Gone Woolgathering

Summertime sometimes seems like a dream, and what a dream. Looking out at the haze of wildfire smoke that’s been covering western Canada for much of the last few weeks, it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s not. I think I saw three bands who had never met before pull out a request of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” at a festival in Vancouver. Or maybe I was sleeping. I think I watched an intricate dance of children’s feet and frog legs at a swimming hole in Clearwater where thousands of toadlings turned the sandy beach a dark green. Then again, perhaps I was asleep. I believe that I recall the taste of the first peaches in the Okanagan, fresh off the tree in early July. Or did that really happen…

A few things, though, I can be sure of. I am absolutely certain that Elevate the Arts was a fabulous way to kick off the festival season. So many wonderful musicians and such a great group of folks in the Comox Valley to festivate with. I’m positive that I’m looking forward to touring out to Saskatchewan and down through the States next month. In fact, I’m already itching to get cracking on the electro-acoustic sound installation I’ll be making out at Grasslands National Park. And I guarantee that I’ll be making my fretless banjo debut at the Wind Festival, right here at home in Squamish.

The reviews are starting to come in about the new record. Invisible Ink says “Hill’s musicianship is unparalleled,” The Modern Folk Music of America says that it “slaps and thrums with old-time energy,” and Lonesome Highway calls it “a really enjoyable experience for roots music fans everywhere.” For more insight into the creative process, read this interview I did with Confront Magazine. If you haven’t checked out Old Paint yet, you can take a listen over at Bandcamp or get your very own copy of the CD at CDBaby.

I’m also very excited to share with you all a recording from a fantastic performance by the Erato Ensemble of a new piece from earlier this summer. What A Dream was written using a Shakespeare text and numerous Google translations of that text. It’s a pretty dreamy, meditative piece, so find yourself a good cumulus cloud to gaze at and crank up the volume.

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