After living in
Montreal for eight productive years, 1981 brought new changes to Dawson's
life. One of the most significant of these was the death of his father in
Victoria. It was a time for reflection and revaluation. One of the
consequences of this soul-searching was that Dawson decided that the
political changes that were happening in Montreal since 1976 were not worth
the long-term personal struggle. Nevertheless the context of "big city" life
and its cultural amenities remained an attraction.
After weighing the
options, Dawson made the choice not to return to his roots on the west
coast, but to move back to Toronto. It was soon clear that the freely
open-ended collaborations of his Montreal days were not possible in this new
pragmatic environment, so his creative focus was forced to move full circle
in seeking out new personal forms of purely musical expression.
This sudden change of perspective would create the opportunity for Dawson to reconnect in a late 20th century context with traditional genres that he had always loved, but it would also allow him to dig deeper into Canadian identity and a sense of place as an artist living in Canada through ongoing studies of parallel traditions across the arts in other Nordic countries. His musical style has evolved over the last 27 years fusing all these elements and influences into a unique presence, resonating with Northern colours, spare lines, thick textures, and freely evolving intuitive forms.
DRAGON SONGS (1995-98)