Pam Burns thought she was recording one of her original songs for a student project.
The Maple Ridge musician has been running the Kanaka Creek open mic for eight years now and was asked to a studio in North Vancouver to record The Dancer, a song she wrote a couple of years ago about a friend named Hillary.
They were playing music on a beach when Hillary, a contemporary dancer, got up and started dancing in her bare feet. She was wearing a black dress and the sun started to set, turning Hillary into a silhouette against the red and purple colours of the evening sky.
“I though this was the most beautiful moment of my life,” Burns said about why she wrote the song.
What she didn’t know was that her song, along with 11 other originals by Kanaka Open Mic musicians, was being recorded for a CD called Come Here the Music Play, to commemorate eight years of playing together and also to purchase a new sound system for the weekly event.
The CD was presented to Burns for her birthday.
All of the musicians on the CD got up at the local coffee house and performed their original songs.
It wasn’t until Burns was called to the stage when she was presented with the CD.
“We had this idea a couple of years ago to do a Kanaka CD. Kind of for fun just to get us on a CD and have a recording of ourselves,” said Caden Knudson, musician and organizer of the recording.
“But the last couple of months, the sound system we have at Kanaka has been losing pieces and falling apart,” he said.
Not only does Burns use the sound system to run the open mic, but she also loans it out to musicians who need a sound system to do a gig.
The goal of the fundraiser is to purchase a new sound system.
“It’s about $1,100 for the sound system, $300 or $400 for a monito,r and then a couple new mics and a couple new stands for the mics and for the speakers,” said Knudson.
If they don’t make enough money selling the CDs, then they will focus on the key pieces they need to replace or repair.
Knudson had ordered 300 CDs to sell at $10 each. Already he has sold 75.
Soon he plans to register the songs with the Society of Canadian of Song Writers, which registers songs for copyright purposes and for radio play royalties. The next step will be to sell the songs digitally and get them on the radio.
Burns was ecstatic.
“I listen to the wonderful songs in my car every day. A real eclectic mix of original local songwriters,” Burns said.
The final song on the CD is Burns’ weekly sign off, where she sings, “What good is sitting alone in your room, come here the music play” – a mantra she has sung more than 400 times over the past eight years.
CDs can purchased at the Kanaka Creek Coffee at 101 – 24155, 102 Avenue in Maple Ridge or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kanaka Creek Coffee open mic takes place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Wednesday.
• For more information contact Burns at 604-616-8435 or email@example.com.