We asked Canadians to submit sounds that remind them of home, and gave them to musicians. Here’s what they made with YOUR submissions!
|Cover of Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up”
by Walk Off The Earth
Walk Off The Earth is an unconventional and innovative band that has gained popularity for challenging the way music is played. So it’s no wonder that they jumped at the chance to play with a whole new set of instruments—the sounds of Canada. Taking the Canadian hit “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire, they bring a new interpretation to the sonically adventurous and emotional track. Among the instruments you can also hear TTC chimes, a hockey slapshot, a loon call and a beer can opening.
|“Small Town Heart”
by Sofia Blu
Sofia Blu sings about a small town with a big voice. Only 13 years old, she sings about her hometown, Collingwood, Ontario, and the special place it holds in her heart. As a budding performer, she has the fresh and unfiltered perspective of a young girl, and she shares the memories of her hometown through the sounds that remind her of that place— the lapping of water on Georgian Bay and an axe splitting wood for a fire that family and friends will gather around in the evening to keep warm.
|“Farewell to Nova Scotia”
The concept of ‘Canada Sound’ immediately resonated with Blitz//Berlin vocalist Martin Macphail, recalling a folk song “Farewell To Nova Scotia” which his mother sang when he was a child. Upon further research, the band discovered that the song is actually of unknown authorship, a true Canadian folk song, evolving over countless campfires throughout the last 150 years. In the spirit of Canada Sound the idea clicked, and the band went to work creating a song using the natural sounds recorded by Canadians.
Following Blitz//Berlin’s recent work in scoring feature films, the band decided to approach this classic Canadian song with a cinematic flare, doing away with the familiar up-beat jig and conjuring instead the vast beauty and drama of the atlantic coast – a land of “wooden ships and iron men”.
|“A Song to Sing”
While Shobha didn’t incorporate any of the actual sounds into production, she was certainly influenced by what Canadians submitted. The “northern lights”, the National Anthem and ‘lack of sound’ after a snowstorm, which mustered up all sorts of ideas that she paired with her own experiences having grown up In Nova Scotia, spending many summers in PEI and living in the Prairies. It’s a song that honours Canada from coast to coast. And if Canada were a movie, this would definitely be the theme song.
|“Listen to the Sounds”
by Bobs & Lolo
Bobs & Lolo have always been dedicated to connecting children to nature with music, movement and make-believe. So they took sounds from the CanadaSound project and recreated them with their own voice in an upbeat and catchy song to educate kids in a fun sing-a-long. MeeooOOoOooo! Says the moose.
| “She Calls Me”
by Digging Roots
“She Calls Me” is a song that explores the relationship between the First Nations and the land we call Canada. Digging Roots is a brand fronted by a power couple that often expresses unvarnished truth and unconditional love in their music. They do the same for the CanadaSound project, combining searing guitar and lilting vocals with sounds of a canoe paddling through a river and the call of a loon.
|“Don’t Wait Your Life Away”
by Florence K
This song is inspired by the way time passes when you’re at an airport.
Renowned French-language artist Florence K brings us her original song for the CanadaSound project. She used the sounds of letters changing on flight boards at Montreal’s Mirabel airport (now inactive), the sound of an airplane taking off, the chirp of a marmot, and a Native American frame drum, to create a unique and catchy samba. Inspired by time spent in Cuba but also a reflection of Canada’s diverse culture and music scene, the lyrics centre on a double entendre of the word “Mira”: for “Mirabel airport” and the Spanish “Mira,” meaning “to look.”
In her song, Florence encourages us to grasp life in the moment, as time alone determines our fate. The chorus line, the Spanish sentence “mira lo que el tiempo hace” means “look at what time does.”
by Melle Rose
Sounds can transport us to all sorts of places, but in the case of “Bad Woman” the sound of TTC chimes led to the creation of a whole persona. The song is about an independent woman living in the city of Toronto who choses her own path, relationship and future, rejecting the patriarchal morals traditionally placed on women. It’s a story authentically handled by Melle Rose’s powerful vocals, and the result is catchy song with lots of sex appeal and moxie.
by Ashley Condon
What does home sound like? For Ashley Condon, who was raised between two potato fields on Prince Edward Island, home includes sounds you might not hear on the mainland—waves and birds on along the ocean. It’s a sound so intrinsically tied to home, that she even expresses in her folksy song “Wherever I go I could hear/ the call of the ocean so clear.”
| “You are the one”
by Isabelle Day
The water along a Canadian shoreline inspired Isabelle to write a love ballad that was soothing and romantic, just like the water itself. In the bridge, the French lyrics makes reference to naked feet in the sand— isn’t it interesting how a sound can conjure up such visceral feelings? The title “You are the One” though sounds like romantic love, is a reference to Canada being the one. The place where she feels like she belongs most.
|“Red and White”
by Ivory Hours
The ethereal sounds of Canada flutter and swell together to create an intimate and dreamy track. There are no lyrics (unless you count the loon that calls out across a cold lake) and a synthesizer weaves the sounds together to create the “feeling” of Canada. Sounds include: a galloping horse, puling off snow boots, hockey slapshot, puck bouncing off the boards, bacon sizzling, shopping wood, blowing out candles, opening a beer can, sprinkler, waterfall, woodpecker, loon call, goose honk.