Musical Spaces highlights unsung Canadian musicians in the places that they write and play music. These artists aren’t world famous – they don’t have a place on Spotify’s top 10 playlists, they don’t make a lot of money, and they sometimes play to 5 people, but that doesn’t discourage them from creating their art. We’ll meet some musicians you really must get to know and hear their songs performed in their creative spaces.
…and those creative spaces can be as interesting as the musician. One of them is a master instrumentalist from Vietnam whose house takes us back to their country. Another is a musician living in a tiny space who fills it all with a grand piano. The spaces themselves tell a story.
This 10-part series combines the poignant not-quite-candid street portraits of Humans of New York and the live casual feel of Tiny Desk Concerts.
Music sits alongside language and art as a salient and long-lasting expression of distinct cultures worldwide. Music may differ from region to region, but it has always brought people together.
To celebrate this, Musical Spaces films Canadian musicians in their personal spaces, where they feel the most creative, where they write and breathe music. Where they have parties and play for their friends. Where they sit for hours writing a song. It is a reflection of who they are, and what’s important to them – all while they play what they love.
This project profiles a wide cross-section of artists to integrate stories of music that’s been in Canada for centuries, as well as the styles of musicians who only recently integrated into the Canadian musical landscape. Musical Spaces will produce a snapshot of vernacular music and Canadian culture as it exists currently.
Playing songs for other people is what has kept musical traditions alive for millennia. As traditional skills, languages, and customs begin to fade, preservation and archiving of these cultural identities becomes crucial.
Musical Spaces shows that music happens everywhere and that you don’t need a stage to be a musician, you just need to play music.
Briefly describe (50 words or less) any cultural diversity aspects of your project.
Musical Spaces showcases the diversity of Canadian musicians while also focusing on the personal spaces in which they play. These unsung artists originate from varied communities, genres, ages and backgrounds – some of whom migrated here with their music. Others have been in Canada for generations. These are the people who breathe life into Canada’s musical diversity.
This 10-part series combines the poignant not-quite-candid street portraits of Humans of New York and the live casual feel of Tiny Desk Concerts. Each 4-minute episode focuses on one musician, combining music video approach with a documentary-style interview that can easily be shared and consumed on social media. The shots feature 2 angles that cut back and forth between the details of their creative spaces, and the song being played ties it all together.
Musical Spaces will feature sophisticated musicians who have an interesting and unique story to tell, and are masters of their instruments, like Khac Chai.
Over 10 years ago, Khac Chai came from Vietnam to play at the Vancouver Folk Music festival. She was pregnant at the time, but unfortunately, she lost the baby while here in Canada. The music community banded together and crowdfunded the money to pay for the $10,000 hospital bill. This was one of the reasons she and her husband chose to become Canadian citizens. She’s a master of the Vietnamese Zither, and her home still feels like it’s in Vietnam. She tells her story and plays for us one of her favourite songs.
Meshe Mooette is another musician featured on Musical Spaces. She lives in a tiny coach house in east Vancouver – so small you can jump from one side to the other. The grand piano she has leaves little room for even a table and two chairs. People like Meshe and Khac are creating music without the recognition, but they continue writing because it’s in their soul.
Musical Spaces not only iterates traditional forms but also revitalizes and develops new expressions for a future generation of players, like Corwin Fox. Corwin is a Canadian songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist who has been hailed as “a shining light in Canadian roots music”. He lives on the Island, has a recording studio and is tapped into musicians from all over Canada. His music is powerful, fun and tells his unique story of being Canadian, of how he sees the world – and he is a killer musician.
Chris Derkson is another musician, an indigenous cellist/composer known for building layers of sound into captivating performances. She has a larger following, but her music still weaves her traditional classical training and her Aboriginal ancestry with new school electronics, creating genre-defying music. Originally from Northern Alberta, her father’s side of the family consists of a long line of chiefs from North Tall Cree reserve, and a line and a line of strong Mennonite homesteaders on her mother’s side.
Then we have Katheryn Petersen, who lives and breathes the accordion in a house filled with writings, books. It’s something you might imagine from a storybook.
These stories live inside our country. These musicians are relatively unknown, but they’re still dedicated to writing, learning and playing music.
Each 4-minute video begins with a quick introduction followed by 3 questions:
- Why is this song important?
- Who taught you this song or did you write it?
- Is this song written down? Or do you learn it by ear?
This series could potentially go viral. We are highlighting Canadians with a unique and dedicated following of music lovers. It will be shot from 3 different angles and cut-aways that look at the unique details of every musician’s creative spaces.
Musical Spaces is a project for people who love music.
Featured musicians for future segments will include:
- Lache Cercel – Gypsy/Jazz Violin (Roma)Co Bit / Khac Chai – Vietnamese Zither
- Dave (Sungods) – Dobro
- Chris Derkson (Cello Looper)
- Geoff Berner (Accordian)
- Corwin Fox (Guitar and Ukelele)
- Hanna Epperson (Violin Looper)
- Meshe Mooette (Piano)
- Katheryn Petersen (Accordian and creator of the Accordion Noir Festival)
This is how my script/existing creative materials came into being (note: if you got development funding from another funding body, list it here): No funding from other sources. Started as an idea that Lara Kroeker just started filming her friends.
My project’s budget is (CAD): $??
1) A copy of your treatment/existing creative materials and, for Scripted productions, a script (LARA)
2) A copy of your draft budget for production in a shareable format (such as Excel) (BARBARA)
3) A copy of your financing plan that corresponds with your budget. A sample financing plan can be found in our guidelines.
4) If you have proof of any sources of financing in your financial structure that you have listed as confirmed (other than CBC and Creative BC), please include it with your application. (BARBARA)
5) If you have any additional support documents, such as letters of interest from other financiers or talent, please include them with your application. (LARA OR BARBARA)