As he wraps up his first album, Penticton musician Tavis Weir wants to keep the ball rolling and already knows where he will be writing the next one.
“I’m building a geodesic dome out at a friend’s property. That’s going to be my writing studio. I’m really excited for that,” Weir said.
Weir recorded the indie, folk and jazz stylings (to name a few) with a friend, Braydon McClusky, at a Vancouver music studio Postal Audio, recording in Penticton and making the drive to Vancouver to mix and edit songs.
“Really, really do-it-yourself. I love working at home at all hours and I’m not under anyone else’s watch so it was great,” Weir said.
It is bittersweet for Weir to be wrapping up the project after getting into a rhythm, he’s itching to start the next project soon.
“It’s awesome but it’s kind of sad. I want to make another record right away. I feel all this momentum and I’m just getting my groove on how to work. How to make each take fit into the mix. It’s a fun process,” Weir said. “It’s like sculpting in time. Whereas performing you play and then it’s over. Making a record is really tactile, satisfying.”
He is tentatively calling the album Those Who Go Alone, after one of his songs. The album features most of the original songs Weir has written up to this point.
“I really focused on adding layers. I play all the instruments on the record and do all the backup vocals. So I’m just kind of building and sculpting those songs I’ve written. No concept really, just kind of my own weird style,” Weir said.
Growing up in Ontario, Weir met his wife, another Penticton musician and opera singer Mia Harris, while attending university in Toronto. Coming out to visit Harris’ family, Weir got a life-changing taste of the Okanagan.
“It was pretty much instant. I got the feeling that I did not want to go back to the city, that this was a good place,” Weir said.
It also helped that Penticton was home to an abundant arts community.
“I was surprised upon coming here that there’s such a strong music and arts scene. That was something that was really pleasant to find. It would be really hard if there weren’t as many great players and great artists and support,” Weir said.
A music teacher by trade, Weir has found time over the past couple years to make his first full-length album.
“Making the album was a really great experience. I would actually wake up early in the morning and get into my home studio and work on it all day. Which is rare for me,” Weir laughed.
Weir is heading to ArtsWells (held in the town of Wells in August), and planning a CD release for his upcoming album.
He has been expanding his horizons recently as well, performing a bit of storytelling at the Soirée Expérimental at the Penticton Art Gallery.
“It’s definitely something I’ve never done before so it’s really interesting. Especially coming up with so much narrative without the crutch of music. Usually all my stories are told through song,” Weir said.
For his performance at the Dream Café, Weir is planning to have some familiar special guests. The show is focused on his solo work, but there will be some appearances by fellow local musicians including the bass of Stefan Bienz, and a few members of the Leonard Cohen tribute choir: Maiya Robbie, Teresa Wiltse, Alexandra Goodall and Mia Harris.
Catch Weir at the Dream Café on May 6. Tickets are $22 for premium seating, $12 for wing seating and are available online at www.thedreamcafe.ca.