Royal Wood: Finding His 'Fun'

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Tuesday January 05, 2016

From Ottawa Citizen

Royal Wood: “I Wanted to Find my Fun Again”
By: Lynn Saxberg

After a multi-year artist-development process orchestrated by the National Arts Centre, Ontario singer-songwriter Royal Wood is ready to ascend to one of the most prestigious stages in the country with some of the best musicians in the world.

“It was a long journey, a good six years of coming back and performing,” said Wood, describing how every visit to Elgin Street found him in a bigger room with more people in the audience. He’ll reach the pinnacle when he appears in the 2,200-seat Southam Hall with the National Arts Centre Orchestra next spring.

“I have done performances with orchestral players but not a full orchestra. The NAC will be my first and largest full orchestra,” said Wood, who was in Ottawa recently to talk about the May 6 concert and his forthcoming album, Ghost Light, due for release April 22.

“I just went full steam ahead with all of these ideas and things I’d been cooking up, and I quickly exhausted myself over the course of a year and a half. I had nothing left, and once you have nothing, you’re forced to feel a lot of things. I had to find all that again.”

The turning point came with a beautiful piano-laden ballad called Dear Anna, the first tune in ages that Wood was compelled to record. Then he rediscovered the joy of electric guitar while recording the soaring A World Between Us. Another moment of magic happened when he dusted off a 12-year-old song called Ghost Light that he’d never recorded and found it fit his present situation.

“As I was singing it, it seemed so poetic. The meaning of that song and what my life was at the time. Everything about it just summed it all up perfectly,” he said. Written in 2003, the song was inspired by the old theatre tradition of keeping a light lit to protect against ghosts.

“I wrote about extinguishing the light and allowing all the ghosts in. So the room isn’t empty anymore,” Wood says, going on to explain why he made it the title track.

Read the whole article here