Musician's winding journey worldwide led him to Summerland

Music fuelled by passion

"Okanagan Inspired" is a weekly series of profiles offering a peek into the stories and inspirations of South Okanagan residents who hold creative roles in the community.

A passion for music inspires a Summerland man to foster the creativity of artists both locally and nationwide.

After living and travelling all over the world, Thurein Myint is now enjoying being settled down in Summerland. Originally born in Burma, Myint has also lived in Borneo, Thailand and Singapore and travelled extensively through Europe, Scandinavia and Asia.

With a degree in chemistry, Myint found himself living back in Burma, teaching chemistry at a local school, where he met his wife.

“I taught chemistry for two years, but I didn’t love grading papers. My chemistry teaching career got me a wife, but not much enjoyment,” Myint says laughing. “I married a woman from Summerland. She was a Canadian teacher, working in Burma for three years for the British Council, and worked in the diplomatic schools, and she is a high school teacher here!"

They eventually made their way back to Summerland, and ended up buying a house and staying.

"That was in 2001, so 20 years now. Time flies!” he says.

Myint began working for the William Leggott Classic Guitar School on Main Street in Penticton for several years.

“While I was teaching guitar lessons, I was also working as a music promoter, promoting Canadian artists overseas, so I was travelling a lot. I had to quit because I was managing too much,” explains Myint.

In addition to music promotion, Myint began producing music, arranging music, and touring with fellow musicians as well as working as a portrait artist.

“I trained to be an artist for five years and was doing that a lot of the time too, but I was also trained as a music engineer. Between the two, I was working seven days a week and travelling, but I enjoyed it," says Myint.

He decided to open his own studio, Ellis Avenue Studio, in the former mechanic shop in his backyard, offering all kinds of services to help musicians.

“I am usually booked a year and a half ahead,” explains Myint. “In addition to sound engineering, and promotions, I also do record producing, artist development, I am a jazz and rock guitarist and I mix arrangements for artists. I started a record label called Caron Maria Records that focuses on developing artists, and we also do vinyl record cutting, which is very unique. We do master cutting, acetate cutting and dubplate cutting, but only for people that record here, and in limited amounts,” he adds.

Through his studio, Myint runs about 15-20 projects a year, not only with local artists, but musicians throughout the country.

“I work with a lot of artists from all over, but I can’t ignore the talent in local artists, and they need someone to work with. I feel like it’s important and I enjoy supporting the people around here,” says Myint.

For people interested in a career in music, Myint advises: “Doing what you are good at is more important than doing what you want to do. There are some very talented musicians who want to be producers, or very talented engineers who want to be musicians. It makes it more difficult for you. It is best to stick to what you’re good at.”

A large passion for music is what keeps Myint working as hard as he does.

“It isn’t just chemistry that can be hard. Music can be stressful too. I work with lots of different people and different types of projects, and it is very time consuming, but I really enjoy and love music,” says Myint, adding his favourite song is Will Ye Go Lassie Go by the 1960s Scottish folk group, The Corries.

To learn more or book with Myint, follow Ellis Ave Studio and Vinyl Record Cutting on Facebook or email [email protected]

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