I am readjusting to Toronto life after a whirlwind adventure in Alberta. I spent the last few weeks participating in the Independent Music Residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts. My experience there was one of the richest, most inspiring and definitive of my life to date. Words could never sum it up, nor could photos, but I have attached some here to give you a bit of an idea of what went down.
Essentially, I went to Banff alongside 3 wonderful bands – Raleigh, Amaara, and The Darcys – to write, workshop and record new music in a process-oriented fashion, something so rare and special in this achievement-based music industry. The faculty was comprised of some of the most talented folks around: recording engineers Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes), Graham Lessard (Timber Timbre) and Nyles Spencer (Tragically Hip); and artist mentors Charles Spearin, Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew of the band Broken Social Scene.
I opted to attend the program on my own to open the doors wide for collaboration, and that proved to be a fruitful choice. I got to spend large chunks of time in the studio with each of the engineers sculpting songs from the ground up, and was fortunate to have Charles and Brendan as frequent collaborators throughout the process. I am so grateful for their ideas and wisdom, and they really helped me break out of my normal way of doing things. It was also so cool to be a fly on the wall while the other bands worked on their tracks, and I even got to hit some drums for a couple of them along the way.
Without descending into extreme gush mode, I also wanted to touch on the magic of the Banff Centre with regards to connecting with artists of other disciplines. I met so many talented, thought-provoking writers, visual artists, and composers, and feel so lucky to have been graced by their work and presence while I was there.
Now, back on my feet at home, I feel so excited about what’s to come. For those who have been waiting (and I thank you for doing so, because these things take time) the record will be out in March. And it’s looking like it might even be followed closely behind by another recording project.