Crowdfunding the Oldfolks Home

Ricardo Lopez-Aguilar raises funds for his next record

Ricardo Lopez-Aguilar is Oldfolks Home. Silas Chipelski

A growth in confidence is not exactly an expected result from an earth-shattering divorce, but it is exactly what Winnipeg’s Ricardo Lopez-Aguilar needed to push him to the next level musically as his one-man folktronic outfit Oldfolks Home.

According to the CBC bio written by his former Oldfolks Home “other half,” Shaun Gibson, the Details drummer had expected the unexpected end of Lopez-Aguilar’s marriage to halt the pair’s imminent 2010 tour.

Instead, Gibson says, it triggered “the start of the most insightful, self-aware and honest divorce album” he had ever come across - Lopez-Aguilar’s work-in-progress, Black and Blue.

Lopez-Aguilar says the most tangible growth he experienced between 2008’s debut We Are The Feeding Line and the almost completed Black and Blue was his level of confidence in how he writes music, his level of comfort with what he releases and also his own voice.

“On the last record I kind of buried (my voice) into all of the mixes, and drowned it out with effects,” Lopez-Aguilar says. “It’s a lot more prominent on this record.”

The digital-acoustic wizard is also more willing to be open about the important things that have happened in his life, allowing him to create music that comes from a more honest place.

He says the divorce forced him to take a good look at himself, enabling him to make the necessary changes that allowed him to become more comfortable with himself.

This confidence has also manifested in his instrumentation.

“For the first time ever, I wrote a piece for a stringed instrument that wasn’t a guitar,” Lopez-Aguilar says.

I decided that I would let the community decide whether or not they wanted to help.

Ricardo Lopez-Aguilar, Oldfolks Home

He wrote a cello part for the song On Nights Like These that was played by Emma Quackenbush of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, who is just one of many guest artists on Black and Blue.

The album also features Gibson, Michael Falk (Les Jupes), Keri Latimer (Nathan), Nomad, Dan Werb (Woodhands), Tess Kitchen (E.S.L.) and Anastasia Chipelski, while the live band for this show consists of Curtis Nowosad, Ethan Osland (Burnthe8track), Mike Germain (The Hummers), Rosie Blais (Enjoy Your Pumas), Dominique Lemoine and Dan Barkman (Blue Sky Addicts). 

With recording complete, Lopez-Aguilar is forgoing traditional funding methods to finish the album.

He decided to hold a fundraising concert at the Pyramid Cabaret to raise money to complete post-production on Black and Blue, which took some self-convincing.

“It is hard to ask people for money when I know that’s a big stress factor for a lot of people,” he says. “I decided that I would let the community decide whether or not they wanted to help.”

So far Lopez-Aguilar has received a positive response, insinuating that the community does indeed want to help. He really likes the idea of crowdfunding because it requires the artist to be very creative when presenting their idea to people.

“I think people really enjoy being a part of something, and given the chance, they can take pride in donating to a project that they care about, and seeing it to its completion.”

Published in Volume 67, Number 11 of The Uniter (November 14, 2012)

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