“Every Corner of the Room”

Local Folk Singer David Simard Wants More From the Stage

  • Shannon Collier performs aerials to the music of David Simard and Co. Photo by Julia Jones

Smoke twists and twirls through the air of a dimly lit, wood-paneled room. The hollow acoustic instruments seem an elaborate extension of the floor and walls.

The melody of the space blends into itself and a voice guides you down a hallway. This is one of the many atmospheres woven by the songs of David Simard.

Simard, a local folk-singer-songwriter, creates songs that evoke all the form and poetry of folk music coupled with all the gritty macabre and visceral caress of voodoo blues.

Originally from Prince Rupert, B.C, Simard first cut his musical teeth on the Peterborough, Ont. circuit, where he received the 2007 Emerging Artist Award at the Peterborough Folk Festival.

Since his move to Montreal in the blustery winter of 2007, Simard has been crafting an honest, unique, cabaret sound whilst also performing and getting his name out on the folk scene.

The theatrical spectacles Simard mounts have taken him wondering about the country. The tall, dark-eyed troubadour has spread his brand of balladry everywhere between the islands of the west coast to the cliffs of the east.

“I’ve got a real crush on the East Coast right now,” he said, referencing his recent tour through the Maritimes—his third time there in the past year, which included a night at the Stereophonic Music Festival.

“I’ve had a lot of change in my music in the past little bit,” he said. “I feel like I’ve dwelt in this kind of passive state for a while here [in Montreal], just trying to figure out what I’m doing and who I’m going to do it with.”

Having morphed from primarily solo performances to a full band—including percussion by Daniel Gélinas, double bass by Damon Hankoff, as well as various other collaborators—the characters of Simard’s music have fallen into an even more atmospheric live sound.

“Putting the band together has changed everything [in] realizing that there’s such a wealth of ideas not coming from my own head,” he said. “I really don’t have to tell them anything.

Simard’s live accompaniment goes beyond just that of musical backup. Collaborators such as aerial silk dancer Shannon Collier, and Cirque du Soleil contortionist Andreane Leclerc, augment the dark cabaret vibes of live performances.

“I’ve always enjoyed having a show be more of an event,” said Simard. “Bringing in analog multimedia [or] the right dancers or physical performers can really tell a story. It really fits well [with folk music].”

“I hate when it when the show only happens on stage,” Simard added. “It’s like there’s the audience, the show, and somewhere in between there’s the evening. I prefer a full evening happening in every corner of the room.”

More info
David Simard / L’Inspecteur L’Epingle / 4051 Saint Hubert St. / Wed. March 9 / 9 p.m. / with Jenny Berkel & Antoine Corriveau / $5
Listen to Simard at: myspace.com/davidsimardmusic

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