The music of Ladysmith’s Murray Atkinson has expanded beyond the stage and recording studio to the big screen and boundless realm of cyberspace.
“It’s been busy. I just did my first work on a movie, assisting the composer on the new Corner Gas movie, which was fun and an amazing learning experience,” said Atkinson, who will be back on stage Sept. 26 as part of Ladysmith on the Dock Part 3 at Nanaimo’s Dinghy Dock Pub.
Atkinson assisted the composer of the Corner Gas soundtrack, working on arranging the instruments.
“Doing something different is always a challenge and brings a fresh perspective,” he said. “I love music of all different kinds, it’s not just rock music. I like composing for orchestral stuff so it was a real fun project.”
Corner Gas was the first of what Atkinson hopes will be many movie projects he will work on and he has also branched out into composing music for video games.
“I’m making music packs for people who make their own games. It’s all indie developers. I’ve already seen a bunch of different games that people have posted on YouTube of gameplay videos and I can hear my music in the background and the games are kind of cool.”
Atkinson recently took to the stage with his mates from The Odds to play the grand finale at Vancouver’s Celebration of Light fireworks. And while he got a charge from playing in front of thousands on the shore of English Bay, Atkinson also enjoys the atmosphere found in more intimate settings.
“Myself and Craig Northey, the singer from the Odds, we’ve been doing house concerts over the summer,” he said. “It’s even more intimate because you don’t even plug in, you just walk into somebody’s living room with your acoustic guitar and you just start singing in their house.
“It’s a fantastic experience. It’s so stripped down and organic and you can really connect with the audience that way. When you’re playing on a stage with all the production and stuff it’s just a completely different approach. I like doing both but it’s awesome to just change it up and keep it fresh.”
Atkinson expects to tap into a bit of that intimate feel with his concert at the Dinghy Dock.
“It’s a really cool place. The audience is a bit of a split between the people sitting there listening and the people hanging out in the back chatting,” he said. “It’s cool because usually the people sitting out front are a lot more attentive and kind of into it. So you get this kind of cool rapport going, it’s a real intimate show for a small group.”
Atkinson, who also teaches guitar and piano three days a week when he’s in Ladysmith, finds the audiences on the Island are more receptive than those in Vancouver.
“Sometimes the audience can be a little more into it because it’s more of a special thing. Vancouver is a funny city because people don’t go out to clubs, it’s kind of a hard place to get people to go out. I like playing on the Island because the people come out and generally are really into it and really appreciate it,” said Atkinson, who will often run into old friends at shows on the Island.
“It’s always fun as long as I can remember their names.”
Atkinson will be joined by Skellig and Tora Leigh at the Dingy Dock on Sept. 26. Tickets are $20 plus a surcharge and include a return ferry trip to the pub.