‘The stream is my medicine’: Payne, Prine and the healing power of music in Metchosin

Neighbours gathered to enjoy a musical tribute on the bridge leading to a home on Brookview Drive in Metchosin. The band played John Prine songs in memory of the singer-songwriter who died on April 7. Less than one year ago, their bridge was host to a memorial for their neighbour, Martin Payne, who was found dead in his home in July. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)Neighbours gathered to enjoy a musical tribute on the bridge leading to a home on Brookview Drive in Metchosin. The band played John Prine songs in memory of the singer-songwriter who died on April 7. Less than one year ago, their bridge was host to a memorial for their neighbour, Martin Payne, who was found dead in his home in July. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Neighbours gathered to enjoy a musical tribute on the bridge leading to a home on Brookview Drive in Metchosin. The band played John Prine songs in memory of the singer-songwriter who died on April 7. Less than one year ago, their bridge was host to a memorial for their neighbour, Martin Payne, who was found dead in his home in July. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)Neighbours gathered to enjoy a musical tribute on the bridge leading to a home on Brookview Drive in Metchosin. The band played John Prine songs in memory of the singer-songwriter who died on April 7. Less than one year ago, their bridge was host to a memorial for their neighbour, Martin Payne, who was found dead in his home in July. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Neighbours gathered to enjoy a musical tribute on the bridge leading to a home on Brookview Drive in Metchosin. The band played John Prine songs in memory of the singer-songwriter who died on April 7. Less than one year ago, their bridge was host to a memorial for their neighbour, Martin Payne, who was found dead in his home in July. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)Neighbours gathered to enjoy a musical tribute on the bridge leading to a home on Brookview Drive in Metchosin. The band played John Prine songs in memory of the singer-songwriter who died on April 7. Less than one year ago, their bridge was host to a memorial for their neighbour, Martin Payne, who was found dead in his home in July. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Kym Hill and her husband organized a musical tribute on the bridge leading to their home on Brookview Drive in Metchosin. Less than one year ago, their bridge was host to a memorial for their neighbour, Martin Payne, who was found dead in his home in July. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)Kym Hill and her husband organized a musical tribute on the bridge leading to their home on Brookview Drive in Metchosin. Less than one year ago, their bridge was host to a memorial for their neighbour, Martin Payne, who was found dead in his home in July. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Kym Hill and her husband organized a musical tribute on the bridge leading to their home on Brookview Drive in Metchosin. They played John Prine songs in memory of the singer-songwriter who died on April 7. Less than one year ago, their bridge was host to a memorial for their neighbour, Martin Payne, who was found dead in his home in July. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)Kym Hill and her husband organized a musical tribute on the bridge leading to their home on Brookview Drive in Metchosin. They played John Prine songs in memory of the singer-songwriter who died on April 7. Less than one year ago, their bridge was host to a memorial for their neighbour, Martin Payne, who was found dead in his home in July. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Charles Knighton and his wife organized a musical tribute on the bridge leading to their home on Brookview Drive in Metchosin. They played John Prine songs in memory of the singer-songwriter who died on April 7. Less than one year ago, their bridge was host to a memorial for their neighbour, Martin Payne, who was found dead in his home in July. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)Charles Knighton and his wife organized a musical tribute on the bridge leading to their home on Brookview Drive in Metchosin. They played John Prine songs in memory of the singer-songwriter who died on April 7. Less than one year ago, their bridge was host to a memorial for their neighbour, Martin Payne, who was found dead in his home in July. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Neighbours gathered to enjoy a musical tribute on the bridge leading to a home on Brookview Drive in Metchosin. The band played John Prine songs in memory of the singer-songwriter who died on April 7. Less than one year ago, their bridge was host to a memorial for their neighbour, Martin Payne, who was found dead in his home in July. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)Neighbours gathered to enjoy a musical tribute on the bridge leading to a home on Brookview Drive in Metchosin. The band played John Prine songs in memory of the singer-songwriter who died on April 7. Less than one year ago, their bridge was host to a memorial for their neighbour, Martin Payne, who was found dead in his home in July. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Laughter, music and a gentle stream could be heard from a bridge leading to the driveway of a home on Brookview Drive in Metchosin last weekend.

Kym Hill, her husband Charles Knighton, and neighbours Craig Hanna and Rolfe McCooey came together on April 19 – while staying physically distant – to perform a musical tribute to the American singer-songwriter John Prine who died on April 7.

Hill and Knighton chalked out spaces along the 54-foot bridge and roped them off so each musician had their own area to perform while adhering to provincial guidelines brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Other neighbours also spaced out along the bridge to enjoy some tunes on a sunny, Sunday afternoon.

Less than one year before, the bridge was host to a different sort of coming together. Guitars and the harmonica were replaced by bagpipes as community members gathered with candles to remember Martin Payne, their 60-year-old neighbour who was murdered and found dead in his home last July.

READ ALSO: ‘Goodness prevails’: Neighbours reflect following suspicious death of 60-year-old Metchosin man

However, one constant remains.

“The stream is my medicine,” Hill said, repeating words she spoke after Payne’s murder in July. “It’s there when things are a bit sideways.”

Hill said she and her neighbours are “trying to make the best of everything” as they embrace “the good stuff” like the beautiful setting in which they live and the music they can share together.

She said John Prine is one of her musical heroes, and thought it was fitting to play his music as a tribute and the fact that “life goes on.”

Community members are still left without answers regarding Payne’s murder, with RCMP telling community members the investigation is ongoing but more details cannot be released, Hill said.

Not knowing what’s going on with the investigation, as well as the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, can leave people feeling powerless she said.

READ ALSO: Victoria musician takes to the web to replace cancelled Oak Bay concert

“I think it’s incumbent on us to gather up the best of everything and try to let go of the things you don’t have total control over,” Hill said. “The water seems to be going in the same direction still … it’s a glorious thing, that things just keep on going.”

The group of musicians were going to call themselves Brookview Overdrive but, Hill laughed, called themselves the Quarantine Quartet instead.

She said they plan to continue to play music – from a variety of artists – on the bridge as they make the most of everything and keep doing what they love.

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusMetchosinmurder

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich author Hannalora Leavitt hopes her new book, This Disability Experience, helps to dispel the ‘otherness’ that often surrounds people with disabilities. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Vancouver Island author demystifying disability and dismantling otherness

Hannalora Leavitt, who lives with a visual impairment, wants to change how people look at disability

Michael Demers, performing here as a member of The Lonely, died May 1 after a year-long battle with leukemia. (Photo by Benji Duke)
Victoria music community mourning Michael Demers

Veteran singer-songwriter, co-founder of The Lonely dies at 63 due to leukemia

The Royal B.C. Museum has added a tamba dining set, used by a Punjabi man on his voyage to Canada in 1927, to its ‘100 Objects of Interest’ online collection. (Courtesy of Royal B.C. Museum)
Punjabi dining set added to Royal B.C. Museum’s ‘100 Objects of Interest’ collection

Set used by Indar Singh Gill on his voyage from Punjab to Canada in 1927

Victoria-born musician Bryce Dane Soderberg took to Instagram Monday to call out the Greater Victoria School District on its proposed cuts to elementary and middle school music programs. (Bryce Dane Soderberg/Instagram)
Victoria-born Lifehouse vocalist calls out SD61 on proposed music cuts

‘It will be a big loss to future generations’ Bryce Dane Soderberg posted to his Instagram

Musqueam and Qualicum First Nations artist, Mathew Andreatta, next to several of his ongoing projects, including carvings and illustrations. (Submitted photo)
Island artist considers art a means to reconnect with his Indigenous identity

Andreatta thought of TOSH as a space of learning and creation

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong are presenting an online reading on May 9. (Photos courtesy Joni Marcolin/Heather Armstrong)
Nanaimo playwrights present online Mother’s Day script readings

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong to read from in-progress plays

Marianne Turley is one of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award winners for Honour in Culture. (Bulletin file photo)
Longtime Vancouver Island Symphony board member gets posthumous culture award

Marianne Turley receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Honour in Culture

The CVAC Fine Arts Show is always something to see and 2021 promises to be no different, as they adopt a fully multimedia approach. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show goes multimedia for 2021

The show, which runs from May 1-22 will be available both in person and online.

Dinner After a Death, a painting by Sooke artist Bryan Cathcart is part of a collection featuring his work at the Outsiders and Others Gallery in Vancouver. (Contributed - Bryan Cathcart)
Sooke artist finds creativity by expanding artistic horizons

Bryan Cathcart, 26, featured at Vancouver gallery

Viking-inspired fantasy writer Joshua Gillingham of Nanaimo and Seattle-based Islamic science fiction editor Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad are co-editing ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star.’ (Photos submitted, illustration by Lada Shustova/Figue)
Nanaimo author co-editing historical anthology connecting Vikings and Muslims

Joshua Gilligham presents ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star’

Saltair-based writer, Krista May. (Janet Kelly photo)
Island writers make long-list for 2021 CBC Short Story Prize

Krista May and Angie Ellis among 33 finalists selected out of over 3,000 entrants

A writer studying in England drew from her roots growing up in Sooke for a story that’s been short-listed for a prestigious international prize.
Former Sooke resident up for prestigious writing award

Cara Marks earns nomination for the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Most Read