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How has the Canadian landscape, whether urban or rural, inspired or influenced your music?
Sarah Harmer, Sam Roberts, Susan Aglukark and other Canadian musicians tell us about their perception of place
• Northern soliloquy
  - The music man
• Canadian musicians
• The marrow of music
• Science of sound
  - Psychoacoustics
• Indie nation
• Canadian sound inventions
• Nature’s orchestra
• Knowledge Toolbox
• Cartographer’s table
• Just the facts
  • Lives in Toronto.
  • Was a member of Moxy Früvous in the 1990s.
  • His latest album, "Canada Needs You, volume one," focuses on songs written about people and events in Canadian history before 1900. The subsequent volume two will focus on Canada in the 20th century.

Canada Needs You (volume two)

Satellite Hotstove

Canada Needs You (volume one)

Stars Shone on Toronto

There are days when I feel that the varied and vibrant landscape of this country is the whole reason I write and sing anything at all. Whether it's the forests of the Oak Ridges Moraine that I roamed as a lad or the conifers of Clayoquot that I finally got to explore this past summer, this land makes me sing. My wife and I take the train all over Canada. Most of the time I've got my face pinned to the glass, drinking in every bluff, slough, river, rock and prairie that passes by with some kind of folk-rock orchestra thrumming through my mind, trying to echo and mirror the swoop and pulse of the land we're crossing.

All of this geographic wonder has filled me with the belief that singing about the experience of landscape is important. Just as our lives depend on the health of the land, our souls and sense of community depend on our singing of that land. The Canadian countryside draws me to this tradition, not just by its immensity and diversity, but also by the myriad stories of our interaction with it, and by the fact that these landscapes largely go unsung. But there are songs to be found. Whether hearing Georges Dor's musical love-letter about working by the Manicouagan Impact Crater ('La Manic') or David Francey singing about rolling farms of Peterborough County ('Green Fields'), my sense of the land is informed more by song than by maps or photos. It seems to be the most natural of dialogues. And for me, the more landscape I experience on my travels across Canada the more I want to write and sing about it, which in turn propels me to go and explore more.   


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