The Music of Zap Your PRAM

At our Zap Your PRAM conference ended up being great for many reason. The people, the location, and for me at least, the music.

Tim Chaisson at ZapOur 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:

John Connolly at ZapThe 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.


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