Meet 2015’s Media Personality of the Year: Tom Cochrane

If something’s happening on the west coast, it’s probably happening in Gros Morne. And if it’s happening there, one man, Tom Cochrane, has got it covered.

If something’s happening on the west coast, it’s probably happening in beautiful Gros Morne National Park. And if it’s happening there, one man, Tom Cochrane, has got it covered. Cochrane recently launched Old Crow Magazine, and for it, took home MusicNL’s “Media Personality of the Year” trophy.  Here’s a recent video he shot, of Brianna Gosse. Brace yourself, it’s pretty dreamy.

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Tell Us a Little about Old Crow: How Did it Get Started, Why, etc.

Old Crow Magazine is a way to celebrate and tell stories from Gros Morne National Park (because, frankly, it’s the greatest place in the world).

I often say that Gros Morne is a place where I feel like the best possible version of myself — I feel more open, more creative, and more connected with the people around me and people around the world. My heart lives and flourishes there.

With Old Crow, I get to both describe and prescribe the things that give me that feeling. So I’m not only telling the story of that feeling, but trying to show how others can also experience it.

For over 40 years, Gros Morne has been known for its incredible natural beauty — the amazing hiking trails, the breathtaking views, and the vast and varied landscapes. But over the past 10 or 15 years, Gros Morne has also been evolving into a cultural destination, a place where people go to and live in to experience and create art of all sorts.

Large summer festivals have been growing (Gros Morne Theatre Festival; Writers at Woody Point; Trails, Tales, and Tunes; Gros Morne Summer Music) to the point where people from around the world are starting to associate Gros Morne with art and artistic experiences as well as its natural splendor.

We started Old Crow Magazine as a way to tell stories from the cultural side of the park. I have a very deep love for Gros Morne (both the natural side and the cultural side, which blend together more often than not), and a love for digital storytelling. Old Crow blends these together perfectly.

To sum up: I get to hang out in Gros Morne and make things with incredibly talented people. And then I get to share that with the world. I’m basically the luckiest and have the greatest job ever. (*Insert prayer-hands emoji here.*)

And now, another musical interlude: Steve Maloney and the Wandering Kind, Covering Roy Orbison:

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Are You Still Finding Time for Your Own Personal photography Blog Still, and the Corner Brooker, or Does Old Crow Have You Run Right Off Your Feet?

Ha, run off my feet is fairly accurate. We only launched Old Crow in July, and so I’ve spent the past three months running from the south end of the park to the north end and back, capturing and documenting as much as possible. Unfortunately, that doesn’t leave too much time for other projects.

CornerBrooker.com is a tricky one too, simply because I don’t spend nearly as much time in Corner Brook as I used to. It’s hard to maintain a hyper-local blog when you aren’t in the place, you know? However, I try to keep the events calendar as updated as I can and if someone is interested in writing about Corner Brook, then they should consider the space available!

What Is It You Love So Much about Capturing Music in Photos and Video?

I love music, and it’s virtually impossible to replicate the experience of being at a concert, but I love at least trying to communicate the feeling of the experience. Then at least if someone was there they can relive a tiny moment of the performance, and if someone wasn’t there then they get a little taste and might want to make sure they come out next time!

We capture a lot of music sessions outside of the concert experience too — on a beach, in the woods, sitting on a dock, in the mountains, pretty much anywhere in Gros Morne is up for grabs. This way we aren’t only capturing the music but also capturing the musician in the Park.

Many of the artists who spend time in Gros Morne find it to be a fairly special experience (“transformative” and “magical” are words that have been used a lot), so by getting outside the concert venue we can also capture a little hint of that special experience.

As an added bonus, the content we produce is sharable online, so the artists can share it with their fans too. Win-win all around!

One more musical interlude, from Emma Peckford, who is too young to be so good:

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Has There Been a Particularly Memorable Performance So Far, with Old Crow? And/or, a Particularly Challenging One to Record?

The most memorable experience so far, easily, was filming with Hawksley Workman on a boat in Bonne Bay during sunset in early October. He had just performed an incredible show at St. Pat’s in Woody Point with the Three Bear Music Festival and all the bands (Hawksley and his band, Brianna Gosse, and Green and Gold) headed out on a tour boat for a post-show hang.

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Hawksley performed “Autumn’s Here” completely acoustic, singing it out into the bay — totally amazing. At the end of the song, a whale surfaced very close to the boat, and the look on Hawksley’s face was priceless. It was totally amazing and a perfect example of Gros Morne magic.

The most challenging one was working with the Canadian Chamber Choir in the Tablelands. It was crazy windy, to the point of the choir members having to brace against each other in order to not fall over. They were totally amazing and powered through it and it was fun, but super windy days does not make for great audio recording.

Old Crow is Also Covering Things Like Readings, Lectures, Conferences, and Even International Events Like the Mushroom Foray 2015. I Guess You’re Learning a Thing or Two about the World Through Covering all the Events Happening in the Park?

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So much! Gros Morne is becoming an international gathering place. The people I’ve met who live in the park are absolutely amazing with countless stories to tell and those that visit from around the world are so willing to share what they know.

Did you know that there are over 1,500 species of mushrooms identified in Newfoundland and Labrador, but an that there’s an estimated 7,000 total? That’s 5,500 species that haven’t been found yet! Crazy!

How Often, on a Scale of 1-10, Do You Deal with Jokes about Sharing a Name with Canadian Musician Tom Cochrane? And, If Life Were a Highway, Would You Like to Ride It All Night Long?

8.5. And yes, but not if it’s the stretch of highway between Woody Point and Wiltondale in Gros Morne. That road is just too stressful after dark.

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