Once you’ve heard it, you cannot help but love it

“Out of bond”

After 9 years of intense study and professional activities in the Big Apple, I decided to make a big jump and move to the West Coast of Canada. The idea was to nurture a lifestyle that would propel me into a more intimate way of making music. I needed an outlet that was natural, spontaneous and somewhat “out of bond”.

A honeymoon with my cello!

Before I started building my new musical path I needed some time off the cities to simply connect with natural beauty, one of life’s language. I then acquired a very cheap travel cello, married it in a sacred ceremony of my own making, and started a romantic journey through the country, from the East to the West Coast. As I wanted my fingers to stay in shape during the travel, my summer time sightseeing quickly turned into a giant concert hall. I began playing daily spontaneous outdoor concerts in some of the most beautiful and romantic settings there are. As I stared at the Rockies, the Prairies, the Grasslands, the Oceanfront, and even the giant trees of B.C. , melodies would come to my mind and I would improvise fragments and pieces.

I shared my music with great serendipity, openly and readily.

I have had the privilege of shaking hands with countless people this way. I often was invited to break bread with them. Sharing fires and music on the beach was a sure way to create numeral friendships. Even though I was not working but simply traveling at the time, I quickly found myself invited to display my art professionally. Upon special requests, I started performing outdoor weddings in Tofino as well as private concerts on luxurious yachts.

Outside, there are no protocol or conventions.

Connecting with the landscape while having a musical meditation turned out to be the deepest and most meaningful artistic experience I ever had. Every moment of it truly felt justified in my heart. I know it deeply impacted my audience too to witness the relationship I had with my music. They were anywhere from shocked to touched, some were move to tears while some wanted to join and play along.

I would rarely stay by myself for more than a few minutes at a time.

Even though I often only intended to play for myself, people were irresistibly drawn to the mysterious sound of the cello and would listen to it respectfully until the end of the piece. At times, I would turn around and see a large crowd gathered behind me. Some people wondered out loud: “How on Earth did a classical cellist end up here in Tofino?” I had to agree that it was indeed an extremely rare treat for Tofino. How many kids have turned to their parents asking them for cello lessons in my presence? I would find myself irresistibly drawn to initiate a conversation and would often have them try to play the instrument. My heart was soaring with happiness! I had more impact this way than if I were actually trying to.

My mission revealed itself through those interactions:

Bringing the sound of the cello to the ears of the people around me was a truly revealing experience. Everyone would always comment on how deeply soothing and pleasing my sound was. Once they heard its sound, they loved it. Most people never had the chance to see or even hear a live cello! Some people did not even know what it was! Everyone agreed, cello although a rare find, was super cool.

Artistic fulfillment requires freedom.

During this journey I have learnt two things about myself. What fulfills me as an artist is the extend to which I am willing to be vulnerable in front of an audience and breaking of my audience’s expectations!

Are you planning a wedding in Tofino or Ucluelet?

For a list of venues in Tofino, follow this link.

Audrey Nadeau

B.M. and M.M. The Juilliard School




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