A new CD that draws inspiration from an unlikely source — the elderly residents of a local assisted living facility — is now available for purchase on the Sunshine Coast.
Across the Lines is a collaborative music project that features recordings from a series of musical workshops held at Good Samaritan Christenson Village in Gibsons.
Workshop facilitator Steve Wright gave some of the facility’s oldest residents the opportunity to explore their creative sides by playing with musical instruments and iPads loaded with musical applications.
The soundscapes produced in these sessions, along with samples of archival recordings of residents reading personal poems or telling their life stories, were mixed with original music improvised by five local musicians playing violin, pedal steel, dobro, stand-up bass, guitar and piano to produce a collection of songs that range from rollicking to sublime.
The five musicians who contributed their talents to this project are: Steve Wright, who played guitar and piano in addition to engineering the music; violinist Serena Eades, who plays with the Rakish Angles and the Blackstrap Melissas; bassist Boyd Norman, who plays with the Rakish Angles and The Creek Big Band a 19-piece swing band; steel guitarist Ian McClatchie, who plays with Country Boys and as half of a guitar-and-steel duo with Gary McGuire; and drummer Barry Taylor, who has played with Roots Roundup and the Young Canadians.
Wright says he was surprised at the powerful moments that came out of the sessions with the residents.
“On Liberated, the CD’s first track, there’s a piece with a woman talking about her dad bringing out the gramophone and dancing all night to celebrate their liberation from the Nazi German occupation of Holland at the end of World War Two,” Wright said. “I felt lucky to have been there to experience it.”