The songs of this posthumous release resonate like messages sent through time.
There is likely no greater example of two entwined yin and yang forces than art simultaneously existing as creative expression and commercial venture. It’s a dichotomy I’ve explored and mused upon many times before, I’m sure, and will likely do so again, because in music particularly, finding and maintaining the balance is like finding the secret to life itself.
Calgary-based artist Chris Reimer, along with his bandmates in Women, were celebrated for their creativity and popularity in equal measure. For many, the critically-acclaimed quartet never got the chance to fully explore the potential of their artistic powers and commercial viability after just two records and a very public break-up. His bandmates continue to create and explore after splintering into various off-shoot artistic projects, but Chris Reimer’s time was suddenly cut short by his death in 2012 from heart complications.
Far from being a situation of potential left unfulfilled, Reimer’s legacy endures, not only through his work with Women but the myriad of Calgary-based bands he worked and played with, plus the wealth of unreleased ambient solo material from which the fifteen songs on Hello People have been drawn from. These exploratory experiments in sound are not traditionally the style of music that would have brought Reimer fame and fortune, but they represent a side of his artistry that those only familiar with his more popular work wouldn’t be familiar with. In yet another example of the push and pull of art and commerce, it’s fitting that now, collected as Hello People, the sale of Reimer’s music will support and fund artistic pursuits of others through the Chris Reimer Legacy Fund, established by his friends and family to support and foster multidisciplinary artists. I’m not a religious person, but I don’t believe that this particular confluence happens by accident. I believe there are greater forces working in concert — forces working to make sense out of Reimer’s fate through the potential of his legacy.
That his friends and family called this collection Hello People is so very apropos, as if Reimer himself is calling from the afterlife, saying “Hey, I’m still here with you. It doesn’t have to end.” In some cases they are mere fragments of ideas and scaffolds of songs, but the tracks on Hello People resonate like messages sent through time, pearls of inspiration for others to subsume and build upon. Though the catalogue of music and art Chris Reimer left is finite, its influence will infinitely carry on through the work of the Legacy Fund named for him and the artists that it will support.