Published Aug 18, 2010For fans of Canadian music, collaborative projects don't get much better than this. The National Parks Project aims to celebrate Canada's natural beauty by recruiting musicians and filmmakers to visit parks across country and create a documentary about their experience. The musicians write music inspired by the location they visit, and the resulting films will be released online, as well as on Discovery World HD.
There will be 13 different films (one park in each province and territory), and the list of participants includes Shad, the Besnard Lakes, Sarah Harmer, Sam Roberts, Cadence Weapon, Melissa Auf der Maur, Jim Guthrie and Apostle of Hustle, along with members of Woodpigeon, Think About Life, Billy Talent and Constantines, among others.
In an interview with Exclaim!, National Parks Project's co-creator Geoff Morrison explains that the project is a "fantastic celebration of the parks, raising awareness about their existence and importance - but also presenting them in this very new, personalized light, as interpreted by the artists."
He adds, "We've been blown away by the response from the artists. First in who was keen to participate but, now that a few trips have come back, by the incredible music and images that they've brought back."
One of the most exciting of the 13 collaborations involves Shad and Besnard Lakes founders Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, who visited Nahanni National Park in the Northwest Territories.
In an Exclaim! interview, Shad says, "I've never really camped before so it was a cool experience. And, yes, the midnight sun was crazy. I think the sun only went down from like 2 a.m. till 4 a.m.... I think I might be [the] Jackie Robinson of Nahanni National Park, although the guides said I'm not. I'm not sure I believe them."
As for the music they created, the rapper explains, "I ended up jamming with them on guitar for the most part which was fun even though I wasn't great.... I'm hoping I can put down some rhymes later over whatever we pull from the jams and chop up."
Expect the project to air on Discovery HD in spring 2011, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Parks Canada. The creators are hoping to release the music through a soundtrack album, as well as digital EPs. There is also talk of a CD/DVD package.
Head to the National Parks Project's website for more information about the artists involved, as well as some amazing pictures of their trips.
UPDATE: Discovery World HD has moved up the airing date from spring 2011 to December 2010. Also, the network will be broadcasting a documentary series about the project, rather than the films themselves. The films will be released online.