This past summer, amid literary events and kitchen renos, I had a visit from two talented musicians, SarahRose Black and Andrew Ascenzo. Together they make up the wonderful duo, Arosa Star.
I’d met them last fall while I was on tour in Ontario with the publication of The Virgin Cure. They’d introduced themselves to me after a reading, and said they had some news to share. Imagine my surprise when they told me that they’d been so inspired by Dora’s tale in The Birth House, that they were writing a collection of songs based on the landscape and themes portrayed in the novel!
(I think I may have surprised them as well, when I told them that my journey to becoming a writer had included the life-long study of music and several years working as a music teacher. Small world!)
Long story short, I was extremely flattered by their news and quite interested to see what they’d come up with in the weeks and months ahead. We exchanged contact information and I bid them goodbye until June.
a beach walk and a kitchen party.
They arrived in Scots Bay on a lovely, sunny day. We toured the area and walked the beach, shared a meal and lively conversation. It was good to see them again and to exchange tales of the creative process. I’d been working to find my footing with the next novel. They’d been busy carving out melodies and lyrics for their project, which had now become a concept album titled, Creation.
I spent the rest of the afternoon with a front-row seat to what can only be described as a spectacular private kitchen party. With guitar in hand, Andrew would play while Sarah Rose sang bits and pieces of every song they’d written. Together they explained where Dora’s story ended and theirs began. (Dear Mr. McKay helped me to record it all to my laptop and one day soon I hope to carve out my favourite bits and post them here so you can listen in on our kitchen table chatter for yourself.)
Until then, here are a couple of tracks from Arosa Star’s Creation via soundcloud.
Creation – a musical tribute to Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy. The title track from the project.
Spider Hill – (yes, I cried…what a beautiful melody!)
This project belongs 100% to Andrew and SarahRose, and I’m extremely proud of them for what they’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time. More than that, I’m proud to know them as fellow artists and to call them my friends.
They’re currently working to take the project to the next level so that they can share it with the world. I hope you’ll check out their Indiegogo site to learn more about their work and their process, and how YOU can contribute to the project!