Monday, 1 September 2014

The Sounds Before the Sound of Music

Several years ago I went on a train trip across North America. Beginning in Vancouver, down to Seattle, across the northern United States, down south as far as Florida then back up the east coast into Montreal and back west through Canada. It was an amazing solo trip lasting a month. Along the way I met many people and saw many sights, memories of which often come to mind when I am writing lyrics. The constant "chick-a-dee, chick-a-dee, chick-a-dee..." sound of the train on the tracks also comes back when working on certain rhythms. The train has a series of unique percussion sounds that start to influence the timing of conversation while on board. The noise is inescapable, and for those who like train travel, ever so pleasant.

A few days ago I was on a model steam railway at Burnaby's Confederation Park. This experience brought back the memory of the sound of a real train and the realization of how much the sound of trains are part of my life. Much of my life has been lived within earshot of the trains and their sound has always been a comforting one in my life. My proximity to trains no doubt influences why their imagery and sound so often seep into my work. The realization of their influence caused me to ponder what frequent external sounds impact the music of other musicians. Do train sounds influence your music? Is it the sound of crashing waves or certain birds that act as the accompaniment to your words? I'd love to know what influences your work so please leave a comment or send me an e-mail (katrinaboguski(at) to chime in on this discussion.

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