Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Inner Road

A few weeks ago I was driving to Edmonton, and stopped at Mount Terry Fox just outside of Valemont. This was only a few days after my trans-Canada trek to research Terry's story, and seemed like a fitting coda to the the journey.

Dedicated only about 90 days after Terry died, Mount Terry Fox stands as one of the most remarkable tributes to Terry and his story. To put it mildly, not everyone gets a mountain named after them. The provincial park that bears Terry's name is beautiful, scenic and very quiet. Peaceful is a good adjective for it. Visiting Mount Terry Fox was an interesting way to connect with the legacy Terry left after his death.

It's been nice taking a few weeks away from Terry's story and the piece of music I'm writing it, but as fall approaches my mind is once again preoccupied with The Hero's Journey.

The Call to Adventure, Crossing the First Threshold, The Belly of the Whale, Supernatural Aid, The Ultimate Boon, The Road of Trials, Refusal of the Return Call, Outside Help, Crossing the Return Threshold and Master of Two Worlds: The 10 stages of the Hero's Journey that will (theoretically) be depicted in the music, with some narration connecting Terry's story to each stage.

Even though there won't be any more travelling for this work, I'm planning on keeping this blog going throughout the creative process. I'm often asked how, exactly, I'm planning on depicting Terry's hero's journey though music. While I have several rough ideas, a couple of themes and a basic form sketched out, it is now time to start actually writing.

One of the more esoteric aspect to the creative process this piece is taking, is that it seems to be linked intrinsically to my childhood. Terry died 30 years ago, and I remember watching his funeral on TV in the basement of our house in Espanola.

I remember many, many school reports and speeches about Terry Fox, and collecting pledges to run the Terry Fox Run.

My trip took me through the town I grew up in, the city I went to high school in and along the highway to Thunder Bay that I rode many times to see my grandparents.

This summer is also the first time in decades that I've been riding a bike regularly, which was a huge part  of my youth. I've also been swimming more this summer than in years, and this also seems very connected to my childhood.

I haven't quite put my finger on it yet, but something about the way I saw this story as a little boy is very important to the composition. Maybe I just need to be reminded what it's like to actually have a hero.