POE MUSIC: PIGEON BREEDERS

POE MUSIC: PIGEON BREEDERS//©ALLISON DRAGSTEN 2017

I met Will Scott years ago through my husband who Will grew up with in Beaumont, just south of Edmonton. Will was one of the groomsmen in our wedding and plays in the Will Scott Band with my husband. Will also plays in the band Pigeon Breeders with Myles Bartel. I sat down with Will and Myles to discuss their upcoming tape release. The new tape is called “Live at Skymall” and features 2 live recordings. The first is a recording with Tyler Harland, the band’s sometimes third member who is now living in Nova Scotia. It was recorded in 2014. The second recording is with Nicholas “Smokey” Johnson recorded this past May. Both recordings were of performances at the local house venue “Skymall”.

Will and Myles met in 2011 when Myles moved into Tyler’s house where Will was also living.  Will explains that “I was doing experimental stuff with the U of A and then one day I come home and Myles is making his own music in the basement, and I was like ‘Holy, that’s sounds exactly like what I’m into. That’s the same style - experimental improv’ and I was like ‘Woah, what’s that about? How is it possible that this guy is also into this stuff?’. So then we started jamming and Tyler started jamming with us too and it started out with us jamming out of convenience because we all lived together.” Will, Myles, and Tyler jammed a lot because it was so easy for all three of them to be in the same place at the same time. Their first live performance was not long after their first jam session. 

A Pigeon Breeders show is not like any other show that I’ve been to. If you go to a show you’ll notice that all the member perform on the ground with their gear laid out around them and there is incense burning. Myles says that “It creates an atmosphere that allows for people to sort of escape from maybe expectations they may have for other bands. A lot of times when people talk to us after shows they’re always saying something like ‘that took me on a journey’ or ‘I really got lost in what you guys were doing’. That’s always good to hear because that’s more or less our intention. Because that’s what we want for ourselves too. We want to go on our own journey. It’s cool to take the audience with you on that.” Pigeon Breeders most recent show was in the lobby of the Garneau Theatre preceding a showing of The Holy Mountain. 

POE MUSIC: PIGEON BREEDERS//©ALLISON DRAGSTEN 2017

I asked them what their plans are now that the band has changed with Tyler’s move out east. Myles shares that “We still have other people that we want to collaborate with. It’s really nice to play with Nick. We have a whole series of recordings from last year from when Tyler visited. We did three nights of jamming and we have hours and hours of material that we’ve kind of whittled down into an album that we’re still fine-tuning that we’ll release sometime next year. We have some other archival material that we’re reviewing.” Will expands, saying that “Tyler, even though he’s gone, he’s still kind of a part of the band but we’re still going to play without him. When we see him again, when we all get together again, of course we’re going to play again. We’ve also enjoyed though, collaborating with other guest third members for the time being and we will probably continue trying some different people although we really like Smokey right now.”

With every jam or live performance, Pigeon Breeders records it all. Myles describes the recording process as very uncomplicated and that “It’s sometimes a matter of what we decide to do with the content afterwards because we’ve gotten a little more complex with how we decide to represent the material. Pulling from different sources and kind of shifting the original narrative that’s inherent in the original recordings. It’s kind of like finding pieces of a puzzle that you don’t know what it’s supposed to be.” Will says that every potential recording is something that they might release.

After 6 years of playing together I asked what they like most about being in a band together. Will says that “I always feel like there’s something new happening. I never try and do the same thing twice so I’m always trying to get better myself or come up with new sounds that I haven’t made before. And also, it’s just a good outlet if you’re having a good day or a bad day. Just to be in that moment and to release it. Jamming with Myles, and Tyler, and guest members, it’s an enjoyable feeling of camaraderie too. Knowing that there’s other people that you’re connecting with.” Myles adds that “It’s really interesting to develop this language that’s very specific to other people you’re performing with. And the experience of performing is very cathartic sometimes.”

POE MUSIC: PIGEON BREEDERS//©ALLISON DRAGSTEN 2017

You can catch Pigeon Breeders at their Tape Release show at the Sewing Machine Factory on December 15th with Soft Ions, L.N. Baba, and Molan. You can find them on Facebook and Bandcamp.

POE PEOPLE: BREANNE KSHYK

POE PEOPLE: BREANNE KSHYK// © ALLISON DRAGSTEN PHOTOGRAPHY

I first met Breanne when we were both taking the Design Studies program at MacEwan. A lot has changed since then. Breanne now runs a successful photography business called Breanne Marie Photography. I’m lucky enough to be one of Breanne’s second shooters. Breanne also has a full-time job at Sarasota Homes where she’s been handling their marketing for the past 3 years.

Breanne grew up in Vegreville, Alberta moving to Edmonton at 18 to attend school at the University of Alberta. She made the decision to leave the U of A and move to the Design Studies program at MacEwan where she completed the 3 year program with a focus on photography.

POE PEOPLE: BREANNE KSHYK// © ALLISON DRAGSTEN PHOTOGRAPHY

What made you choose the design program at MacEwan?

Growing up I really loved album covers. I thought graphic design was super sweet and ended up getting more into photography and now I almost exclusively do weddings but that wasn’t planned.

How did you transition into wedding photography?

I had your wedding, and then the next summer I booked three. Then you start realizing that it’s an awesome thing to be part of people’s lives for one day.

POE PEOPLE: BREANNE KSHYK// © ALLISON DRAGSTEN PHOTOGRAPHY

Tell me more about what you do at Sarasota Homes?

I run all of their social media accounts. They have the home-building side and then the real estate brokerage side. I photograph all of the homes for real estate and print ads.

What made you fall in love with photography?

I think the reactions. The sessions themselves are super fun. To get to know people and to see how they interact with each other, especially with the couples. Editing weddings now is super fun. Last weekend we had a wedding, the look on the grooms face when he sees the bride is so amazing. I think that this is the coolest, to see the emotion in people. It’s the best, you don’t get it in many jobs.

POE PEOPLE: BREANNE KSHYK// © ALLISON DRAGSTEN PHOTOGRAPHY

What do you like most about shooting weddings?

The emotion. That connection is so good, it renews your faith in humanity. 

How do you balance a full-time job plus your work as a photographer?

Not very well (laughs)! Too much coffee and too little sleep. I try to just set a schedule. So everyday I’ll get up at 5am and edit before work and then every evening I’ll set aside another few hours to edit if I can. Keeping a schedule keeps it manageable. 

POE PEOPLE: BREANNE KSHYK// © ALLISON DRAGSTEN PHOTOGRAPHY

Not that you have a lot, but what do you do in your spare time?

Run. I really like endurance running. And if I’m not doing that I really like to drink wine and hang out with friends.

What are your favourite places to shoot in Edmonton?

Favourite spots are for sure all of the Rust Magic graffiti walls, those are great. El Cortez I’ve shot at a hundred times and I love it all the time. Have Mercy is cool and they’re super welcoming. Whyte Ave has a lot cool spots.

What are your favourite things to do in the city aside from running?

I love the downtown Farmer’s Market. And going out for food and drink!

POE PEOPLE: BREANNE KSHYK// © ALLISON DRAGSTEN PHOTOGRAPHY

A  big thank you to Breanne for being a part of POE and taking time out of her busy schedule to sit down with me for this interview. Be sure to check out Bre's work via her website and Instagram! She's now booking 2018 weddings!

POE PEOPLE: BREANNE KSHYK// © ALLISON DRAGSTEN PHOTOGRAPHY