Flickr/lizstless As you prep for your annual evening of New Year's Eve…
- Posted on May 11th 2011 2:00PM by Woodhands
Courtesy of the National Parks Project
In honour of the disc, Spinner recruited some of the expedition's participants to share their experiences making music in the depths of Canada's wilderness. Our first report comes courtesy of Woodhands' Dan Werb.
The week I spent in Mingan Archipelago in northern Quebec with the National Parks Project was one of the most special times of my life. Working with Sebastien Grainger and [indie songstress] Jennifer Castle was dreamy. The three of us clicked pretty much instantly, and by the end of the trip, it was clear that the three of us had formed a coven.
When you build an instrument out of a miniature tree and guitar strings on the top of a hill on an island, and when the three of you play that instrument together in the middle of a rainstorm, well, it's pretty much guaranteed that you're going to form a coven.
I felt pretty blessed to wake up every morning and know that my day was only going to be about exploring this beautiful landscape, finding the coolest spot to set up and making free, beautiful music with my new friends. Having Parks Canada supporting us also meant that we had an all access pass to the whole territory. So when we saw something like an abandoned lighthouse, we were able to go inside, set up and spend all day figuring out the acoustics. The result? Songs that feel like they were dug out of the empty graves of 19th-century lighthouse keepers (with a touch of electro, naturally).
It's never easy to open yourself up to other people musically right off the bat, but there's something about the NPP process that made it easy. Jennifer, Sebastien and I only knew each other peripherally, but when we got to Mingan we could all make music starting with the same shared secret: we were pretty f---ing lucky to be there, to be together, to be alive.