I must admit I've given less thought in my lifetime to my natural undings affecting
the music I make and more so to my surroundings affecting my emotions. I guess emotions
informing creativity makes it a direct link.
I'm from Vancouver Island and, like most people from the West Coast, I've always been
obsessed with nature. Canada has some pretty special and wild places. Insert hippie
memory here: I used to improvise on violin in the woods by a river.
Out west the first thing on people's minds when asked anything about life, it seems,
is their natural surroundings. People talk about it as much as they talk about their
dogs. So, in true rebellious form, when I was 18 I moved to Montréal — the
city with the most depressing array of highways and factories coming in from all sides.
The only time you can see the horizon is from the lookout on Mount Royal, or from the
old port, and then it's flat and brown and frozen most of the time. I think the harshness
of the climate and the strict urbanity here drives people to be more active in their
Bell Orchestre makes music that tells stories without words, from the minds of five
different people. Our music doesn't have a clear origin, more of a meeting place of
different ideas that want to interact, to make something exist out of what we're all
thinking and feeling.
Some of the music on our album was composed in a cottage in Vermont in the dead of
winter. We had to ski our equipment in and play music around a bucket of coals. Some
of that music is very fierce. Some is gentle and dream-like. When I hear any of the
music that we made on the frozen lake I'm transported back there. Would we have made
different music elsewhere? Probably.
— Sarah Neufeld