The tradition continues. The fourth edition of the Kenekt Québec Song Camp has, once more, left unforgettable musical and human memories in the 17 authors, composers, and producers who accepted the invitation of SOCAN A&R representative Widney Bonfils. From April 28 to May 4, 2019, they gathered at Rabaska Lodge, a resort on the majestic Baskatong Reservoir, four hours north of Montréal in the Upper Laurentians. Once there, they each worked on a different team every day, tasked with writing a song based on a theme that was revealed to them each morning, and which would be played back for everyone during the evening listening session. Bonfils, the mastermind of the Kenekt Québec Song Camp, explains:
(See photos here.)
Organizing this kind of project – gathering 17 authors, composers, and producers from all musical genres, from rap to rock, electronica to folk – isn’t exactly a walk in the park. I’m proud of the Class of 2019 because they were incredibly open-minded and true.
For a whole week, we were lost in the backwoods, with no Internet access or phone service. Each day was a unique challenge within the teams (which changed every day), or regarding how the day proceeded. Bold or downright crazy, the choices for teams were made after spending months listening to the work of each of the participants. What’s pleasantly surprising is that despite their different styles, they all have a song, or a sound, that unites them – and it’s through experimentation, that forced them to step out of their comfort zone, that they realized it. Each morning, we revealed the day’s theme, chosen to help them work closely together.
Here are some of those themes:
Day 1: Image
We presented a different image to each team. The goal was to use that as a conversation starter.
Day 2: Country
Here, they were asked to pick one of the five proposed countries and find inspiration in it. The countries were France, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa and the Caribbean region.
Day 3: Sensations
While blindfolded, they were asked to touch and/or smell the objects we had carefully selected for them (coffee beans, wintergreen leaves, plastercene, etc.). Here again, the goal was to bring them to open up to the sensation they felt when they touched that object, in order to connect with their emotional memory.
Day 4: Introspection
Each participant had one minute to write a sentence or two about themselves. Then, as a team, they had to pick one of those messages randomly. We were amazed by the depth and the vulnerability of some of those messages. The resulting songs were all deeply moving.
This week-long experience left all of us with a deep feeling of well-being and acceptance. It’s through our differences that we learn from one another. No matter the colour of our skin, or what musical universe we inhabit, we’re all the same: we all have the same fears, the same desires, the same dreams. Music has the power to unite us, to motivate us, and to heal us. We arrived as strangers and left as friends, forever united by this incredible memory.
Here’s a short video shot during the 2019 SOCAN Kenekt Québec Song Camp that’s a perfect example of the creative and festive atmosphere of the camp and of the camaraderie between the participants:
Stay tuned in the coming months, as some of the songs created at the Kenekt Québec Camp could very well make their way to your ears!