Oliver Swain is bringing his folk stylings to the 557 Artist Block on April 18.

Oliver Swain brings folk to 557 Artist Block

Swain talks his latest album and the living history that is music with arts and entertainment editor Dale Boyd.

Victoria folk musician Oliver Swain is not your typical historian.

Swain is a folklorist, drawn to the music by the instrumental sounds and the history. It’s a living history every musician takes part in, Swain said, an alternative story not necessarily written by the winners or conquerors. He describes it as a conversation with thousands.

“You’re entering into a dialogue with thousands of brilliant souls and minds who came before you,” Swain said. “I experience this when I play American old time, or Celtic music or Gypsy Jazz. I also experience this just in relation to the instruments.”

He enjoys being part of the dialogue between those who build the instruments, those who write music and those who perform.

“(Musicians) just continue to further the discussion, if you will, about how this music is played. So this is an incredible gift to any artist who enters into that world, which we all do whether your a folk musician or an experimental improv artist from New York, we owe everything to all those who come before us.”

Working on his second solo album, Never More Together, released in October 2015, his sophmore album and the follow up to his first solo release In A Big Machine in 2011.

He hasn’t been resting on his laurels since going solo, working on multiple musical collaborations as well as working as the artistic director and founding member of the Victoria Django Festival, a folk festival in celebration of the great Django Reinhardt.

“I have a very diverse career which I’m super happy with, and while it doesn’t allow me to put out an album every 18 months, I do stay very busy,” Swain said.

The reception has been positive for Swain, with Never More Together featuring all original songs, a divergence from the usual traditional folk covers that would appear alongside his originals. This time the focus was on song writing.

Never More Together was all about experimenting with new kinds of song writing. Everything from songs that began as improv pieces to songs that began as finished pieces of poetry to collaborating with some of my favourite songwriters including Ridley Bent,” Swain said.

Swain went on writing retreats, bringing his instruments on a boat 45 minutes outside of Tofino, hiking for an hour to an isolated area, spending a few weeks writing.

“I’m very inspired by nature. I live in a very rural area about half an hour outside of Victoria in a little cottage by the sea. I’m inspired by both the chaos and the order that nature continues to always put forward for us,” Swain said.

Catch Swain at the 557 Artist Block on April 18 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $12 at the Artist Block or $15 at the door. Swain is joining the instrumental group at the Artist Block show performing music for a pop-up puppet show by local artist and performer Alexandra Goodall, the first time he’s shared the bill with a puppet act, Swain said, noting his excitement.

 

 

Just Posted

Apex hosting Canadian selections mogul event

Apex Freestyle Club along with some local competitors from the B.C. Freestyle Ski team are competing

Video: Update one man arrested in Okanagan Falls

The RCMP has requested the school go into lockdown

Okanagan Taste: Favourite food and drinks of the past year

When it comes to food and drink, the most frequent questions I… Continue reading

Christmas hamper volunteers pitch in to give back to Penticton

Volunteers begin work in preparation for Salvation Army hamper distribution

New acting vice principal for Penticton Secondary School

The Board of Education of School District No. 67 (Okanagan Skaha) announced a new appointment

What’s happening

Find out about the events happening in your community this weekend

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Michaels: Big Brother has become a big letdown

“You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide, but privacy should still have some appeal.”

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Accused Shuswap drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Most Read