There's lots to discover and marvel at in the beautiful region of Gaspésie. From walking through a quiet and deserted national park at night, to admiring big pierced rocks from the shore, it's got it all. Well, it's got some of it. It's got nature, and a quite cold sea. So that's something.
It's definitely got it history-wise, with the indigenous Mi'kmaqs hunting and fishing on these lands for melleniums. And then come the eventful "discovery" period of these lands by European explorers such as every Québec-er's favourite Jacques, Jacques Cartier.
Considering how interesting these topics seem, there's a fair chance I'll have the pleasure of talking about these in the upcoming Ukulele Road Trips Blog posts. But for now, I wanted to show you around backstage of the adventure. That way, if anybody else wants to write and record on a beach a multi-voice historical inspired ukulele piece, you'll know how it's done.
Because you might now also want to write a XVIth Century French-styled three part canon sang from the point of view of a cartographer appointed by the King of France to find a path to Asia through the cold valleys of Québec. It just might happen you feel like it!
So if this happens, this is how to you could go about it.
BEHIND THE SCENES
1. The air that lives there
First comes the visit of the location, and breathing the air that lives there. Personal experience of the location of your topic is paramount to your inspiration.
Having had a look around, and sat in the wind and the mild sun looking at the pierced rock for a bit you may start to feel inspired. But once you feel freezing, because it's Québec in Winter, of course you'll rush back to the rental car and switch the engine on to get some heating. Rub your hands together and blow in them once the engine turns on, for dramatic effect.
2. First notes
There, in the comfort of your Toyota, you may start improvising and getting historical characters coming to you in ghostly visions. That's not what happened to me though. Thank God. However, It did surprise me a lot that I ended up writing a XVIth century style canon. So if ever you notice your composition taking on the style of a century very relevant to the place you are visiting, don't worry, it's because of the air that lives there and that your did breathe.
You might want to use the left over 22% of your laptop's battery to figure out how the different melodies will work out together. But be quick, without a power outlet anywhere near, time is ticking!
3. Practice makes perfect... -ish
Then you must rehearse your canon. It's not easy to learn, let alone compose, but a couple of hours should do the trick. If that doesn't work, try writing every part of the catch (or "canon") on separate postcards that you thought you were going to send, but nobody bought any from the homepage. Things work out the way they do for a reason ya'know.
4. Shooting the canon
Action! Yes, after having tried spots with too much wind or not enough of a view, you must now walk down the land of a private property, hoping nobody's home, and slide down a part of the cliff that's not too steep, with your ukulele and your camera stand in hand(s).
Then just make sure you record the second and third part in perfect synchronicity with the first one, trying to not make too many mistakes (count a few attempts), hoping that the wind and the changing weather don't muck up your audio and video too much...
And, Voilà !
Not that much to it is there. Only a few days of head scratching, editing, assembling and such left. Peanuts. Or as Samuel would say, "quel Micmac!" ("What a jumble of all sorts of things, and what would my King make of this I ask you? And how do you even edit three separate films into one canony two minutes??").
Thanks for reading ! And viewing. Maybe even listening.
The nice people at Cloud Music Ukuleles are making this canon-ing adventure #GoingNorth possible, have a musical stroll around their boutique if you're looking to buy a uke or equipment!
Fire your thoughts and canon-y comments in the section below! And I you feel so inclined, do share the content of this website on those big Social Media things, and, most of all, at family dinners. You can click on "share" just underneath here.