92 - When It Was A Love Song

Hello and welcome to the 92nd episode of The Spark & The Art creativity podcast. Thank you for subscribing to our weekly podcast, where we alternate between interviews with creative folks from all different career levels and insight and inspiration episodes. All with the intention you’ll get the inspiration you need to get your creative projects started and, more importantly, finished.

I’m your host Tucker and this week is neither of those two things. 

This week is different because I’m going to share some of what I do with my creativity. I’ve talked before about my kids' book, kids’ songs and my 5 song EP that I recorded. But I’ve never played any of it or really directed you to it. If you found it and liked it please let me know I’d love to hear what you though (both the good and the constructive). 

The Juno’s are essentially the Canadian Grammy’s and this year they are being hosted in my City of Calgary. OutLoud YYC is the host committee for the event and has awarded me a micro-grant which allows me to put on a show with some very talented people. Including past guest Tanya Ryan who will be doing a duet with me.

The show isn’t just a concert it’s actually a story I’ve written based on a song I’ve written. As an aside I totally didn’t set out to write as Canadian a story as I did, it’s just that I’m Canadian so that’s what happened. The song is called When It Was A Love Song and it’s about how a song changes meaning at the end of a relationship. I expanded that concept out and created a story where the song changes meaning through 3 generations of one family. 

This recording isn’t the show itself because that hasn’t happened yet but it’s put together from rehearsals and demos. I’m not sure why I’m sharing this cobbled together version of the show rather than waiting to have a recording of the final product but this feels kinda right. I think because it’s just as important to share and to document your work as it is to have a final piece anyway. 

So, I hope you enjoy this story I wrote, based on a song I wrote.

This entire project came together as a different project. The idea is actually one I’ve been working on with a friend, Danny Lin, for a while now. It’s a physical package and the three different eras will be packaged on vinyl, cassette and a burned CD. It will have a Zine with a review of Rick’s band, and promo shots of Hank & Luella for the Golden Harvest Hour and the letters all in a big envelope. This way you get to experience the package as Loretta, Henry’s mom, would. As a scattering of physical things with no initial start or end. 

Without creative partners this project wouldn’t have come together at all. Danny helped with story and packaging. Plus did a poster and some beer coasters for the event. Without the grant I wouldn’t be able to guarantee any of the musician’s pay. We’d have to rely on the door. Without my brother Tim on bass or Tanya Ryan helping with the duet, or Denis Dufresne and Aaron Young on Fiddle and Guitar respectively the final, country version, live performance wouldn’t work as well as it does. And the song was written with my friend Linsey. This whole project would be nothing if it wasn’t for that one night of sharing music and having a song fall into our laps. 

It’s going to be a great show but it won’t be a perfect show. I won’t have a full lighting set up. I won’t have a killer sound system. I won’t have a camera crew to shoot the whole thing. I won’t have road crew to set up and take down. I don’t have a promotion team working ‘round the clock to ensure the place sells out. But I’m doing it all anyway. It’s more important that I have this done than for it to be perfect. Without this completed I can only kind of explain what I mean by building a story around a song. I can only describe to people what my idea is like with me singing small snippets and waving my hands a lot. 

I hope you enjoyed this and I hope you feel like it’s okay to share ideas along with sharing your work. I hope you move a project along knowing that it won’t be perfect but it will be done. I hope you feel that - like my physical project I’d been working on turned into a live show instead - the project you are working on can turn into something else, be awesome and help your idea grow into something bigger than you even thought it could be in the beginning. 

Thanks for listening and remember: you won’t get the art without the work and you won’t do the work without the spark.