October 2019’s Centre Stage with All Imaginary
Interview with All Imaginary for our monthly snapd Wood Buffalo artist feature Centre Stage with Arts Council Wood Buffalo!
All Imaginary is a group that writes and performs something a little bit different; they create spoken word art. This is structured music with spoken poetry written from personal experiences and emotions to create a song that sounds beautiful, yet packs a punch with its lyrics. All Imaginary consists of Xach Edward, Meghan Whitmore and Ruben Rotar, three friends who decided to try something new. “Our group kind of came out of nowhere” Meghan explains. “One day Ruben and Xach suggested that we add music to my poems to make it less slam poetry, and instead more spoken word art. That was in early 2018, and it just grew from there. We like to joke and call this our passion project but in reality, that is exactly what it is!” Their artistic backgrounds are rather different. Ruben plays a slew of different instruments, Xach plays guitar, while Meghan is the one behind the lyrics.
They started out by performing poetry in the park and at open mic nights. They then took a leap and performed at last year’s Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards (the Buffys). This proved a thrilling venture for the newly formed group: “performing at the 2018 Buffys was the scariest thing we have ever done,” says Meghan. “It was the first time we were doing a show that wasn’t at a bar, or in a field with our friends. We spent more time on the one song we performed than we had on anything else at that point. It was terrifying and the most soul filling moment at the same time.”
One of the goals with the Buffys awards and showcase is to give local artists a new venue to perform, and encourage new artwork, collaboration and artistic innovation. “When we were chosen to perform last year, it meant that we were able to share our vision with more people,” Meghan explains. “We got to show people that music is about how you feel it, not just using your ears. When we were asked to return this year, we were over the moon! Trust me, you’re in for an adventure this year!”
The art of spoken word is still a fairly new addition to the Wood Buffalo art scene, but All Imaginary has had a good experience. “Being an artist here is a different experience for sure, especially when you do something like we do,” says Meghan. “The art community has been very inviting to us, and it is a great feeling to be a part of something that is always growing and changing.”
When looking to the future, the group aims to reach an even wider audience with their art. “Our goal is to share what we create with others. We would like to release an album, and perform as much as we can. Some of us have goals to be openers for spoken word bands all over the world, and some of us have goals to just touch people with the songs we create.”
All Imaginary will be performing a brand new piece at the 2019 Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards on October 19, 2019. Follow the group on social media: @allimaginaryymm and check out their recordings at allimaginary.bandcamp.com/releases. Get your tickets to the 2019 Buffys at buffys2019.eventbrite.ca. Don’t forget to check out Ruben’s band Olorin and Xach’s band Zero Loss. To learn more about Arts Council Wood Buffalo and our programming, visit www.artscouncilwb.ca and find out how you can be involved in the vibrant Wood Buffalo arts community, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.