By Andrea Arsenault
CALGARY – Paging through Robert Malowany’s extensive discography, it’s easy to see why he has been so successful in the music industry for so long. Starting out in 2000 with the band Devilsplendor as a way to practice recording and producing, Malowany has since moved on to his current project Parkland which draws from a variety of sources (think of the lo-fi work of artists like Sparklehorse and Smog), spanning several genres from roots, folk, and jazz to experimental and soundscape.
The Edmonton born, Vancouverite commented on the current state of music industry as well as his creative process regarding his upcoming documentary Bleeding Daylight. The film is scheduled for a release in the new year with high hopes of a festival premiere with SXSW. There’s also a soundtrack for the doc and a new album, Affiliate’s Part 2, on the horizon.
Bleeding Daylight encapsulates how Parkland, which Malowany describes specifically as a “music project”, creates and performs as a band. “Parkland is a special project. It’s kind of an intimate, personal way of playing music.” It’s also infused with elements of improvisation whereby Malowany wanted to share how he and his friends, some members having collaborated for up to 14 years, coexist together in the musical process. “Creating stuff in the moment… is so exhilarating and so exciting.”
As musical director, Malowany went into the filmmaking process with a question in mind: “Why can’t the audience collaborate as much as we are collaborating to the moment?” He and Parkland used Bleeding Daylight as a way to give listeners the opportunity to participate in the creative process. Parkland invited fans to attend a special show in which they asked them to send in videos from their perspective of the performance. This crowdshot perspective provided a more ‘social media’ engaged lens through which to see the project unfold.
At the same time, Malowany has been in the music industry since long before the age of social media and has seen the industry shift sharply. Of the most significant changes, he expressed an attachment to more analog methods of booking shows and distributing records, lamenting slightly that the internet has become such an integral part of the process. With more music available in one place than ever before, he feels the internet is a bit of a mixed bag noting that while “the idea that [music] is more available to everyone is great… It can get oversaturated in a way.”
Parkland’s new documentary Bleeding Daylight is set for release in the spring of 2018. See Parkland perform Thursday, February 1 at the Rec Room (Edmonton). Friday, February 2 at the Palomino (Calgary) and Saturday, February 10 at Merge (Vancouver).Bleeding Daylight, documentary, Merge, Palomino, Parkland, Rec Room