Bio:At age 27, musician Nicole Byblow already has 18 years of performing experience and music education behind her.
She is a graduate of the Berklee affiliate Selkirk College Contemporary Music and Technology program, and a recipient of the MusiCounts Fred Sherratt award; an award presented annually by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and the Junos/MusiCounts to only twelve musicians across Canada.
Career highlights include performing at the Juno Awards Industry Gala in front of Neil Young and Arcade Fire, performing at the nationally televised Mastercard Memorial Cup, and writing and recording with Juno award winner/CBC radio personality Buck 65/Rich Terfry (2013 release).
Nicole had been an active singer/songwriter in the Canadian independent music scene, and is now enjoying turning her focus back towards musical theatre and commercial singing. She is a session singer and pianist and can be heard singing in cover bands across the city.
In her first ever behind-the-scenes role as Sound Designer for Bygone Theatre’s production of Dial M For Murder, Nicole looks forward to making use of her skills and knowledge as an amateur music historian. In addition to music and theatre performance, Nicole is an avid vinyl record collector, a devourer of mid 20th century music and artist history, and even holds college credits in History of Jazz and History of Rock programs. She is eager for the opportunity to expand her knowledge of period music and pop culture through this production.
1. How did you get started with Sound Design?
My love of performance has always come first in my life. However, in continually discovering new musical influences, I came to collect a wide database of diverse, cross genre and cross era artists. I became fascinated with vinyl at around age 15, and fascinated in the history and corresponding pop culture of the artists and the eras they were associated with at an even earlier age. Having a role to actually make use of this knowledge seemed like a great opportunity.
2. What is your favourite part of the creative process?
It all depends on which creative process, as performance, singing, piano playing, and songwriting all have a very different creative process for me. This role will be interesting to work within someone else’s ideals. For example, I may have a piece of music that I think will be perfect, but the director may not agree. As a singer/songwriter I was so used to doing absolutely everything my own way. Working in a collaborative effort in a theatre show like this presents the challenge of creating something cohesive for the whole group, while using my individual expertise to make what I feel are the best calls.
3. What are some challenges you face working as a Sound Designer?
For me it’s weird not to be onstage. Dealing with not being in the spotlight come show time may be a bit of a sting!
4. Any advice for other people looking to pursue Sound Designer?
I’ve learned three hard and fast rules in life that have come up repeatedly for me over the years. One is, It’s never a bad idea to spend money on music. Even if it ends up terrible, you can learn something from it. Never stop collecting music.
5. What are you most excited for in regards to “Dial M For Murder”?
I’m not going to be able to see the show, as I’ll be away during the performances. But my first show with Bygone was my first foray back into theatre in about ten years, and it was great to be part of a group collaboration again. I my not be able to see the finished product, but I am excited to work towards a common goal with everyone as it comes together!