The Glen Foster Group recently released its new album Music Alchemy. Foster created a cigar box instrument, which is featured on one of the songs. RACHEL STERN / The News Bulletin

VIDEO: Glen Foster Group releases new album, Music Alchemy

The Glen Foster Group is hosting an album release show July 14 and 15 at Nanaimo’s Lighthouse Bistro

Unexpected events can create magical moments when it comes to creating music.

Nanaimo musician Glen Foster discovered the beauty of the unpredictable during the creation of the Glen Foster Group’s latest album Music Alchemy.

The album features a number of brass instruments. Foster had never arranged for a brass section before, although he had collaborated with numbers brass instrument musicians, and had to discover the range of the instruments, the timbers and how they harmonize with other instruments.

“The idea for the title is that I thought of all these different brass instruments coming into play … and the word I came up with was alchemy. It’s like a chemistry of things being put together,” said Foster. “The historical meaning of alchemy goes back to the ancient days where they tried to make gold out of things like lead.

Foster said found a definition of alchemy as a process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, which fit with his album because he thought of it as a kind of musical chemistry and at times during the recording session “little magical things” begin to happen.

” You get this harmonization or blending of sounds or melodies that you are just not anticipating, you don’t plan out, but all of a sudden they appear and it’s just really neat,” he said.

The Glen Foster Group is comprised of Foster, Marg Foster, Glenn Olsen, Pat Shonwise and Marty Steele. The group also collaborated with a number of special guests including Mark Crissinger, David Gogo, Paul Gogo, Dwight Gray, James McRae, Rick Salt and others.

“Because I had so many people involved it really did create a kind of, I don’t know if I would use the word synergy, but that kind of thing where you share ideas and people come up with new concepts or like a little melody line that I wouldn’t have thought of, so it adds to the richness of the project having more collaborators,” said Foster.

Foster said he needs to be inspired to write songs for the album. He can’t just sit down, pick up a guitar and start creating pieces.

“There needs to be a seed and it moves to a simple instrument. It could be a piano or a cigar box guitar or something and then once I get the melody and rhythm happening on an instrument then the lyrics kind of follow,” he said.

The Glen Foster Group performs during a album release event on July 14 and 15 at the Lighthouse Bistro and Pub, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. No cover.

For more information about the Glen Foster Group, please visit

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