Thanks for the Rain by Peter Tam is out on Spotify, Napster and Google Play. (Contributed)

VIDEO: Maple Ridge musician give thanks for the rain

Peter Tam records video on rock overlooking Maple Ridge

On a rock high above Maple Ridge, a lone pianist takes the stage.

In the video, he appears to be alone on a cliff overlooking the city, with the beauty of the forest cradling him from behind.

The sun beams down on him as he begins to play and the sweet sounds of jazz waft through the wind.

Thanks for the Rain is Peter Tam’s first professionally released single and the video was shot in his “backyard” in Silver Valley.

He chose the location for the video, not only for its beauty, but because it is only a five minute walk from his house and relatively easy, with help, of course, to carry his grand piano to the site.

Then with the help of his son, Alex Tam, a 27-year-old director and cinematographer, and the perfect camera angles, they were able to eliminate houses from the surrounding area.

”So it looks like I am in the wilderness. That’s the feel I wanted,” said the pianist who noted he hired his son to do the work, although he did get a “family discount.

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Tam started playing keyboard in rock bands in high school. He continued on with music in university and received his Royal Conservatory in piano.

He is well-known in the community for his performances at various festivals and events, playing everything from classical music on the violin to Elton John tributes. Tam was even the conductor of an orchestra.

Tam is a member of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and, as such, was first approached in 2009 to be a judge for the JUNO Awards, Canada’s premiere music achievement awards. He was one of about 200 judges, helping to decide multiple categories for the awards ceremony.

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Last year, he was asked to be a judge again for the awards in the host city London, Ontario, and was invited to the VIP gala and other events in the week leading up to the show.

It was during one event, a songwriters’ circle hosted by Canadian composer and record producer David Foster and Alan Doyle, lead singer of folk rock band Great Big Sea, that Tam decided it was time to focus on his music.

“Being in the room with some of the giants of Canadian music and listening to some of the things that they were talking about I decided it’s time for me to go back and be serious about working with my music,” he said.

Tam decided to follow his love of jazz

“I think with jazz, it’s like beer and coffee, you kind of have to acquire the taste but after you start tasting it, once you acquire the taste, you can become a real connoisseur,” he said.

When you understand jazz, the musician added, the music is very colourful in a way that makes him feel good inside.

Tam wrote Thanks for the Rain in August and then recorded it with Andrew Van Slee, the producer of Michael Bublé’s first album.It was released Sept. 10.

He says he wrote the song because “it rains here all the time”.

“It’s all about appreciation. It takes a rainy day for you to appreciate a sunny day. It’s a metaphor for life,” he said.

Thanks for the Rain is available on Spotify, Napster, and Google Play.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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