Four years ago, Rich Aucoin put on one of HPX's most memorable shows: a full-record performance of his just-released album We're All Dying to Live at St. Matthew's Church, featuring nearly 80 musicians and vocalists on-stage. Now he's set to one-up that count this year with the help of Symphony Nova Scotia.
"I think the number's at around 85 musicians," says Aucoin, describing the physical logistics of his two shows, this Friday and Saturday. In addition to the Symphony's players, Aucoin has recruited a 25-person choir full of recognizable Halifax faces and voices to help breathe life into a selection of songs spanning his two albums and two EPs.
It's a rare opportunity for Aucoin to perform some of his material that doesn't fit easily into his confetti-filled dance party of a touring show, as well as to translate some of his more popular songs into a different format.
"My big thing, when the Symphony said yes to letting me do this, was I wanted to score the whole thing, and I wanted to have no computers, no samples and no amplification of drums or bass or drums or anything like that—it's just the classical instruments," he says. "I grew up going to the symphony, and I love the way the room sounds with just those instruments playing."
Aucoin worked on the score this summer, often in hotel rooms while on tour, but when we spoke Sunday, he'd yet to rehearse with the full orchestra and choir.
"I'm gonna try and take some deep breaths and take it all in, especially when I get to the last piece each night," he says. "I don't want it to be one of those things where it's, like, you only remember your wedding from the photos.
Symphony Nova Scotia with Rich Aucoin
Friday, Oct 23 and Saturday, Oct 24, 7pm, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium
6101 University Avenue