Two Guelphites bond, create music video without ever meeting
Season of the Senses consists of a professional musician and an untrained talented singer
It’s no surprise that music brings people together. Interestingly, during this pandemic, he helped two Guelphites create art without ever meeting.
Elena Stocco, administrative assistant at the Waterloo Catholic District School Board and Damian Weston, home locator for the Welcome In Drop-in Center, have formed Season of the Senses, a band that shares their love of acoustic and electronic music, mixes genres and delves into the themes of light and darkness.
Weston, a professional musician who plays all major musical instruments, and Stocco, a singer with no professional training, met on a Facebook group this year and just clicked. Now, they’ve recorded a song called Young & Strange, created its music video, and submitted it to CBC Music’s 2021 Toyota Searchlight contest. And the two have no intention of stopping.
“It was really weird actually because singing is just a hobby for me,” Stocco said, adding that the only time she really sang was when she went out to karaoke parties with friends.
“I had no sense of relief when COVID happened. I couldn’t do that anymore.
Weston said they’ve been a one-person production group for a long time and are looking for a partner to work with.
“She had a voice that needed to be heard,” Weston said of Stocco. “I mean, what a shame if it’s a voice people haven’t heard yet.”
Weston has been a professional musician for several years, producing works for film and television, commercials and even playing in an industrial metal band.
“Recently I started getting the virus again to do my own stuff, not for someone else’s movie, but just as an expression,” Weston said.
To find someone to work with, Weston shared a post on the Guelph Music group on Facebook that said he was looking for someone to collaborate with earlier this year. Although he had a number of responses, he found Stocco the most engaging.
“The reality is when I heard her sing and how good she was. It blew me away that I didn’t have any professional training or professional singing in any way, ”Weston said.
Stocco said she casually texted Weston and didn’t think much would come out of it and was surprised that she was part of a band that now makes music.
“When I started talking to him, I was blown away by the songs he has in the works. He let me listen to some excerpts. He’s incredibly talented, ”Stocco said, adding that songwriting has really helped both parents get rid of the pandemic.
Weston helped her learn to record professionally and the two had a good workflow. Weston said he would send Stocco’s songs with instructions and she would practice her own way and his friend Darius Szczepaniak would mix them up.
“There was something very authentic about her. She seemed very easy to work with, ”Weston said.
She ended up having a good mic and Weston taught her how to record professionally. “She went from zero to 100 to learn how to record in a month,” Weston said.
Weston edited royalty-free shorts to create a short music video for submission to CBC Music’s 2021 Toyota Searchlight competition. Voting for the contest begins on May 11. The winner receives a spot in the Allan Slaight masterclass, a trip to the Junos 2022, a five-day residency at the Calgary National Music Center, studio time, musical equipment and an MPE cast.
The two are now working together on their album continuing the partnership with Szezepaniak on the mixer while balancing Stocco’s work as an administrator and Weston’s work to help end homelessness in Guelph.
“Ultimately we want to work on the music in one place,” Weston said with a laugh. “It would be a lot easier.”