Three CDs to be released June 30 are unlike any ever produced on the Sunshine Coast. The set of discs, containing a total of 36 tunes, has been created from recordings made over the past six years by music instructor and producer Steve Weave and the young students at his Sechelt Arts Centre classroom/studio, The Soundspace.
“I’ve been teaching kids from ages of six to about 16, and one adult. You could say, kids from six to 56,” Weave told Coast Reporter. “Some kids have been with me for the past six years. Some are now either with their own bands or still collaborating with me every week. They come in and we bang out a song and we record it the next week and just move on.”
One student suggested to Weave several months ago that he sort through the many recordings he’s created and make a selection of them available to the public. “So, I decided to do just that,” Weave said. “We’re calling the CD-set Rock, Paper, Scissors. Rock has rock songs, the Paper disc is lyrically driven songs, and Scissors is cut-up experiments, things that won’t fit into either of those categories.”
Weave said the CD project was not part of any grand plan. “When I opened the studio, I started teaching just to pay the bills, and found I really enjoy working with young people. They learn very quickly and they’re talented. When they’re willing to take chances, it puts me in new territory and I get excited about the new ideas.”
Drummer Tiana Hoile said she thrives in Weave’s spontaneous, student-led approach. “Instead of having to read sheet music or someone telling me what to do, you can just do whatever you feel,” she said during a recent recording session.
Guitarist Ben Miller feels the same. “Steve has taught me pretty much everything I know on guitar,” Miller said. “With Steve, it’s less being told what to play and more whatever I want to learn how to do.”
It’s not quite a free-for-all. Weave follows their instincts but also harnesses their raw energy to capture unique moments. “I’m a big fan of first takes,” he said. “You hear a super professional do something versus somebody who’s just got spirit and is trying, you can get this lovely thing. It’s new music.”
There will be a couple of opportunities in coming days to hear some of that music, including a CD-release party on Sunday, June 30. “We’re doing an all-ages, afternoon, school’s-out rock show at the 101 Brewhouse in Gibsons,” said Weave, where he’ll play selections from the records and recount some of the stories of how those tunes got done. “And on Monday, July 1 we’re playing a live gig at Hackett Park in Sechelt for Canada Day.”
The Rock Paper Scissors set will be available at various local retail outlets and will also be online for streaming and downloading. Net proceeds from sales will be donated to the Sunshine Coast Arts Council.