There is something about true musicians and artists that distinguishes them from the average acquaintance. There is an enigmatic yet refined passion that they can hardly contain, and thank goodness for those who can’t; for the world would feel like shades of monotone grey without their dedication to colouring our world with their art.
Thomas Beckman is one of these true musicians, and he is the viola voice of Vancouver.
As a classically trained violist from Cape Town South Africa, Beckman brings a unique dimension to the Vancouver music scene. Now equipped with his newly launched website, thomastheviolist.com, we can explore the music from his new album Conception Bay, which is inspired by his 2003 road trip through Namibia. Beckman takes his listeners to a place far away from civilization, into the vast wilderness.
As you explore his new website you’ll find tracks to Conception Bay, in which you’ll witness the warm tones of the viola with deep emotion and ethereal clarity that takes you to a familiar unknown; a sacred terrain of hostile yet tender beauty. His ability to take his audience, whether listening to him on stage, the streets, or through the speakers, to another landscape led to his collaboration with a director for a new documentary. More details are to come on this film.
Sons of Granville, a three piece epic-folk-rock band, is Beckman’s other musical project. For the second consecutive year they’ve been voted one of the top three local bands in Vancouver. They have also just won $10,000 from the Telus Storyhive competition to create a documentary on the band’s second album (will be released this October) as well as their relationship, as musicians and buskers, to the city and its denizens. This documentary will be directed by Grant Vetters, who hopes to “enlighten viewers to the passion, dedication and courage essential for these artists to possess as they strive for success.
Sons of Granville pursuit of their lyrical art is not just a love for music, but an inescapable passion that burns in their souls.”
As a busker, Beckman is highly influenced by improvisation, as the streets are an environment that foster experimentation and variable reaction. Beckman thrives on this dissonance and the volatile emotions contingent on the unfixed nature of the streets of Vancouver. With change, there also comes setbacks. Currently recovering an arm injury, Beckman knows how to see the silver lining, and wants to share that message. As he heals, Beckman was able to dedicate time to his website, and plan for his many fortes to come.