateau are still on. But with the colder weather approaching the theatre and music seasons begin in the larger towns. More details soon.


Horse events in Pompadour 2018