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Ian Thomas joins us on March 20th for our Miijidaa Life Stories series, new this season. In Conversation with Ian Thomas delves into the life and work of the Juno and SOCAN Award winner with host Cameron Smillie.

Ian answered a few of our questions to give you a little taste of what will unfold on March 20th. Expect the unexpected:

1. If you weren’t in your current profession, what do you think you would be doing?

First off, creativity is an affliction as much as a talent. So as I am stuck with it, the question becomes; where would I point my creativity if my first direction failed?

If I wasn’t a songwriter, I would have moved to movie composition as a film composer. I have done 22 movies and find the work enjoyable and could have gladly made a career of it. Failing that I would have thrown all my cards into my third career as a novelist. My first two novels did quite well and I have two in progress. I love books.

Long story short I would have tilted the direction of my creative affliction towards the other creative areas that interest me … and been quite happy about it.

2. If time and money were no object, what is one thing you dream to do?

Focus on my novels. They are such an escape for me—and potentially really hard to make a living at. Maybe I made the right choice.

3. What are you currently listening to?

Really obscure stuff on the Internet. I can’t stand current radio and its narrow market demographic, so I don’t listen to it. My son is a film editor and is always finding great electro artists writing incredible sound canvases in Norway and Sweden and turning me on to them. In my own spare time there is nothing I love more than a glass of good red wine and Chopin. (Hmmm… I know what I’m going to do right now. Thanks for the prod!)

4. What was your first concert or performance and what do you remember about the experience?

I was about 15 when I performed in my first formal concert. It was a folk concert with a number of artists and I sang with a girl named Nora Hutchinson. We sang one of my own songs, Railroad Bill (a traditional folk song) and Early Morning Rain (by Gordon Lightfoot), if my memory serves me. I was so scared I could hardly get a note out of my dry throat. My mind went blank on a couple of chord changes and my hands were so sweaty the strings felt like they were covered in bubble gum.

My musical partner wasn’t much better. Scariest thing we had ever done to that point in my life.

I see young kids now stepping up to the mic like old vets and I am gob smacked at how slick and comfortable they are. Wow. Where did they acquire that kind of chutzpah? I’ll tell ya, there was no chutzpah school in Dundas, Ontario when I was that age.

My own stage confidence only came after hundreds of performances. Now stage is a home away from home for me. It’s good to finally feel completely comfortable in my own shoes.

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