The Parkway Studio Summer Sessions came to a close this past Thursday night with a bang. The sold-out crowd of 100 people got to experience the sheer joy that has happened over the last month.
Before the concert last night, I caught up with the artists who had participated in the summer sessions and asked them a few questions about their experience.
The first question asked was “What did you learn?” The answers were varied in that they included a wide variety of instruments. Many of the artists picked up instruments they had never played, and learned enough to participate in the rehearsal, recording, and performance of 15 songs!
Some of the things learned were: Chords, how to sing, bass, drums, drum pads, and how to play in tempo. That is an amazing list to cover in the space of four weeks! A couple of the artists learned the technical side of the music production, learning how to use Logic, and how to do basic mixing of tracks.
Lessons of collaboration came to the front as well. “When we work together, we get to share in and build on each other’s good ideas. That was really great!”
Other than just the nuts and bolts of the music, there was some deeper learning going on as well. “There was a work-hard-play-hard attitude. We learned when to joke and when to be serious.” Pool was also a side skill that got picked up along the way.
The second question asked was “What has this session meant to you?” The overwhelming response was that this was one of the most meaningful summers any of them had ever experienced. “Nothing else would have been as fun, we got to spend all day with friends” and after the last year, could there have been any greater gift? One of the artists said that they wanted me to share that it had been a hard time prior to the summer camp, and being a part of the sessions had really lifted their spirits.
The last question was simply “What would you like everyone to know?” Here’s what they said:
“Thanks, it was a lotta fun.”
“The studio is soooo good.”
“Can’t wait to do it again.”
“If you’d like to learn this is the place to be.”
“The studio was worth the wait and the investment.”
“My favourite songs are Begging and Rhiannon???”
“It was such a welcoming learning environment.”
“Aaron and Yohan are the bomb!”
There was a palpable sense of joy, enthusiasm, and excitement along with deep gratitude from each artist. For me, it has been a privilege to be able to drop into the sessions and see not only the creativity at work, but also to witness real bonds being formed and strengthened.
It is undeniable that the 2021 Parkway Studio Summer Sessions shone a light into this world when it is so badly needed it.
If you were unable to attend the concert but would like to hear what you missed, for a donation, you can obtain a cd recording of the music. This can be arranged by emailing Yohan or Aaron.