Creating music in a time of need
Thursday, Mar 12, 2015 06:00 am
People create music for a full spectrum of reasons. Some enjoy the artistic struggle, others wish to entertain the masses and others find the creative process therapeutic.
The latter reason was the case for musician Marion Walsh, who found herself involved in songwriting and performing as a way to cope with alien surroundings and seasonal depression.
Walsh, a native of Owings Mills, Maryland, suddenly found herself in another country, on the other coast, in Vancouver and found it difficult to adjust to the foreign environment.
“I fell into songwriting rather late in life after moving to Vancouver and I found myself really falling into a depression because it was so rainy there – I had a really hard time,” Walsh said.
“I had been living in Boston for 10-12 years and was originally from Maryland. I knew nothing of Vancouver, and I met my husband in Boston and he got a job in Vancouver and off we went and I had a really hard time.
“It turns out one of the ways I dealt with this seasonal depression, which lasted a long time because the rainy season is so long, was I found myself writing songs – I never thought to do it before.”
Walsh’s life and musical journey brought her to Canmore three years ago. She is now working on her third album, entitled Ricochet, and will perform material from the upcoming release at Canmore’s Market Bistro on March 28, accompanied by John Goulart (guitar) and Hugh Hancock (bass).
“I met Hugh about a year and half ago when I was recording a single in Calgary and it went along very well and, before you knew it, we were playing together around town and time had gone by and now I have enough songs for the new CD,” Walsh said.
“Basically, I’ve been getting together once a month with a group of guys and teaching them songs that I’ve written for the CD, and in the meantime we’ve gotten this gig, so John Goulart and Hugh and I are going to do the gig at the Market Bistro ... we’ll be trying out some songs that are going to be on the CD just to see how they go over and also some originals of mine and some covers songs.”
Walsh says she already had six to eight original songs she was working away on before bringing them to Hancock and Goulart. “I played them for Hugh and John and they helped me flesh them out to make them sound a little better with a few chord changes here and there and structural changes, but most of the songs are mine,” Walsh said.
“They’re both top notch musicians and very organized and knowledgeable. It’s been a treat for me and I feel honoured to have them along with me.”
When asked what a good description would be for the material found on Ricochet, Walsh described it as “eclectic, melody-based roots music.”
“I’m trying to refine my style and my sound and it’s a little bit more recognizable and a little bit less all over the place,” Walsh said.
When she was growing up, music was a part of Walsh’s upbringing, with her father being heavily involved as a director for a cappella groups in Maryland. “I was surrounded by it all the time and I took piano lessons, but I never started writing until about 10 years ago,” Walsh said.
“It came as a way to grapple with depression and it was actually very cathartic and I got two CDs of work out of it.
“Now that I’m out of that climate and feeling a lot better, I was wondering if I would be able to write anymore songs and it turns out thankfully I can – so the songs for me are coming from a different place.”