Sil­ver lin­ings

The Central Voice - - Front Page - Carolyn R. Par­sons Carolyn R. Par­sons is an author who lives in cen­tral New­found­land and Labrador. She can be reached at car­olyn­r­par­[email protected]

For­tu­nate Ones find com­mu­nity, hope in tragic in­spi­ra­tion for songs

The golden days of au­tumn are taper­ing off. The trees are blown bare re­veal­ing the sil­ver of their bark. The wind is sharper, the evenings are creep­ing closer, and heavy coats and boats are be­ing moved to a prom­i­nent place in the door­way closet. I do not like the out­side parts of win­ter but I en­joy the hi­ber­nat­ing by the wood­stove, read­ing books, lis­ten­ing to good mu­sic and avoid­ing the news.

This week my Spo­tify was com­pletely taken over by the per­fect har­monies of Cather­ine Allan and An­drew O’Brien, bet­ter known as For­tu­nate Ones.

O’Brien says their new al­bum, “Hold Fast”, is about tak­ing stock. It’s a cul­mi­na­tion of the last three years and about, “re­fin­ing what we’re try­ing to achieve.”

The song “North­ern Star”, for ex­am­ple, was in­spired by sto­ries of Syr­ian im­mi­grants mov­ing to Canada and Allan’s con­sid­er­ing what it would be like to just leave ev­ery­thing be­hind.

“Imag­ine leav­ing your home, leav­ing a trau­matic and vi­o­lent sce­nario,” she says.

Allan wanted to con­vey how that must feel, but also, the hope­ful­ness of ar­riv­ing in this coun­try, start­ing over.

The song, “Steady as She Goes” is a com­men­tary on the wild­fires in Fort McMur­ray, Al­berta. They were in the stu­dio with Tim Baker and Alan Doyle as the events un­folded and were watch­ing with con­cern as the evac­u­a­tion oc­curred. They were par­tic­u­larly in­spired by the sto­ries of first re­spon­ders.

“It was such a pro­found jux­ta­po­si­tion to see this dark un­cer­tain event un­fold­ing and then see­ing this great force of good com­bat­ing and fight­ing back against it,” O’Brien says.

When the time came to record the song, they reached out to Doyle and Baker, and de­cided to get as many of their friends in­volved in the project as pos­si­ble.

The duo says sup­port from their arts com­mu­nity was cru­cial to their suc­cess so far, and Allan calls Alan Doyle par­tic­u­larly a men­tor who helped them nav­i­gate their way for­ward. Now, five years af­ter the band formed, she says any ad­vice or help they can give to upand-com­ing mu­si­cians, they’re happy to pro­vide.

She adds that artists need not be afraid to ask for help. They asked every­body for as­sis­tance in the re­lease of their first al­bum, pro­pel­ling two sin­gles to the CBC Ra­dio 2 top 20 list and a Juno nom­i­na­tion in 2016.

I was struck by the tone of this al­bum and that while it ad­dressed tragic events, the over­all themes were com­mu­nity, hope­ful­ness, col­lab­o­ra­tion and re­silience.

There is no deny­ing that in this era of in­for­ma­tion over­load, it is a strug­gle to find a bal­ance be­tween stand­ing up and fight­ing for right, and not fall­ing into de­s­pair and giv­ing up on a bat­tle that seems fu­tile at times.

But we can­not fix prob­lems un­less we’re aware of them, and this height­ened aware­ness of all that is go­ing wrong, while stress­ful, is im­por­tant to re­pair­ing things go­ing for­ward. While we strug­gle to find equi­lib­rium, reach­ing for com­mu­nity, stay­ing hope­ful, find­ing good peo­ple to work with and stay­ing the course, even when we have doubts, are en­cour­age­ments we can use to help us re­main stead­fast as we nav­i­gate life dur­ing these un­set­tling times.

A full in­ter­view with For­tu­nate Ones will air on the Bridges Ra­dio pro­gram avail­able on pod­casts on all ma­jor plat­forms and at https://www.spreaker. com/show/bridges-ra­diosshow

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.