Green Couch Productions, Via Rail and CBC Radio 3 teamed up last month of to offer Canadians a once in a lifetime experience, “Tracks on Tracks”. Picture it – Canadian musicians performing on the train and various station platforms as they travel from Vancouver to Toronto. Cody Alan Gregory was on board for the cross country journey and shares his experience with us.
“EVERY NIGHT. EVERY NIGHT.” This was our mantra we shouted out to the music as it took over our bodies and filled our souls. It summoned the party, fed the energy and inspired the evening to turn into morning. A cast of 37 musicians and 11 crew members, myself included, boarded a train on Friday, June 8 with little expectation for the journey to come. Nothing was for certain between Vancouver and Toronto other than the fact that we were about to create something special. I could not have predicted the affect a trip of this magnitude would have on me personally. With a fist consistently raised in the air for nearly 4 days, I have returned home from one of the most incredible events ever to take place in my own life.
From the moment I climbed onto that train, a majestic calm consumed my heart. It descended upon me like a quiet parade, dancing and moving to the beat of nothing. My emotional being stretched out and prepared for a necessary clarity. Every single second of this experience would need to be digested and remembered. I became hyper-aware and hypersensitive to my surroundings. I had found bliss and we hadn’t even pulled out of the station yet.
While on the train I watched the mountains and the trees and the prairies and the lakes roll on past my window. It was a spectacle that I just could not turn away from. Our country is so large and diverse in its landscape; something the average Canadian is often shown on a map but rarely gets to experience firsthand. It was the telephone poles, the wildlife and the infinite horizon line that pulled me into a reverie. I saw this country’s past, present and future etched into the light of the sun.
This backdrop coupled with the artistry present on the train has become the catalyst for what I imagine my creative output will be from this point on. Musicians, filmmakers, photographers, sound engineers and writers were all apart of this project. It was humbling to be among such unique, creative and passionate people, all dedicated to his or her own craft. You see, every person on that train has found some way to make a living doing what they love. This has been the goal I have aspired to for my entire life and I am still working to achieve it.
It was always rumoured to be true, that one can have a successful career while loving what he or she does, but until this train ride I hadn’t known anyone actually making it happen. This may have been the single, most important revelation the journey offered me. I now have a community of talented individuals to support my goals and dreams. We can make it if we try. The party never has to stop if we don’t want it to.
I have countless stories to share with anyone willing to listen. I made new friendships and rekindled old ones. I share a unique and common bond with a large group of people that all, at one point, exclaimed, “I am having the time of my life.” For the rest of my days I will be influenced by my time spent on the train and will forever have cause to yell out “EVERY NIGHT,” every night.
- Cody Alan Gregory, Editor/Writer, Green Couch Sessions