Timber Timbre playing at the First Baptist Church. Photo by Ming Wu.

Last night, Julie Doiron and the Wooden Stars delivered a powerful sermon on the subject of reunion at St. Albans that took me back to my first concert in a church. Only three years ago, Timber Timbre came to town and played a very sombre set at Ottawa’s First Baptist Church.

Timber Timbre was then touring its Polaris-shortlisted album, Creep On Creepin’ On, which had been partially recorded in a converted church studio in Montreal. Their Ottawa venue reflected this facet of the record just as each dimly lit band member at the altar stayed true to Creep On‘s tone.  I found it quite haunting to be sitting on a pew of a holy place as the dark, deep voice sang to us over melodies. The sound was quite loud, but the acoustics were absolutely perfect. As strange as it was to be seated in a sanctuary (since I’m not a practitioner of any religion), nothing was more eerie than observing the plaques depicting Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection on the wall while listening to music I love.

The entire experience was quite odd and wonderful all at once. I couldn’t get over how incredible the acoustics were and thought up endless possibilities of performers who could really make amazing use of such a setting. Since then, several artists have performed shows in churches all around Ottawa, including St. Brigid’s, St. Albans, Dominion-Chalmers United Church & Glebe St. James. I commend Arboretum Festival for making use of them throughout the year.

I invite you to imagine yourself in a gloomy basilica while you listen to one of my favourite Timber Timbre tracks.