'Pigeon King' creators to host concert, album launch in Blyth April 18
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
The artists behind the Blyth Festival hit The Pigeon King are putting on a slightly different kind of show on Thursday, April 18, launching the production’s album at Memorial Hall with a special interactive concert event.
Earlier this year, Blyth Festival Artistic Director Gil Garratt and his fellow creators of the show were in Holmesville to record an album of music from the show. The group worked with renowned musician and producer John Powers, who not only supervised the recording process at his studio, but he also mixed the finished product as well.
The recording process, Garratt says, was really “old school” in that the performers all played the songs together during recording sessions. He said that process, in addition to recording it in a barn studio with John Powers, lends itself to a real warmth that can be felt in the album and a real grassroots project from start to finish.
The April 18 event, Garratt says, will be different from the play that entertained Festival audiences for two seasons and is now heading to the National Arts Centre stage in Ottawa. It will be a concert of the music from the album, as well as an interactive experience between the audience and the artists. Garratt says there are many stories to tell from behind the scenes of The Pigeon King production. Whether it be stories from the creators’ exhaustive research, songs that were cut or titles they brainstormed that didn’t end up with songs attached to them, Garratt says there is plenty to say about the show that audiences have likely never heard before.
The event should serve as a great launch party for the album, Garratt says, but he hopes it will end up being so much more.
Tickets for the event are $25 each and every ticket holder will leave the show that night with a CD copy of the album.
Garratt says that the artists behind The Pigeon King will be in Blyth later this month to rehearse for their National Arts Centre run, so it made sense to try and hold an event like the one scheduled for April 18.
While the play has been a tremendous success, Garratt says that the album is an achievement all its own. The play was conceived, written and produced in Blyth and then the album was recorded and mixed in Holmesville. To have an album produced from a Canadian musical, with all of the steps taking place in Huron County is pretty amazing, he says.
The album serves as a record of the production, he said, which would often change from night to night and you’d be hard-pressed to find a written script. With the album now created, there will be a record of the show for years to come.
The show itself, he says, will be something to behold as well. With an even mix of seasoned stage performers and experienced musicians, the night will be special due to its blend of music, theatre and conversation, Garratt says.
Doors to the event open at 7:30 p.m. that night, with the concert beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 each and include a copy of the album. To buy tickets, call the Blyth Festival box office at 519-523-9300 or visit blythfestival.com.