By Andrea Hunter
CALGARY — Rosalind is a band named after a cat, which was named after Rosalind Franklin. She was an influential 20th-century scientist who never got the recognition she deserved (the scientist, not the cat. Although the cat was probably influential in her own right). Thanks to the supportive Calgary community and help from local arts hot-spot Market Collective, Rosalind (the band) are deservedly being recognized for their own talent and potential.
The seeds of the band were sown at a New Year 2015 jam and the roots grew fast. What began as a trio of Jesse Shire on banjo, Amanda Rishaug on mandolin and Mike Goossen on guitar, has blossomed into a seven-piece indie folk orchestra in under two years. Since their inception, Rosalind has developed a diverse resumé, performing their warm, homegrown music at Frog Fest, on the Northern Sessions, Shaw TV’s SoundScape, and with Market Collective.
The latter connection has afforded them an opportunity to collaborate with other local artists and develop some creative capital. Market Collective turns eight this year, and rather than hosting an event to celebrate, they decided to launch eight new community-strengthening initiatives; one of which was the Market Collective Musician Sponsorship, which Rosalind was awarded in October.
“We aimed to celebrate every component that makes Market Collective events so special. Our live music stage is a highly unique experience for Calgarians – in that MC offers paid gigs and visible promotion to over 100 bands and DJs each year and has remained one of the most consistent all-ages venues in the city.”
Market Collective’s music director Brendan Kane explains, “We love the element of music and local talent at our events. As a thank you, we held a contest for local musicians offering a chance to work with our production team.”
Rosalind will be making a music video with Kane, recording a song with the help of Ben Nixon, and doing a photo shoot with Mike Tan. As Shire puts it, “They’re using what resources they have: people, facilities, and using it in such a good way. We really appreciate the opportunity.”
Ben Longman, cellist for Rosalind, continues, “That’s something Calgary is very good at… A really healthy local scene is like a healthy human body. You get out what you put into it. So by grabbing all these people together….by cultivating that kind of crowd and audience, they’re ensuring they have the ability to be a beacon of awesome Calgary creativity. That’s something that doesn’t happen everywhere.”
All of Rosalind’s members recognize the importance of community in fostering a band’s success. The band would not be where it is today without the support of everyone, from house concert hosts to local television stations dedicated to promoting the local arts. They are forever grateful for the opportunities they’ve been afforded. Says Shire, “It’s a huge leg up for us, and we’re super grateful. Market Collective is such a recognized name around the city that having us attached to them, it really does mean a lot to us.”
And their advice for new artists and bands is to immerse yourself in the creative community. “Be involved,” Longman says, “what you’re doing will fluctuate, but you’ve got to connect to the scene and make sure you’re listening to what’s happening around you to improve what you’ve got.”
While we wait to see what magic is created through the sponsorship, keep an eye out for live releases of Rosalind on Northern Sessions in November, as well as their feature on SoundScape later in 2016.AB, Alberta, Northern Sessions, Rosalind, SoundScape