Sam Larkin: Audio Recording grant application pt 5
Please include a bio of yourself.
Sam Larkin milked the cow morning and evening when he was six years old. And continued at that till he was over twelve. His little girlfriend at school told him, “You smell like a cow.” Sam was shattered and went home and wrote a song. He was seven at the time. And has never stopped writing them. He has been playing harp since the age of three, and guitar since the age of 9. Everything he has ever written in his life has been well-received. Often with great cheering.
Because he did not grow up with television, and has never owned a television, he missed many pieces of popular culture. This unintentional withdrawal from that world has had the effect of rendering his view of the world unique. He often has the experience of not realizing what he has said till well after he has written it.
He has made five full-length recordings to date. The reviews he has received have always been excellent, comparing him to Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Stan Rogers and Hank Williams.
In 1999 James Keelaghan said, “Sam Larkin is Canada’s best unknown songwriter.” In 2005 Ron Sexsmith said, “Sam Larkin is my hero.” Sam has played at least a hundred different venues in Canada, and his name is well-known and referred to with respect in many music circles. HIs song “Mirabeau Bridge (I Had a Dream)” has been sung around the world, at festivals, in clubs and on the street, spreading largely by word of mouth — one singer/performer teaching it to another.
Sam plays regularly in Toronto at least twice a week before live audiences, to a usually delighted response.
Sam Larkin: Audio Recording grant application pt 2
Describe the project,
why you are pursuing the project,
and as an artist or group of artists how you will prepare for the project.
For this project we will arrange and play and record ten songs. These are my ten best songs to date, and Bob Wiseman, producer and arranger, and I will experiment during two weeks of pre-production by trying two or three different styles for each song. Through this process we will determine the absolute best arrangement/version for each song which will make our actual recording time more efficient.
I am pursuing this project because I believe in the melody in songs. It seems as though over the past twenty years melody has taken a back seat, or been dropped altogether, and I believe the songs and other compositions of all artists could be improved by bringing back melody. The most obvious reason is because it connects directly and instantly with something in people that doesn’t go away over time. Ideas about melodies or some kinds of melodies being exhausted or worn out is probably as inaccurate as saying the design of the tree is worn out. I know of no one who can subtly and artfully enhance melody as well as Bob Wiseman can, and I have striven in these ten songs to give this purpose a running start by writing the melodies (and, of course, the lyrics) with melody foremost in mind. This is a challenge, and a worthwhile one — to champion melody through songs that have broad appeal.
At the same time, this project helps me get new material into artists’ hands. Over my 30 years of songwriting, a steady flow of requests from publishers (Warner-Chappell, EMI, etc.) continue to seek new material from me. I’m excited by the process of songwriting and how some artists search for unique songs to record and present to their audiences.
Sam Larkin: Audio Recording grant application pt 1
Describe yourself as an artist or yourselves as a group of artists, and why you pursue your art.
As an artist I can communicate with my surrounding fellow beings and hopefully the larger
world. My experiences and ways of seeing things are unique, as is true for each of us. I
believe we are better at resolving our lives as individuals and as groups if we express
ourselves in some way that is potentially entertaining. Furthermore, I think that if the
necessary ingredients for making art seem to come to you, you have a responsibility to put
them to use the best way you can. And then to share the results as widely as you can . This
kind of communication can help people simply by showing them how others feel. I know that
my art might possibly neutralize some unwanted feelings that we all experience and give
people constructive ideas concerning resolving situations in their lives. This makes doing the