Port Kells singer-songwriter and Juno nominee Carolyn Arends is hoping to encourage others during the COVID-19 pandemic with a new tune, recorded and produced while staying within social distancing measures.
“For my entire career, my musical partner has been my good friend–and insanely talented multi-instrumentalist–Spencer Capier,” Arends explained.
When Capier texted Arends an mp3 of a new fiddle tune he had written called “After This,” she knew they had another important collaboration of their hands.
“I found it so moving, and it really seemed to tap into all the longing and disorientation we have all been experiencing in this strange coronavirus season,” she said. “I ended up putting words to his melody and adding some verses.”
The soft, melancholic fiddle melody, accompanied by Arends’ lyrics and guitar, address the emptiness of the streets, closure of buildings, and distancing of families while assuring “after this, the sun will be shining and everything missed will come back in a whole new light.”
Capier recorded his instruments at his home studio in North Vancouver while Arends recorded vocals with friend Roy Salmond at his studio in Surrey.
“I entered the recording space from the back door, he entered the control room from the front door, and we only interacted through the glass,” she assured.
Arends said she really wanted the video to tell real stories without the use of stock photos or simulated footage.
“We asked our fan community if they’d be willing to share any photos or clips that captured the way they’d been experiencing the pandemic,” Arends explained. “They sent us so many amazing images. It was really overwhelming.”
Next, both Arends and Capier pressed their young adult children to record the singing portions of the video shooting footage at each one’s respective homes.
“Then we realized we needed some footage that captured the environment in which we are all living, so I wandered around Langley with my iPhone, capturing signs and scenes that really embody our current reality,” Arends added.
Ryan Schroeder of Transposition Films completed the final step in Vancouver and edited the video together.
Released to purchase and stream online on May 27, a portion of the proceeds from downloads will go towards Arends’ favourite summer camp on Keats Island – Camp Barnabas – which had to shut down for the summer due to the pandemic.
“We’ve done our job if the song can hold together both the sorrow and the hope of this season – if it can provide a space to grieve the losses of jobs, special events, time together, and most tragically, of human lives while also holding on to the hope that this too shall pass,” Arends continued.
“We also really hope the song encourages folks to notice and hang on to the lessons learned in this season about what really matters and how much we need each other, so that, as things begin to open back up, we find ourselves different than we were before, in really good ways.”
People can visit carolynarends.com for more on the artist.
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