Ed Schmidt arrived in Italy about 20 years ago. Light travelling at the time, backpack over his shoulder and guitar at his side, through the many picturesque streets of the most beautiful and welcoming towns that make up the peninsula. He entertained the lucky passers-by with his nostalgic and melancholic ballads. Arriving in this beautiful country after several years of experience as a busker, his journies had taken him through many countries and continents .He had left his native Canada as a nineteen year old, some nine years earlier.. Ed was born of a German father and an Irish mother, and grew up in the suburbs of Toronto in a lively and multicultural environment. It was therefore no coincidence that, with the courage typical of young restless spirits, he decided to embrace the status of the pseudo-statelessness and enjoy the privileges that come with travel and broaden his horizons with regards to the world. Music was for almost nine years his livelihood and had become his special passport to reach the hearts of people. The many and meaningful friendships that he made in those years travelling has deeply influenced his music and his development as an artist. His repertoire meanwhile evolved and ranged from covers of the likes of Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, Don McLean, Jim Croce, Bob Marley, Tracy Chapman, etc.. and of course the countless songs he penned himself. The writing style of Ed Schmidt was initially characterized by the influence of his early youth. In fact, in Toronto, he played in a heavy metal band, “the Aftermath”, and was at the same time a passionate student of the avant-garde composer Lloyd Garber, from whom he learned a methodological and philosophical approach to songwriting. Resonances of this can be found in his earlier recorded songs such as on the album “The Busker” recorded in just 24 hours in 1991 in Poznan, Poland. Twelve original songs disarming in their intentional simplicity, in which the artist offered a glimpse to his listeners of his privileged role as a travelling street musician. Meanwhile, the emotional and existential life of Ed took a new turn with marriage and children ,implicated with daily commitments to which he fully dedicated himself, granting him in exchange the freedom to live his art no longer with financial obligation, but as a more personal ,intimate expression of his matured personality. Several years passed before returning to the music scene with a new project , this went by the enticing name of “No Commitments except those created by chance”. The album was recorded between Canada, Ireland and Germany, and Ed loaned himself to the philosophy of complete randomness, this being the guiding spirit and inspiration for this release. Even in the choice of his artistic collaborations, all were born spontaneously, using this work as a tribute to his life and his artistic needs of the moment. The themes of the songs reached a solid intellectual, civic and moral awareness with a slightly bitter hint of political disenchantment. Numerous live performances have testified the appreciation and recognition of a heterogeneous public with an ever more consistent, attentive and devoted audience. He has recently played as the opening acts , to rising popular artists such as Christian Cuff, Peppe Voltarelli, Omar Pedrini etc and has performed on countless occasions with old long-time friend, Jon Hicks, a talented guitarist well established on the Irish trad scene.
Nought remains but to listen and appreciate these refined sounds, the intensity of the lyrics and the honesty of such an original and intriguing artist!