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Travelling the world offers musician unique experiences
Perhaps of all the places singer-songwriter David Ward has performed, there have been none more interesting than the time he performed at a funeral in Africa.
“There are different tribes over in West Africa and Ghana and all of them have different traditions. One of them is that one of the days of mourning a loved one when they pass is a day of celebration,” Ward said. “The idea is that there is no more trouble under the sun. We got to be a part of that big celebration, which was kind of surreal.”
At the time, Ward was studying percussion and teaching in West Africa. The Lower Mainland-based artist recalled the feeling he got at the funeral that day.
“The adrenaline was just pumping so hard,” Ward said. “That was the first time I’d ever been to Africa, and the only time I’d ever been, but the whole experience was just so much to take in.”
Ward will be performing in Nanaimo on Saturday (March 8), 7:30 p.m., however it won’t be at a funeral. He’ll be playing tracks from his recently released album Gold Future Time at the Buzz Coffee House.
“Basically the album is about the fear of loss and the need for ideas that are bigger than us to preserve our hope and innocence. I tried to explore that in a number of different ways,” Ward said.
The album was heavily inspired by the George Orwell classic novel Animal Farm – the title Golden Future Time comes from the book.
“I just read it recently. Funny enough I didn’t read a lot of those classic books in high school,” Ward said. “So for me to discover them now has been kind of an amazing trip.”
Ward’s influences and sound ranges from everything to funk, soul, electronica, jazz and disco.
“Very generally I sort of say it’s a cross between art rock and soul but I even hate putting that kind of box around because it’s so limiting,” Ward said.
The Vancouverite has also been working on a documentary about the independent music scene in Canada and the United Kingdom. Ward documents his own musical journey throughout the production.
The idea for the documentary stemmed from a concert series that Ward put on in Vancouver. The series eventually grew into a documentary after Ward realized the project demanded more attention and time.
“We wanted to start exploring some relevant topics in the music scene and get the bands who we had on each bill to talk about them. We called the series Spotlight On,” Ward said. “We’d get the three bands that were involved in that night to rattle off on the subject that we had picked and we realized that the subjects were often much too big for the three to four minute format that we wanted to do. So, I expanded it into a full-length documentary.”