Aude Ray has had a whirlwind year.
The local musician, painter and all-around creative has spent time writing songs in California, Sri Lanka and on a Via Rail train making its way across this country.
"Everything is all happening," she says, over the phone on her way to Savary Island for a few days of rest. "I have so many projects on the go. I've been back and forth from Whistler. Every time I'm there, I play a couple gigs and I'm going again."
Her travel itinerary might sound a little unbelievable, but it's the result of being open to all the possibilities that cross her path, she says. The trip to Sri Lanka, for example, arose because she met a musician in California who became a collaborator and had a house on the island nation.
"I just follow my heart and I keep meeting amazing people and things fall into place," she says. "Even with the new album—it doesn't have a name yet, but it's coming up soon."
The forthcoming record is set for a late summer/early fall release. It's the product of a collaboration with a musician friend from her home city of Montreal (and it was recorded there), but it will be entirely in English. It's inspired in part by her year of travel, she says. "I have a song called 'Shape of Mountains,'—not only living in the mountains in Whistler, but I was flying over the mountains in California. It was so dry and I could see people down on the earth. They were like shapes of mountains, but they were actually people. I turned this song into the eagle's eye view," she says.
On top of that, Aude Ray had a chance to explore Canada by rail when she was accepted for Via Rail's Artists on Board Program.
Essentially, musicians who are part of the program are given free or discounted travel fare to perform while they're on the train. "I absolutely love it," she says. "There's always this constant movement and sound. I have my little room on board. I get to really focus on music for five days. That's what I'd be doing anyway if I was on a train; I'd be doing music and sharing it with Canadians and tourists."
Next up, Aude Ray is sharing her enthusiasm for music and art at her annual summer camp at The Point Artist-Run Centre called Youth Expressive Arts Camp.
Now heading into its seventh year, the one-week camp—running from Aug. 6 to 10—will allow kids to delve into music, improv, set design, jewelry making, dance and the outdoors.
It will culminate in a performance as part of the Flag Stop Theatre & Arts Festival on Friday, Aug. 10. (For more on that festival see page 72.)
"We learn about sharing ideas and how to work with a group," she says. "I'm there to be a guide to fish out the ideas. There's always new faces and some of the children come every year. Some have grown ... (into) teenagers. It's awesome to see them blooming. They keep this art or tools and it's really beautiful to see."
For more information on the camp—which is for ages eight and up—visit thepointartists.com/programs.html.