TWIN and their paddles (TWIN)
Have you ever wished to be serenaded along the banks of a river?
To get back to nature, talk about sustainable farming practices, exchange some heritage seeds and simply listen to some luxuriant folk music in a picturesque setting?
Well Manitoba, for the next two weeks you have the chance.
The 2nd Annual Assiniboine River Music Armada promises to be one of the most unique concert series you've ever seen and heard as a host of bands traverse the Assiniboine River from Minnedosa to Winnipeg bringing their eclectic sounds.
(And hey, if you have your own canoe, and are down for some adventure, you can actually paddle along with the bands at any time during the armada.)
SCENE went for a virtual paddle with organizer David Fort, the singer-songwriter of the "hypno-alt country folk" group TWIN (who actually just finished a paddling tour of Los Angeles this winter), to let us in on the logistics and message behind the tour.
How do you do this tour logistically speaking... transporting gear, setting up, staging? Basically you're doing two things, planning a canoe trip and your band's tour at the same time. Think of the canoe as the tour van.
Aside from the instruments and getting to the venues on time it is as simple as going for a paddle. Planning the tour, i.e dates, media, other bands is the harder part and has to start many months in advance.
What is the connection between folk music and farming that thematically plays into the tour?
Good question, still working on that. Essentially Folk music - all music for that matter - has the ability to absorb current emotions, politics, landscapes etc... and express them back to ourselves and in other places. We are trying to call on and celebrate a non G.M.O. seed share at our venues and beyond so that we may become independent of the current industrial food model. As well, just simply, we will be playing folk music throughout a vast farming area.
Tell us why you picked the canoe as your mode of transportation?
I've been canoeing all my life; it's a very safe vessel that can carry a lot of gear allowing you to be out in the woods for an extended period of time. Rivers really appreciate the Canoe as a mode of travel since it takes it easy on them, they get a better chance to know you and vice versa.
What's the one thing you learned on your recent musical canoe tour in Los Angeles that will make the second Manitoba version even better?
The natural world is bursting at the cement seams. Coming back home to share that with people in a place where the natural is still strong at the banks of the River is very exciting!
How did you decide what bands would join you on this trip? (Or did they ask you?)
A bit of both. We try to get local people in each place we play to take part. The musicians playing at the different shows on this tour are all friends we have made over the years.