There is nothing like a great story. I have a pocketful I like to tell at dinner parties. Stories about how I met my husband, the first cold spring night my dad took me out spearing fish, and the night Don Cherry told me I was such a great singer I should be singing the anthem at Maple Leaf Gardens. But of all the stories I have told over the years, this new one will stand out.
It will stand out because it’s not about me.
It didn’t happen to me.
It’s not my story.
But I will tell it.
It will also be memorable because it is taking me on a road trip. I love a road trip. Especially one that involves a plane and a remote place (Smithers) in northern BC.
It’s significant and ridiculously exciting because it’s my very first radio documentary that will end up in a broadcast length over 20 minutes. And it will be broadcast this spring on CBC Radio One-on a show I love-The Sunday Edition.
I’ve begun to joke that this is the year that it’s not about me. I just closed a mini play for the Spark Festival that was more art installation than play in which I sang, but unseen. Now I will be the producer in a documentary. You will not hear my voice on air. My main subject in the documentary will narrate his own story.
You Heard it Here
Recently, I was cleaning up old ‘tape’ (why do I call it tape when it is on a sound card?) on my recorder from past interviews and I came across an interview I did with a singer friend about a year ago. The last time I interviewed a singer I wrote an article. But it’s 2015, and it’s time for me to podcast. The next one should be sound. The singer telling their own story.
I want to create a virtual fire for us all to sit around, while we listen to each other tell stories. It’s the best way to learn. Through our stories, we know each other and the world. What is it like to live much of your life on the road? How does a professional artist get through the dry spells? What is the most important kitchen utensil to pack, because the one at the hotel kitchenette will stink? (My answer is a good knife and a little French press.)
I’ll be working on this new project in the coming months and l look forward to sharing stories about life in the world of music with you all from some wonderful colleagues of mine. If you have particular questions you’d like answered please send them to me.
Story in song
I finished off March with a final Master class for the voice students at University of Victoria. I had such a blast teaching for Professor Butterfield while he took a small sabbatical. It was great to come on the last day and hear the progress. I also finished up teaching ‘Connections’ at The Canadian College of Performing Arts. One of the most fulfilling teaching jobs I’ve ever had. Mentoring young performers in getting into the character of a Broadway song was way too much fun. I love the process of uncovering the story in the song. Art Song, lieder, chanson, Cole Porter standards, they all have a story. A story that can be powerfully told through voice, movement and active thoughts. My friend Michael Albano once told me there was nothing more interesting than watching someone think on stage. After teaching these master classes this year, I have to agree.
I’m packing for my trip to Smithers today and the rest of the month will be likely eaten up by cutting and pasting sound together for my piece. Look for the broadcast upcoming in May on The Sunday Edition On CBC Radio One.