At our Zap Your PRAM conference ended up being great for many reason. The people, the location, and for me at least, the music.
Our opening evening include a performance by Tim Chaisson and his accompanist Tian Wigmore. Tim played a combination original songs, well-chosen covers (Jill Barber ftw), traditional east-coast music (fiddle and mandolin, omgftw), and a remarkable aside on piano.
Tim has been writing songs with Joel Plaskett and Gordie Johnson for a new album they’ll be recording this winter. Their influence is a great compliment to his natural talent.
Part way through the set, Tim said he was going to play a song on the piano. I looked around to see if they had brought a keyboard, but there was none to be found. The only keyboard was an old piano that lives in the lobby at Dalvay-by-the-Sea behind my seat. Tim excused his way through some of our chairs, sat down in front of the old piano and told us about Neil Gow, a Scottish composer from the 1700’s.
Tim played Gow’s “…Lament for the Death of his Second Wife” (which was apparently actually a lament for the death of his second wife). It was remarkable. Here’s an absurdly low quality video clip that will at least serve to show my proximity to the piano:
The next day lacked a live musical performance, but was not lacking for music. Brad Turcotte (aka BradSucks) walked us through the idea stage, writing, recording, release, and after-life of a song. I still have Dirtbag stuck in my head.
On Saturday, local singer-songwriter John Connolly performed some original songs, a few covers, then channelled the ghost (even though he’s still alive) of Stompin’ Tom Connors. He even took a request for a Bruce Cockburn song.
Great music for a great weekend. Also see my friend Stephen’s more general overview of the conference. Thanks to Nick Burka for the photos.