The Happiness Project Wins Juno.
The Happiness Project won best contemporary jazz prize at the 2010 Juno Awards last night. Read a short interview Charles did with Spinner following the ceremony here.
Happiness At POP Montreal
Running throughout POP Montreal (September 30 - October 4, 2pm - 8pm daily) The Happiness Project sets up house. Located at 5202 Hutchison (corner Fairmount) in the Mile End, the exhibition is centred around Charles Spearin's record of the same name. Each room in the apartment features one track from the record, running on a loop. Artist teams have curated each room around this voice, Mrs. Morris, Vittoria, Mr. Gowrie-the whole neighborhood. Full details here.
Charles Spearin & Years Announce Fall Tour With Do Make Say Think
Charles Spearin will take his Happiness Project and Years (aka Ohad Benchetrit) will tour this Fall supporting their long-standing band, Do Make Say Think. Both Spearin and Years released albums in 2009, and will bring their projects to life each night with myriad of musical guests.
Complete dates are listed below and for further information visit their tour pages.
Do Make Say Think/Happiness Project/Years Tour:
9/10/09 New York, NY @ Miller Theatre/Columbia Univ. *
11/25/09 Montreal, PQ @ La Sala Rossa
11/26/09 Montreal, PQ @ La Sala Rossa
11/27/09 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Downstairs
11/28/09 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
11/29/09 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
11/30/09 Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church
12/1/09 Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel
12/2/09 Pittsburgh, PA @ Brillobox
12/3/09 Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot
12/4/09 Chicago, IL @ Schubas
All dates with Do Make Say Think except
* w/o Years
Polaris Long List Announced
The Happiness Project has made the long list for the Polaris Music Prize this year. The short list will be announced on July 7 and the winner on September 21. Check here for all details.
Watch Nancy Etcoff's TED talk on Happiness
Cognitive researcher Nancy Etcoff looks at happiness -- the ways we try to achieve and increase it, the way it's untethered to our real circumstances, and its surprising effect on our bodies. Watch the video here.
Happiness Project Feature In National Post
Charles Spearin is featured in the latest edition of Soundcheck, where he discusses how The Happiness Project show comes to life.
Watch the video at their website.
Happiness Project Film to Screen in Vancouver
The Happiness Project film by Chris Mills will be screening at the DOXA Documentary Film Fest in Vancouver on May 24th alongside ...and music by Michael Lam.
For further information on both films please visit the DOXA website.
NPR Song of the Day!
Audio verite recordings of people conversing are almost as old as recorded sound: Remember "Voices of Old People" on Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends' Guitarist Charles Spearin, one of about a zillion members of the Canadian collective Broken Social Scene, takes the concept one step further with The Happiness Project.
Read more and listen here.
Spin.com live review of The Happiness Project
"To be honest, I didn't expect this to go beyond my living room," admitted Broken Social Scene guitarist Charles Spearin Wednesday night at Toronto's Music Gallery, where he debuted the Happiness Project.
We might as well have been in his living room. Spearin had already kicked off his shoes and was treating fans to his experimental, home-spun sound: The recorded voices of family, friends, and neighbors talking about the meaning of happiness were mashed up with a 10-person live band.
Read the full review here.
CHARTattack review Happiness Project live in Toronto
If you've heard Charles Spearin's Happiness Project, you already know it's unlike anything you've listened to before. Now picture the project brought to life. It's something only super-musical humans can do, and Spearin and his band did it. The results were astounding.
Read the full review here.
The Happiness Project featured in NOW Magazine
Along with Brendan Canning's shiny gold dress, the most delightfully odd part of Broken Social Scene's homecoming shows this fall was the excerpt from Charles Spearins Happiness Project a recording of one of his neighbours talking about happiness while a lone saxophone doubled the unintentional melodies of her monologue. Simple but incredibly effective.
Read the full story in NOW Magazine.
A history of speech and song
After hearing The Happiness Project, zoilus.com put together a cultural history of how musicians have transformed speech into music through history. You can read the full piece by clicking here.
Upcoming TV and radio appearances
Charles Spearin will be making several TV and radio appearances over the next week leading up to his first tour with The Happiness Project. Be sure to tune in!
March 5 - MTV "News" piece airs today on MTV at 6:30pm and 8:00pm EST.
March 7 - Appears on INSIDE JAM! this Saturday at 6:30pm on SUN TV (Ontario). Watch a "Happiness Project" demonstration with host Tara Slone.
March 10 - Appears on CBC Radio1 "Here & Now" at 4:30pm EST.
March 11 - Co-Hosting the EDGEfm "Indie Hour" in Toronto at 11:00pm EST.
March 12 - Appears live on XM Satellite Radio "The Verge" (Channel 87) on Thursday, March 12 at 1:00pm EST.
Happiness Project featured in the Globe & Mail
As a piano-trumpet duo skitters around her, a person with a pleasant professional accent talks about her work with "challenged young women" who tell her "all the time" that they're happy. "Some of their expectations are so simplistic - not to say simplicity because they're challenged ... "
Then the thought strikes: "It's like they don't ask beyond of what's present." Immediately the voice repeats: "It's like they don't ask beyond of what's present." And again: "It's like they don't ask beyond of what's present."
At which point the music makes its own breakthrough. Keyboard and horn link arms with bass and drums and kick out a chorus to the precise tune and tempo of the woman's words. You can almost see her with brass band and challenged charges on parade through New Orleans, fanfaring their be-here-now anthem - sing it, sister! - It's Like They Don't Ask Beyond of What's Present!
Read the rest of the story at the Globe & Mail Site
Charles Spearin interviewed on Georgia Straight's Website
Charles Spearin's first solo release, The Happiness Project, is an experiment in making soundscapes out of speech. It's also a tribute to his Toronto neighbourhood-and to the kind of "one for all and all for one" spirit that animates Broken Social Scene, the best known of Spearin's several bands.
Unlike that indie-pop collective's releases, which have featured such indie notables as Leslie Feist, Jason Collett, and Emily Haines, there's no singing on The Happiness Project. But people-Spearin's friends, neighbours, and kids-speak on every track, and from their musings he's extrapolated musical settings that range from whimsical to soulful to slightly unsettling.
Read the full story at Georgia Straight's Website
Tour Dates. Experience the Happiness Project
Hi everyone, we recently announced four tour dates in Toronto, Montreal and New York. Some of you may have seen Charles and Leon performing a few songs at Broken Social Scene shows this past year and now we are very excited to be bringing the full show to a few select cities. Check out tour dates page for ticket information.