Two area musicians didn’t want to settle for a silent night this Christmas because of coronavirus.
Gord Maxwell and Langley resident Laurie Thain, who perform as Maxwell and Thain, went into the studio to create a song. Gord sings the song written by his daughter, Aubrey, a French Immersion teacher in Maple Ridge who turns 27 on Christmas Day.
“Not so long ago, Gord’s daughter Aubrey was studying and living in France,” Thain explained. “For the first time in her life she found herself away from home for the holidays. She never forgot that feeling and when she got home, she reflected that feeling in a song for her family.”
Audrey’s choice to spend Christmas away from home led to the song.
“I decided to stay in Europe and travel with my friend for Christmas instead. It was a wonderful experience, but being away from my family on the most important day of the year was really difficult,” she said.
Turns out she missed the family traditions.
“My favourite tradition of all of them is singing songs on Christmas Eve,” Aubrey said. “My dad plays piano and we sing carols. My little sister has a beautiful voice and sings duets with my dad too. They bring me to tears every year. Flash forward to November 2015, I was living back at home with my parents, but both my sisters had moved away for school. As I normally do when I start to write a song, I sat down at the piano and just started fiddling around with the keys. It wasn’t exactly planned but the tune started to sound “Christmas-y”and that’s when the inspiration started.”
Aubrey, who has been writing songs since she was about 10, performed the song for her family the next year.
“I kept the song a secret from my family until Christmas Eve. I played it to them as an early Christmas present during our traditional Christmas Eve sing along. Every year myself or my Dad plays it on the piano at Christmas Eve, and this year he surprised me by finishing the final mix,” she said.
Pandemic isolation gave Gord the time to finish the song Christmas With You which they have posted online for the public to enjoy.
Aubrey plays piano and a bit of guitar and will lend her voice to singing but her passion is songwriting.
While her priorities changed and she pursued teaching as a career over music, she keeps music as her special hobby, finding it therapeutic as well as giving her another connection to her father.
“If I’m really proud of the song I show my dad and we work together to put a recording down,” she explained. “We have stuff recorded from when I was a teenager up to last year.”
Isolation has also made many people introspective, her included.
So many of us aren’t able to see our loved ones this Christmas because of the pandemic, and I think this song really puts into words and music the sadness some people are feeling over that,” Aubrey said. “On the other hand, some people are lucky and have their loved ones near for Christmas. They may not be able to see their extended family or travel, but it gives them an opportunity to appreciate a smaller, more intimate Christmas.”
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