Great Lake Swimmers Live In Studio

Tony Dekker, Erik Arnesen, and Miranda Mulholland of Great Lake Swimmers stand infront of me, packing away their guitars, violins, and banjos. Their music is a pleasing combination of folk with a touch of twang and a great vocal duet. They just performed three songs off of their newest album, New Wild Everything, for a WERS Live Mix, and have only a couple minutes to chat before they must race off for their show at the Middle East. I lean against the wall, hoping that my interview questions go over well and go quickly so as to get them there on time.

“Why do you guys choose you do field recordings?” I ask. In the past decade, Great Lake Swimmers have released five albums, only the newest of which was recorded in a studio. New Wild Everything was recorded at Revolution Recording in Toronto, but even on that CD, the band insisted on having a track recorded in an empty subway station.

Dekker, I’m sure, is asked this question a lot.

“It adds a lot to the performance,” he replies. “I really think that it draws a lot out of the performers, as well.” I nod, and he continues that the “natural acoustics” produced in a natural setting are also something that really makes the music special – and I must say that I agree.

“So, how have you been able to produce so many albums in the past ten years?” As a writer myself, I find it incredible that Dekker is so prolific and have to ask. The band’s ability to create such wonderful songs at such a high volume is incredible.

“I just like to keep at it,” he responds. “I try to write every day, and I think that writing is best when you are able to do that.”

And, of course, he is very right about that. If you weren’t already aware, Great Lake Swimmers recently released an instrumental album to go along with the eBook One In A Thousand written by Ian Coristine with Donna Walsh Inglehart. This, of course, is the rumored future of literature, and something that I can’t help but be fascinated by.

“How was that experience,” I asked, “and how did the Thousand Islands inspire the music?”

“The music on the instrumental album was odds and ends,” Dekker replies. “The songs were either written to accompany the photography, or instrumental versions of songs we had previously written.”

Though I have yet to see the eBook, I’m sure it’s quite the experience! You can find One In A Thousand on your iPad.

The interview ended then, as the band had to rush out and get ready for their show. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it, but I hope that you had the chance to! If not, be sure to check out New Wild Everything to hear the latest from Great Lake Swimmers.

By Kali Rohrbaugh
Photos by Jeeyoon Kim

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WERS News Wins 11 Associated Press Student Awards

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