Work­ing on Plan A

Some­times find­ing a call­ing means leav­ing be­hind the fall­back plan

The Central Voice - - Front Page - Carolyn R. Par­sons

Af­ter over five decades on this spin­ning planet, and be­ing an in­tro­spec­tive per­son, I do spend the odd time mar­veling at the twists and turns life takes. While it can all ap­pear to be ran­dom at time, it you peer closely enough at any past event you will see that what­ever spot you’re sit­ting in at any par­tic­u­lar mo­ment, you wound up there due to some de­ci­sion you made even if, at the time, you didn’t know where it would lead.

When I spoke to singer-song­writer Ian Fos­ter re­cently, I learned that un­like many of us, he care­fully con­sid­ered his path­way in life at a very early age.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from MUN with an English de­gree, jour­nal­ism was the next choice. From early on in his ed­u­ca­tion he was on track to move into that ca­reer. Still in his early 20s, he paused and took a hard look at his op­tions and de­cided that it wasn’t what he wanted to do.

He says it felt like he was do­ing the “fall­back plan” and he re­al­ized that ev­ery­thing he was do­ing in his jour­nal­ism fo­cused on mu­sic.

So in­stead of the path he’d in­tended, he started do­ing open mics.

“I would go into the Ra­dio Shack at the Avalon Mall and play all the key­boards un­til they kicked me out,” he said of his child­hood.

Then one Christ­mas his par­ents gave him one of those key­boards. Fos­ter was en­am­oured and taught him­self the songs in the man­ual. His par­ents saw his in­ter­est and got him into lessons.

“My whole world, did not look like mu­sic and I kind of had to in­sert my­self into it,” he said. “Look­ing back over the 15 years, I think about the num­ber of friends of mine and it’s never a straight line for any­body no mat­ter what ca­reer they go into.” Cre­ativ­ity never gets easy, he says. “It’s a mov­ing tar­get for­ever and that’s part of the frus­tra­tion and part of the ela­tion.”

The Christ­mas al­bum is a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort with singer Nancy Hynes called “A Week in De­cem­ber”.

“Sit­ting down and ac­tively work­ing on these old songs, you get the full ex­pe­ri­ence, you dis­cover it’s a great story with a great lyric,” he said. “It re­minds you why they’ve lasted.”

In ad­di­tion to well-loved Christ­mas songs, there are two orig­i­nals penned by Fos­ter dur­ing the process of mak­ing the record.

It’s prob­a­bly a tad cliche to quote Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”, but the line I love is “And both that morn­ing equally lay/In leaves no step had trod­den black.”

It in­di­cates to me that what­ever choice be­fore you, all the av­enues are of equal value but that you must take the one that you’re called, by your heart, to travel and that this is what makes “all the dif­fer­ence.”

Ian Fos­ter and Nancy Hynes’ al­bum is avail­able now and they’ll be tour­ing the prov­ince be­gin­ning Nov. 25. More in­for­ma­tion about the tour can be found at www. ian­fos­ter.ca

A full in­ter­view with Ian Fos­ter will air on the Bridges Ra­dio pro­gram avail­able on pod­casts on all ma­jor plat­forms and at https://www.spreaker.com/show/bridges­ra­dios-show

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