“Hello!” from the Bent River Records team

Hello! My name is Barbie Cayanan, Bent River Record’s Design intern this winter semester! I am in my third year of the Bachelor of Design program, focusing on illustration, advertising, and branding design. While I have no background or experience in music, art is in my blood. I grew up in a family of creatives with my pastry chef mother, aspiring writer younger sister, and architect older sister and brother. I am passionate about bringing ideas, emotions, and messages to life, and I have expressed that passion through my art and illustrations. Being a newcomer to Canada, I did not know where my talent and passion fit into the academic world until my high school art teacher introduced me to MacEwan and their design program. I am beyond excited to work with other creatives and artists outside of my home and grow further as a designer in a professional environment.

Hi there! My name is Gladwyn Badger, I am an Associate with Bent River Records. I started working with the label as an intern in 2021, and I’ve been fortunate enough to continue working with such an incredible team of hardworking, dedicated people since!

I am in my final semester, studying in the department of Music here at MacEwan University, with a General Major and a Minor in Music Career Management. My goals are to continue to expand my professional network and build meaningful relationships within the local music community, as well as amplifying indigenous musicians’ voices and artists alike. Working at Bent River has given me the experience I was looking for when I first started out as an intern, and because of the amazing opportunities while working here, I feel so much more prepared to succeed after I leave university.

Fun fact: I am a very proud Nehiyawak originally from the Treaty 8 territory. During the summer you can usually see me cruising around the city on my Indian Motorcycle, taking a jog in the beautiful River Valley, or enjoying an espresso at one of the many cafés the city has to offer.

Designing ‘Be Kind’ with Simon Dechant

Simon Dechant is the winner of the 2021 Album Design Competition in partnership with the MacEwan Bachelor of Design program. Scroll on to read about the designing of the album Be Kind!

Be Kind by Chandelle Rimmer and Tom Van Seters is releasing this week on November 24, debuting at our Artist Spotlight at the Yardbird Suite! Join us at 7pm for a night of live music! 

What was it like to participate in the album design competition?

It was a difficult project! I went through so many revisions that I can’t even remember them all. I had to start from scratch at least three times! Once I figured out how I wanted to tackle it conceptually through the rationale, it all came together. This excerpt [from the rationale] really captures the vision that the album cover is based around: “Smoke is fluid and beautiful in its waves and patterns, but it is also vulnerable. It goes away with a wave of a hand and is only captured in a single moment, never making the same shape twice.”

How does it feel knowing that your design is actually being produced and put out into the world for people to buy and enjoy?

I’m sure this is a standard answer, but it’s honestly very surreal. I’m super excited to see it in the M Store! I will definitely be showing all my friends.

Checkout more of Simon’s work on Instagram at dechantsdesigns.

Designing ‘Up and Over’ with Thia Ma

Thia Ma is the winner of the 2021 Album Design Competition in partnership with the Bachelor of Design program. Read on to hear about her experience designing the album for Up and Over Trio’s first album!

‘Up and Over’ will be released next week on November 24th, debuting at our Artist Spotlight. Come see Up and Over Trio debut their first album live at the Yardbird Suite!

What was it like to participate in the album design competition?

I enjoyed participating in a project centred around a real client in the music industry, something way beyond the fictional project briefs we are usually assigned. It was an opportunity to design something novel, like an album cover, and put the client’s needs at the forefront of the design process. You are competing against your classmates but what stood out was the many different interpretations of the same information, leading to some compelling final designs. 

How does it feel knowing that your design is actually being produced and put out into the world for people to buy and enjoy?

It’s surreal, and honestly, until I’m holding the physical album, I won’t believe my work exists in such a concrete way. I hope people are attracted to the album’s design and take the opportunity to listen to and support the Up and Over Trio. 

Check out more of Thia’s work on her Instagram madebythia or her portfolio site www.madebythia.ca.

Click here for Thia’s 2022 MacEwan Student Research Day presentation breaking down her full process and inspiration behind the Up and Over cover.

Meet Up and Over Trio

The classic piano trio in jazz defines genres. With their inaugural full-length release, the Up and Over Trio pays tribute to the legacy of the trios that have come before it, yet they try to find a unique space in this musical biome. The trio explores the gamut of sounds available to the modern jazz piano trio through original compositions. Taking influence from the classic trios of the past, the trio cultivates a new sound for themselves, which is intriguing and inviting.

As individuals, the trio’s members have cultivated considerable careers as side persons. As a rhythm section, the trio has accompanied various renowned artists. Now for the first time, the trio allows itself to step out and be a singular voice that combines their influences and experiences. The trio pushes forward into interesting sonic landscapes yet remains rooted in the jazz tradition.

Up and Over Trio on their upcoming album:

“We feel a great sense of accomplishment being able to get this release completed and out to the public.  There were a lot of challenges due to COVID restrictions trying to write, rehearse, and record the material from the album.  Often these challenges made it difficult to keep momentum going but luckily we didn’t give up and were able to get to this point. We are proud of the fact that the album really does represent us as a collective.  We were able to effectively collaborate and work together to create music that is fresh and a true representation of our collective voices.”

Join us at our Artist Spotlight on November 24, 7pm at the Yardbird Suite to see Up and Over Trio debut their first album, Up and Over, live!

Chandelle Rimmer and Tom Van Seters on their new album, ‘Be Kind’

Chandelle Rimmer and Tom Van Seters are bringing their musical talents together once again with their new album Be Kind, debuting November 24th at the Bent River Records Artist Spotlight. Chandelle Rimmer is an internationally recognized jazz vocalist, music educator, clinician, and adjudicator. Tom Van Seters is well known as an accomplished performer/composer/educator who has been on the Canadian jazz scene for over twenty-five years. Be Kind is their second collaboration, after their first collaborative CD project, Stillness Falls. Read on to hear from Chandelle and Tom about what to anticipate from Be Kind.

What do you want listeners to know about Be Kind? 

Be Kind is a duo album and features a wide range of repertoire, including some original compositions, traditional standards, and contemporary jazz arrangements. Our first collaboration, Stillness Falls, featured all original compositions with a full band. Prior to the recording of Be Kind, we were starting to adapt some of our repertoire from our first album for the duo and loved the musical challenge that came along with re-envisioning our music in this more intimate instrument setting. There was also the factor of timing. Without giving too much credit to the pandemic, we found ourselves like so many other musicians, looking for innovative ways to stay connected musically and the duo project allowed us to continue to be creative. Thus, in the early stage, it was kind of an experiment, but as we continued to compose, rehearse, and work to put our unique spin on our repertoire, the duo album is more of an extension of our work and a natural step in our journey as musical collaborators. 

How do you feel now that the album is about to be released?

We are excited to share our music, as there is so much time and effort that goes into preparing an album. As with any recording or performance, you always look back and wish you could do some things differently, but we also learned a lot. These experiences shape you as a musician and help you to move forward, as individuals and collaborators.

Are there any aspects of the album you are particularly proud of?

We’re just very grateful for the opportunity to document an important part of our musical journey together.