Hope you’re all getting ready to wind down for a little break! There are updates about a streaming milestone and some upcoming dates playing in Camille Delean‘s band below, but first off, I wanted to share some news about an incredible experience I had this autumn sailing on an ice breaker along the coast of British Columbia.
C3 ship and humpback whales off Desolation Sound, British Columbia. Photo by Martin Lipman
Canada C3 Expedition
I was hugely honoured this October to be selected as the onboard musician for the final leg of the C3 expedition that sailed from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage. You can watch a video recap of what happened on the leg right here.
It was a transformative experience for me, particularly in helping me to engage with my growing awareness that, since I gained my Canadian citizenship, the dark history of the country, its social problems and environmental threats are something I no longer have the luxury of looking upon as an outsider.
For those of you outside of Canada, you may not know of the very recent history of residential schools in this country, where indigenous youth were forcibly separated from their families and communities, banned from speaking their own languages and partaking in their cultural practices and frequently suffered abuse. The last residential school in Canada closed in 1996.
Along with the human toll of these schools many languages of the more than 600 distinct First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada have been lost or are in danger of being wiped out. Devin Pielle, one of the C3 expedition participants, is playing a key role in preserving and revitalizing her people’s Sliammon language, which counts only a handful of speakers left, through developing a dictionary and app. You can find that resource online here, and a radio documentary made by Devin about her community’s experience with residential schools and their fight for language revitalization here.
On this trip I made friendships that will last a lifetime, was inspired by the culture of the First Nations on the West Coast, saw incredible natural beauty and impressive community initiatives. As settler Canadians, we all have a lot of work to do going forward to reconstruct our relations with the aboriginal peoples of this land. If you’re looking for a place to start, I had it suggested to me on a few occasions on the trip that a great place is the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. If you’re in BC and looking for Christmas gifts for loved ones I can recommend making a donation in their name to First Voices which provides web-based tools and services designed to support Aboriginal people engaged in language archiving, language teaching and culture revitalization. Please do reach out to me if you have recommendations of other resources.
ONE MILLION Plays for Experimental Work as ‘Tim Crabtree’
A few years back I was approached by Kyle Cunjak of Forward Music Group to help set up the experimental label Backward Music. It was a pleasure releasing music and organizing tours for the likes of Bing and Ruth and Joyfultalk.
Our very first release was a compilation featuring a couple of instrumental/experimental tracks by yours truly. They’ve turned out to be some of the most streamed works I’ve put out, and this year the track Renamed surpassed 1 million plays on Spotify. You can listen to that first compilation, as well as everything else released under the Backward banner over here.
Keep your eyes peeled for news on upcoming Paper Beat Scissors dates. In the meantime, I’ll be playing bass guitar with Camille Delean in January of the new year.
Camille Delean January 2018
Jan 18th – Sackville, NB: Thunder & Lightning
Jan 19th – Halifax, NS: In the Dead of Winter Festival, Carleton – tickets
Jan 20th – Fredericton, NB: Shivering Songs Festival, Charlotte Street Arts Centre, opening for Timber Timbre – sold out