No time for sit­ting around

The Central Voice - - Editorial - Carolyn R. Par­sons Carolyn R. Par­sons is an au­thor who lives in cen­tral New­found­land and Labrador. She can be reached at car­olyn­r­par­

I just pur­chased a used tread­mill from a lady in Bot­wood. You can find them for sale on­line in the clas­si­fieds any time af­ter June with the dis­claimer, “only six months old” as New Year’s res­o­lu­tions fiz­zle out and peo­ple need a bit of cash for their sum­mer va­ca­tion.

It’s a strange thing if you think about it. You walk and walk like a ham­ster on your wheel just for the sake of walk­ing on your wheel.

Singer-song­writer-per­cus­sive gui­tarist Daniel Cham­pagne is not spin­ning his wheels. He’s not hop­ping on a sec­ond-hand tread­mill, go­ing nowhere. In fact, he’s been go­ing places on a world­wide tour for quite a while.

In our re­cent con­ver­sa­tion, the Aus­tralian no­mad told me he has been tour­ing around for 11 years and lived the past four in Amer­ica. When asked how he man­ages, given the gru­el­ing life­style, he said his life is a lot of fly­ing, a lot of driv­ing, a lot of play­ing and that the play­ing makes it all worth­while.

He didn’t plan to tour for years. He just took ev­ery op­por­tu­nity that pre­sented it­self. When he started out there were gaps in his sched­ule, so when gigs came he took them, fear­ful of more down­time. But as he con­tin­ued, the gaps stopped and so by say­ing yes to ev­ery gig he wound up on a per­pet­ual tour.

“A lit­tle over a year ago I’d never been to N.L.,” he said. “Came to play at N.L. Folk Fes­ti­val in St. John’s. Came back in win­ter which was a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence and now this third time.”

To call a Daniel Cham­pagne per­for­mance en­er­getic is like call­ing the Ex­ploits River a small brook.

When asked to de­scribe it he said, “I’m a singer, song­writer gui­tar player but the gui­tar play­ing has more of an edge in that per­cus­sive sort of ex­per­i­men­tal, open tun­ing, strings tech­nique style. Two parts to the show. There is a sec­tion is softer with strum­ming or fin­ger pick­ing and then this wild gui­tar stuff comes up and weaves its way through­out the set.”

Main­tain­ing a rig­or­ous travel sched­ule re­quires ex­cel­lent health and Cham­pagne draws a di­rect link be­tween body and mind, say­ing there are no two sides to it. As long as he gets to play, he’s happy in his mind.

The phys­i­cal side is more dif­fi­cult.

“Eat­ing bad food can be very easy. But it’s a phys­i­cal show. For about two hours a day is very phys­i­cal. It’s al­most enough ex­er­cise,” he said.

All the travel lim­its his writ­ing time, but he plans to fo­cus on it soon. He col­lects ideas and gets in­for­ma­tion from dif­fer­ent peo­ple and places but needs to set­tle down a bit to “hook into a song.”

While Cham­pagne is trav­el­ling the world, I’m catch­ing up on episodes of “Anne With an E” (Oh how I bawled when she opened that puffed-sleeved dress box) and rat­tling along on my ham­ster wheel. It’s not a bad deal, all in all. It’s bet­ter than not mov­ing at all and not all move­ment is for­ward now, is it? Af­ter all, we’re all mov­ing for­ward through time even if we have mo­ments of spin­ning our wheels. And those times when we ap­pear to be go­ing nowhere might be when we cre­ate life’s most beau­ti­ful mu­sic.

As for Cham­pagne, we get a half-dozen shows in this prov­ince start­ing end of the month at The Ship in St. John’s Oct. 26, Gan­der Golf Club Oct. 27, Ci­tadel House in Lewisporte Oct. 28, Cor­ner Brook 29th, and Port Rex­ton on the 30th. For in­for­ma­tion and to buy his two al­bums visit www.danielcham­pag­ne­mu­

For the full in­ter­view tune in to the Bridges ra­dio pro­gram avail­able on pod­casts on all ma­jor plat­forms and at­dios-show

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