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Interview with Larry Sawchuk, musician | Poem

Interview with Musician

Larry Sawchuk

by Motherbird

M - Why do you enjoy making music?

L -  Well, music is the imagination of the soul. It looks out to the world to see what is, and the music is the product of creation in tone and the voice to make the soul happy or sad or imaginitive. When one is young - one imagines "what might be" and the music causes one to imagine - reading does the same and pictures also.

M - How old were you when you started playing music?
L - About 12 maybe, if I think back I could be more accurate.

M - Why did you start playing?

L - When I was young and on a farm with very little contact with the outside world - music was the ability to see the world thru someone else's eyes - what the outside world might be like because the singers created it to be able to express their feelings through their songs.

Music was my company while growing up - to create my happiness and satisfy my curiousity according to whatever I was doing at the time, and perhaps inspired me to do more.

M - What styles of music do you like?

L - Most all old country musicians, and some of the rock ones like buddy Holley, Chubby Checker and so on.

M - Have you ever taken any formal music lessons?

L - Nope, no music teachers at all.

M - Do you play music by ear?

L - Hardly ever play by ear, mostly I memorize the notes and songs, then just remember them - I can play very little by ear and I have to really try it.

M - Why did you choose the accordian to play music.

L - When I first heard the accordion it was like something "woke up" inside me, much larger than I could ever dreamed. I wanted to recreate the sounds because they created hapiness in me. More than anything else, I thought it might have the same effect on others.

M - When did you decide you wanted to add singing to your accordion playing?

L - When I heard a song I liked, there was again that same compulsion to recreate the sounds, and share the enjoyment with other people.

M - What is it about music that has become a life long passion of yours?

L - Music is what's all that's available when the rest of the world does not turn out as planned and it's not what it seemed to be, when our dissappointments in life get the better of us, it picks a person back up and makes the world once again less full of sorrows and so we can go on to do great things.

When I was growing up music or a song always held the answer to a problem, either by changing my mood or by the illustration in song, where the answers might be, and some of the stories of life showed me how things might be or what they should not be, and from that I could form my own way to live.

The thought that comes to mind now is that the creation of music is a lot different than I thought it might be - it's not magic or instant - one does songs over and over to get it "nearly the same" as the professional singer...or to get it better. The finished product is all one sees in the end and probably all that matters...like anything else - what it looks like from the "outside" is a lot different from what it looks like "inside".

M - Did your parents have any influence over your enjoyment of music?

L - I guess my mother had some influence because she wrote poetry a lot, and would sing, with no music - just sing songs for hours. My father never approved - to him it was a "waste of time", but yet he was the one that bought my first accordion, then a guitar, then another accordion...

M - Now you play the quitar, the accordion and the violin. Why so many instruments?

L - I've found another voice helps get the tune, but also, singing helps playing and playing helps singing. I heard new sounds when I tried guitar and heard new tones when I tried violin and heard better ways to play accordion when I listen to how to sing...and the same song by different people showed me all different was that they could be played. It seems to me that everyone has their own song and there's a song for everyone - had that in a dream one night too...every person has a song they feel is just for them. Song is harmony and vibrations of sound maybe from the spirit. Some harmonies touch a varity of spirits in people...they don't even know it, or why...I notice in some songs even the dog reacts - he comes over, sits and listens, or he gets happy and frisky when I play other music.

M - Where do you call home?

L - I live in Calgary now, but was born in Lafleche, Saskatchewan, about 500 miles from here. It had about 50 people when I lived there - then it grew to a whopping 100 or so, dogs and cats included. Micky and Gary Nelson own the hotel there, and Micky's parents before them - who are my godparents, and my friend Colette still lives there and also my brother Wayne.

But home is where you make it. I lived for a year or so in Lloydminster - it was "home" to me for some reason - and there's never really been another place since that seemed that way. I've "lived" many many places, but no other place seems like I really belong in it, probably I've not found a "home" yet. When I was in Lloydminster I felt I had a purpose and was happy with life, and the same when I was in school - I found my "place" in some way and that was home too.

In the states there were places I liked to be, Sauk Center, Minnesota, a little truckstop down in Missouri on highway 53, Spokan, Washington, Alamagordo, New Mexico, over on highway 101 in California there's a place at Ventura and another way up 101 on the right, up by Reno, at Fernly, Wells, Nevada, the old Yellowstone truckstop in Idaho. I guess each state has a place I like and it's home to me while I'm there for a bit. There's odd places too, like going across Montana on highway 2, one little town has just a small pullout in a lot at the edge of town, I settle in there and rest and it's so peaceful in the summer. I can't remember the exact names to a lot of the places, but I know hot to find them. I miss not dropping in now - it's like old friends to be going someplace and stopping in to visit.

M - For a final question - would you tell me what you think of current events around the world today?

L - I had another "dream" if you would call it that - a few years ago, that the world was gone - as we know it, no more cities or society - all of the people that were bad were gone. I was in a foreign place where there was a river and plants I had never seen before and sand. I could "feel" life to the right and perhaps north, but very few people in groups of two or three - quite a distance away and my thought on awaking was: So this is what it's like after the "end of the world"...what comes next is sort of like seeing bits and pieces from past, present and future - like a tv that doesn't always work and has several programs...

Larry's home page

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