Its more than just music!

I took some time off during the holidays from my new blog…cuz…it was the holidays!  I’ve been thinking for some time about what I would like to write about.  So many of the topics felt a bit rant-y and preachy, so I did what I do best, procrastinate!  Since Tim reminded me it was time to post something, I was super excited when I decided what the first blog of the new year would finally be!

I come from an incredibly musical family.  I remember so many days of family and extended family get togethers where everyone picked up an instrument and music filled the air! My dad was amazing on the accordion (self taught), my oldest brother could play nearly any song – by ear, no lessons- my youngest brother was a drummer (no lessons) and my mom and sisters can belt out a vocal rendition of the chosen song (natural talent)!  My uncles, aunts and cousins, on both sides were also talented! I however was not so musical…sure I could carry a tune vocally and I even took a few years of piano! To this day I can still plunk out a good Fur Elise! I am not sure any of that qualifies for musical when I put it up against my family – my strengths lie in other areas!  

I consider myself a creative. 

I’ve been very fortunate to be able to use my mind’s eye to imagine and plan projects – without any prior knowledge or experience – from beginning to end. I’d rely on it for everything I did in my professional career!  Quite advantageous really – saved a lot of trial and error in really life, since I could very clearly see every step in my minds eye!  I’ve used it for ‘worst case’ senerio planning as well!  I consider it a major reason for my success and always considered it a blessing!  

My greatest visions have always come to me as I listen to music.  There will inevitably be a piece of music that will force an overwhelming thought that leads to something creative. 

dsc_0289.jpgEarly in my fashion show production career, I used the visions I got while I listened to music for a theme for a specific scene.  To produce the routine for models and overall create an entertaining moment.  I’ve always felt that we could do more than walk around a ramp with a pouty face as we promoted the latest trend.  We could make people feel good while they watched and as a result feel more inclined to check out the styles.  The right piece of music helped me produce a show that did just that.  

Finding the perfect song for each theme of fashion we presented, has always been the challenge and my ultimate goal.  I don’t think most people realized how many hours I spent listening to a vast selection of all types of music to find just the right song.  A crazy amount of time for sure! When I first started there was no music available to purchase online, you couldn’t preview it before you bought it.  I needed a lot of music for all the shows I was doing so I was pretty fortunate to be able to borrow hundreds (maybe thousands) of discs from HMV so I could find the most perfect song.  I would walk up and down the isle with bins full of every genre you could imagine.  img_4787 2I’d grab a disc…check out the artwork, the title of the songs and put it with a weekly stack of 20 I’d take to a clerk to check out.  I’d sit at home in front of my disc player with the music SUPER loud and listen to every single track! If I could see something creative in my minds eye, the disc/single was a winner – would get a yellow sticky/duct tape/black marker attached with the framework for an idea written on it and that disc would become part of my collection. The rest went back to the store.


Most of the music I chose was for on the hundreds of fashion shows I did for malls or Bridal Fantasy. 

BF Finale choreographed to the amazing soundtrack – Henry V (Non Nobis Domine)

Each show I had to find a powerful entertaining opening, a lyrical or kids dance, several entertaining model routines and of course a powerful close to the show!  I spent a whole lot of nights at the Derk’s household listening to potential tracks for Bridal Fantasy on Darrell’s powerful and amazing sound system.  Along with the stack of disc of brought with me, we’d sit in 2 seats directly in front of the nearly ceiling height speakers with the music as loud as we could.  Regardless of how amazing a song sounded on his impressive sound system, I had to clearly see the model’s routine for a specific style of fashion before it got chosen.  I had to see it in my mind’s eye or it would just be another incredible song to add to my collection.  Once the song was selected, I’d use a sharpie to mark the show/scene/segment on the cover and the rest of the planning for any show, was a whole lot easier!  I had the perfect track! 

BF 2008 – opening dance choreographed by the extremely talented Carmelle McKinlay

So clear were some of my minds eye visions that even though I am not a trained dancer (I figure skated for my childhood years in Edson), I could even see the next dance for an upcoming fashion show.  I am so grateful to the unbelievable talents of dance instructors who were able to take my grand arm gestures and feeble attempts of foot work and turn them into some pretty impressive dances we used on a whole lot of stage shows!  I didn’t know what the steps would be, what the count was but I knew what I wanted it to look like at a very specific moment in the most perfect piece of music!

img_2761Even to this day, I am snapping photos from my car’s screen of a song artist and title I need to get for my final fashion show in a few weeks. I might need to cut off my ear so I can stop visualize something creative while I listen to any music – full blast – every time I listen to music! I build my project, do gardening, cook, exercise or just sit on my deck looking out into the world with my portable Bose speaker and iPod blasting away! (I know its so 2000 the way I listen to music)  img_4759.jpgI’m so glad we live out in the woods – our nearest neighbour is 1/2 mile away so I can play it as loud as I can. After all these years Tim has just given up asking me to turn it down!  

In fact, that’s how I decided to write this blog instead of the rants I been thinking of. My music was playing a couple songs that have always been inspiring to me and I wondered if everyone feels the way about music.  For many I’m sure you get an emotional connection to a favourite song.   Maybe you feel inspired by a specific piece of music?  It can’t just be a background sound, can it?  Maybe as we head into a New Year and I’m getting really angry about stupid Canadian/American politics and feeling like the whole world is just crazy and uninformed….I’ll put on my music!  Maybe my minds eye will see a more positive vision and everything will be all good again! 

The Wisdom of 59! 

I know music is a driver for many, but we often get stuck in one style.  I used to make my nieces and nephews experience ‘Music appreciation’ when I would turn off all the lights, turn up the music loud and play all styles for them.  Some they loved others they didn’t.  I thought I’d share some links to a few of my more inspirational tracks. These are songs I have always loved listening to and have given me an overwhelming positive feel!  Maybe you’ll like them!   If you have a song that just does it for you, I’d love you to share it with me.  Leave a comment below and I will happily check it out!    I love new music of all genres!  (except hard acid Rock…I just can’t) 

Check out “Serenade” on Secret Garden   

A powerful showy song for many Bridal shows – listen to Duel on Bond

Nothing like wonderful harmony to remind you of your youth and family bands  Rankins

5 thoughts on “Its more than just music!

  1. Wow, this is truly a wonderful read. Such talent , all in one family. So very Impressive. Going to miss BF. I’m not good with change, I have to admit. But life goes on. And you , my dear , dear friend, will put your talents elsewhere. Looking forward to reading what your next chapter in life is all about and where it takes you. Relaxing in front of the TV, maybe watching curling , (no maybe about it ) , coffee time with your many different colored mugs , eating chips 😉 , sleeping in your outdoor bedroom, using that amazing , show stopper outdoor shower 🙈 , all build by those talented hands. Maybe adding on to your outdoor projects. 🔨⚒ Maybe spending more time in your beautifully landscaped yard. 🌲🎍🥀 Which is truly a show piece. (Perfect spot for a photo shoot. 📸🎥 ) just sayin. 😁 Maybe more time baking those perfect pies and cakes. 🥧🍰. Maybe more time down south to bask in the nice hot sun.🌞☀️ But most of all more time with your wonderful partner Tim and cherished fur baby Neeko. Thank you John 😇, for all the great opportunities you provided for myself and all my family over the last 25 or more years. You will never truly know how much it is appreciated.
    Sending lots of hugs and kisses your way.
    Again looking forward to reading about the next chapter in the “Book Of John Chwyl.” Love you lots my friend ❤️😘


      1. you are wayyyyy too kind! I am very touched by these nice words…I am truly blessed and mainly for all the amazing people in my life…my sister from another mother!!!! massive hugs…see you soon!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s