Olympic Symphonium’s Nick Cobham, Kyle Cunjak and Graeme Walker have a busy schedule: Walker is in Fredericton’s Grand Theft Bus and Cobham and Cunjak back up Catherine MacLellan and play in Share and Force Fields. Cunjak also plays bass for Petunia, David Myles and Snailhouse.
Luckily they found time to get together a few years ago to record 2007’s Chapter 1. “We were just playing music together for fun and recording quieter tunes we had, not thinking anything would come of it,” Cunjak says over the phone from Fredericton, where he works at their label, Forward Music Group. They have since sold out of their first album, which they started recording before they had a name. “Once when we were burning a session to CD for reference, it came out labelled as ‘the Atlantic Symphony,’” Cunjak says, “but we read it as Olympic Symphonium and kept it.”
Olympic Symphonium is democratic in its songwriting: “We each write our own stuff and bring it to the band,” Cunjak says. “It’s pretty nice to be able to switch up singing, guitar and bass.” The result is some catchy folky pop rock, quiet enough for classical guitar as well as acoustic and electric guitars and keyboards. Cobham found the new album’s name, a Shakespeare quote, More in Sorrow Than in Anger, in Bill Bryson’s book The Mother Tongue. “We were going to call it Crytoscopophilia,” Cunjak says, “which means having an urge to look into people’s windows at night.” They recorded in a vintage clothing store, a field and a theatre, with guest musicians including Catherine MacLellan, Jenn Grant, Amelia Curran, Rose Cousins and Dale Murray. Drummer Bob Deveau and banjo/slide guitar/melodica player Dennis Goodwin will join the band at their CD release at The Bus Stop Theatre Saturday, November 22, with Heavy Meadows and Don Brownrigg.Saturday, November 22 at The Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen, 8pm, $10 (Lost & Found, 2383 Agricola).