YAMANTAKA Facebook Friday night at Pop Montreal saw quite a few big acts…
- Posted on May 12th 2011 4:30PM by Cadence Weapon
Courtesy of the National Parks Project
In honour of the disc, Spinner recruited various musicians who participated in the expedition to share their experiences making music in the depths of Canada's wilderness. Our second report comes courtesy of Edmonton rapper Cadence Weapon.
Despite hailing from a prairieland with easy access to nature's majesty, I have never considered myself a particularly outdoors-y person. I've lived in the city for my entire life and as a city kid, my wont was to do city things. I spent my formative years growing up in the company of computerized machines with only the occasional summer sojourn to Alberta Beach qualifying as "Nature Time." So while spending my portion of the National Parks Project stationed in a southern Albertan outpost called Waterton Lakes, I was challenged to bring my learned medium into harmony with the natural environment.
Working with Calgarian songbird Woodpigeon and my old pal [indie pop singer-songwriter] Laura Barrett, I made field recordings of ambient noise, water, animals and oil drums and applied them to their voices, ukulele and kalimba. In one particularly lucky instance, I had the opportunity to chop up some Blackfoot drums and chants. I did this with the help of a solar-powered backpack that allowed me to plug my computer in, rest it on a tree stump and go to work.
The environment, itself, was quite unique. I experienced several different climates over those few days. We chilled near a frozen mountain lake, walked a trail beside red rock under blue sky and marched through foggy rain on a pastoral plain near an old buffalo jump. I experienced complete blackness at night for the first time in years and it was striking. I recorded my vocals for 'Thunder' behind a church pulpit, and like to think I gathered some energy from that space as well.
That's really what I drew from this experience, a respect for the transfer of energy. Listening to the elder of the Blackfoot tribe we met, I was intrigued by his idea that you couldn't play one of their songs unless someone gave it to you. There had to be an honest transfer. I tried to respect that by being responsible with how I sampled them and the environment, employing a natural, spiritual process through synthetic means.