Since we all come from different musical backgrounds, we decided that our second hub meeting should be a jam session.
So we did.
It was great hearing everyone’s musical talents first hand.
Ariane is an opera singer who also has a neat little niche with her original song on ukelele. Erin Pickering plays a mean cello with feeling in every strum. And we also watched our mentor Erin Benjamin’s music video for “Harder Than the Rain” from the 90s, which I personally find reminds me of Alanis Morissette.
So much can be learned from all genres and while I know that I’m not about to pick up opera or cello anytime soon, it certainly is a reminder that there is always a lot of room to grow as a musician.
The group provided me some feedback on two of my original songs as well, which apparently have a country influence I wouldn’t have been conscientious of otherwise. I explained the stories behind the songs and how they personally came to represent specific times of my life.
As a songwriter as well as a novelist, I want to be more of a musician who incorporates these stories into my music fearlessly. I would love to come out of this mentorship program with a fully-recorded demo but Erin B explained that the best way to make that splash I’m looking to make and get exposure is to just keep performing. Right now, I’m doing a lot of the leg work but I know that when I do dive into it, I need to jump headfirst.
Recording is expensive and with music changing the way it is, it certainly was eye-opening to consider that there may be more to making it a part of my everyday lifestyle than simply clicking record on an audio file. I’m still on the fence as to what I want to see explored before October comes around but I think the fact that I’m considering it much more thoughtfully speaks volumes.
In the meantime, I know that what I want to do next relies on getting out there and getting over any stage fright I may have sharing my music and my stories with friends, colleagues, and the world. Hopefully in the next few weeks, I can manage to sneak in an open mic or two and see how things progress from there (stay tuned!). After all, if you don’t use it you certainly will lose it!
Until that time, it’s practice practice practice.
PS: I got some new musical photos taken. Check those out at https://www.facebook.com/ThatOldMixtape/ if you’re interested!
AOE Arts Council–this program is made possible by support from the Ontario 150 Partnership Program and is in partnership with the Cultural Human Resources Council. To find out more about the program, click here!
This group is composed of mentees Cody Zulinski, Erin Pickering and Ariane Bell Vila and will be guided by Erin Benjamin, music specialist and Executive Director of Music Canada Live. Ce groupe est composé des mentorés Cody Zulinski, Erin Pickering and Ariane Bell Vila et sera guidé par Erin Benjamin, spécialiste en musique et Directrice Exécutif de Music Canada Live.