Mirror Lake opens with the bird song of my youth, a melody that resonates through me whenever I hear it, reminding me of my childhood along the rocky shores of a small lake in Sudbury. And I realized that I didn’t actually know what kind of bird was singing it. I have come to know a lot of the birds in my backyard in the centre of the city in Montreal, so why was this bird a mystery?
But now we can answer any question in an instant so with just a tiny bit of searching I was soon thrilled to learn about the white throated sparrow, a flamboyant singer in a humble guise. The bird song was haunting me throughout the day so when I’d set up to record in a log cabin near Mont-Tremblant, it was the first melody that came to mind.
Here again I was by a lake, one that shimmered and reflected so perfectly when the wind was still. It was a lake we’d visited with my mother when our kids were small. It was bittersweet to return now without her, in the throes of the pandemic when so much loss was resonating everywhere. I remembered the long lazy summers with her when I was a kid, lolling on our rickety dock, reading endless novels all day long in my bathing suit while my parents were chatting with their friends, lying on towels or canoeing to a good blueberry patch.
Now I was here on the still, dark water on a floatie that looked like a slice of mandarin orange while my kids, tall and lanky, were drawing or talking nearby. It is my great joy to include them now in the creative process of making this new album as they understand the music and the places better than anyone else. JJ, who eat drinks lives and sleeps music 24/7 regardless of genre is invaluable to me for his keen perception and ability to structure the narrative that comes from music so spontaneously composed. He provides production assistance and sequencing. And Theo, who combines his love of music with visual art seemingly effortlessly, is illustrating the covers and inventing beautiful short films inspired by the songs. He has captured the essence of the white throated sparrow in the image above. It was by this same lake that he first learned to draw, thanks in particular to his Oma who brought piles of paper and markers just in case.
You can listen to this track at Bandcamp (above), Spotify, Youtube and many other places. The full album will be coming in a couple of months and promises more mysteries solved and some new ones invented.