When Broken Social Scene released their proper debut, You Forgot It In People, they added a song with the title KC Accidental to the award-winning album.
Below, Charles Spearin explains how his latest venture, The Happiness Project, began:
These are my neighbours. My wife and I have two little kids and live downtown Toronto. In the summertime, all the kids in the neighbourhood play outside together and everyone is out on their porch enjoying each other's company, telling stories and sharing thoughts.
A year or so ago, I began inviting some of them over to the house for a casual interview vaguely centered around the subject of happiness. In some cases we never broached the subject directly but nonetheless my friends began to call it my "Happiness Project."
After each interview I would listen back to the recording for moments that were interesting in both meaning and melody. By meaning I mean the thoughts expressed, by melody I mean the cadence and inflection that give the voice a singsong quality.
It has always been interesting to me how we use sounds to convey concepts. Normally, we don't pay any attention to the movement of our lips and tongue, and the rising and falling of our voices as we toss our thoughts back and forth, just as we don t pay attention to the curl and swing of the letters as we read.
I wanted to see if I could blur the line between speaking and singing and write music based on these accidental melodies. So, I had some musician friends play these neighbourhood melodies as close as they could on different instruments (the tenor saxophone as Mrs. Morris, the harp as Marisa, etc.) and then I
arranged them as though they were songs.
The result is a beautiful and unique collection of songs, blissfully blurring the lines between jazz, folk, indie rock, and inspirational improvisation. The Happiness Project will appeal to fans of: Tortoise, Jim O'Rourke, Bill Laswell and Brian Eno.