Week four of the Songs and Stories of Migration and Encounter brought around the start of constructing the musical creations the youth have envisioned. Ons brought in a mobile music studio that allowed the youth to record their voices and instrumentals on a multitrack software, getting the feel of how they wanted their performances to sound.

In Menelik Hall we set up various instruments and a vocal microphone. The youth started by using the mobile recording studio to create a hip-hop beat using a small mini keyboard. Next, one of our participants recorded some piano progressions, and the first bits of vocals were recorded. These vocals were mostly rap lyrics created by two other youth participants. Reverend Phyllis generously offered to return this week and help the youth to create lyrics that conveyed meaning to them. By the end of the session we had accomplished a rough version of the song that everyone was extremely happy with.

At Étoile de l’Acadie the youth are starting to get very excited with the idea of performing on stage! Adding to that excitement Todd Hiscock and the Boardmore Theatre have graciously offered the use of costumes and props to the students for the October 22 performance, ‘All My Relations.’  The participants have the scene set for their final performance. The performance will include two songs performed by a pipe and drum duo and 2 participants acting in the background. For their second act they will perform the song they created and Centre Director Lisa Berthier has offered to record her voice for a piece of the song.

The Membertou workshop began with a special indigenous ceremony with Shirley Christmas. The youth and facilitators all appreciated being able to take part in such a honourable ceremony.  Following the ceremony we had a jam session with the hand drum, piano, ukulele, small percussions and vocals. This energetic jam session helped us to work out a melody and chords for a chorus. Once that was down we recorded each individual instrument and voice. By the end of the workshop there were more lyrics written down for the choruses we had left.

The workshops this week were extremely productive!  The youth are getting more and more excited to perform on October 22  and are getting closer and closer to completing their creative pieces. It’s an amazing experience to be able witness the passion and ideas each individual brings to these workshops. Both the participants and facilitators cannot wait to see what the remaining workshops and final showcase will bring.