Mark Higgins tells us about Canada’s Teen Jam: A program of musical discoveries for teens with dreams, the next generation of superstars. The mission is to take this across Ontario and Canada. Many teens have sports and other programs but teens with musical talent have nothing. Mark is not releasing the names of the performers yet, that will be revealed on Saturday. Bob offers to bring the performers into the studio for an interview and a Live, On-Air, In-Studio performance! Mark is impressed with the professionalism and demeanor of the performers. Canada’s Teen Jam launched in January, and is now starting the tour to get the performers into other festivals and showcases. Kitchener is the first stop. Canada’s Teen Jam goes from 3pm to 5pm, followed by the Wayback Festival performers. Mark appreciates the irony: Canada’s newest performers followed by Canada’s superstar rock performers. Mark has had a lot of experience promoting and producing performers, notably The Tragically Hip at Bobcageon, which was filmed for a documentary. Covid has affected the start of CTJ, everyone is catching up from the performances that were missed.
Bob gives the end credits.
CKMS Community Connections Hour One airs on CKMS-FM 102.7 on Monday from 11:00am to Noon, and Hour Two airs alternate Fridays from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.
Tim tells us about Basketball Rock, more of a novelty song for him, but now the music he writes is labelled “neo-classical”. All his songs are recorded at River Music Studios in London, Ontario, the better for the quality of the music. Tim Schwindt, propietor of River Music did the guitar, bass, and drums; Tim (McInnes) played the piano and sang the vocals, and, of course, wrote the song . Tim’s first album was almost all ragtime music, with seven Jellyroll Morton covers, and seven of his own compositions in the ragtime vein. His second album, Shadowlife is almost all his own music. Tim says you can hear his style get more serious, for example he says Repetitive Stress is being picked up on dark, lugubrious playlists on Spotify. Tim wrote It’s A Sad Song and An Even Sadder Song in an attempt to create the saddest song ever written. Certainly it’s the saddest song Tim could write.
Tim is mostly self-taught. He took piano as a kid and teenager, but what he doesn’t know about music theory would fit into a good-sized warehouse. He finds YouTube useful for picking up music theory. Introducing An Even Sadder Song (but Bob plays Music For Money instead).
The viola and violin parts were played by Tim’s neighbour, Kelvin Enns, the principal viola player for the London Symphonia. Kelvin and Tim have collaborated on several pieces, including For Ukraine and Almost Home. Tim has also collaborated with Jessie Grandmont on the song Ghost Dance. Jesse is currently touring with Fiddler on the Loose (plug plug!) playing in Drayton, Petrolia, and even in the United States. He’s an excellent violin player, and Tim says he just plays some triads on the piano…
Bob comments on Tim’s varied repertoire; Tim says he’s narrowing down to writing only neo-classical music. But every now and then a funny song occurs to him, like Better Days, about vaccination, in which he also plays ukelele. Current events sometimes get Tim going, like writing a pro-vax song to counter the anti-vax songs.
Tim just had a birthday (the Big Seven-Oh); he started his “music business” after he retired from being a forklift driver. He started seriously playing music in 2015 playing at the McCormick Home for Alzheimers patients, every now and then sneaking in his own compositions. Once Tim started getting ready to record the songs just kept coming. All of Tim’s musical connections (collaborators, studio, playing venue) are within walking distance of his home. Tim stays out of the spotlight, preferring to do studio work and writing songs rather than performing. He’d love to find other people to perform his music. Some of Tim’s music is getting thousands of streams on Spotify.
Tim is working on a new song. It was something Tim had heard before — something he had written himself. But Tim says it’s not wrong to steal from yourself. Sometimes Tim thought he was in a rut, but then a brand-new melody occurs to him. There are hundreds of songs that have gone through the transom of his mind; there are parts of songs, ones for which there’s no ending, and some he’s just plain forgotten. Tim can’t keep two different songs in his head. A new song will knock out the one that was there. Tim set up a video camera to film himself playing, so if he forgets something he can go back to remind himself of the melody. Tim introduces Ghost Dance with Jesse Grantmont on violin.
Talking about the instrumentation on Music Box Waltz — it’s a celeste, also used in Mozart’s Magic Flute and Tchaikovsy’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, then Music Box Waltz switches to a Fazioli-sound piano. Tim is a connoisseur, he can tell the difference between a Bösendorfer, Yamaha, or Steinway piano. For some songs he uses the effect of an upright or broken-down piano, for example in Silent Movie Heroics.
Silent Movie Heroics is meant to emulate movies of Douglas Fairbanks Sr., swashbuckling, swordfights, and chases. It’s a change of pace from the serious neo-classical stuff. The slightly out-of-tune piano sound is an effect added digitally to a midi keyboard. Done professionally, the effects sound like the real thing.
On Music For Money that’s Tim’s brother Brad McInnes playing the Irish flute. Tim told him what the melody was, then Brad was on his own. Tim hasn’t collaborated on composing, but he has “borrowed” from other composers, for example Almost Home sounds a lot like Beethoven’s Pathétique.
Does Tim deliberately try to emulate other composers? He did in this case, although he says his composition is not as sophisticated, and doesn’t have as much “meat on the bone” as Chopin’s real music, but it’s a suggestion of his music. Tim suggests playing Backwards Boogie.
What’s backwards about Backwards Boogie? Tim says it’s the left hand — if you play it backwards you’ll get some subliminal messages. Tim went into the studio and improvised. It’s not a three-chord boogie but a six-chord boogie. Tim prefers people use Spotify to get his music, wants to get Ghost Dance over 1,000 streams.
Another music show as I continue to dig through my e-mail from last year. Today we have more recent releases, as I skim off the top layer of my InBox. No podcast, so if you want to listen to these tracks at your whim, click on the links for the artists and buy their music!
The studio remains closed, putting a crimp in getting musicians and community members in for interviews. Web conferences just don’t feel like real radio…
This is a repeat of the show from Monday, 28 February 2022.