Robert Neil Wiseman (born 1962) is a film composer, songwriter, author and music teacher.[1] Wiseman discovered or produced many artists including Ron Sexsmith, The Lowest of the Low, Bruce McCulloch of Kids in the Hall, Anhai, and former Canadian member of parliament Andrew Cash. He is a founding member of Blue Rodeo with whom he won 5 Juno Awards.[2][3]

Bob Wiseman
Bob Wiseman
Bob Wiseman
Background information
Born1962 (age 61–62)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
GenresRock, country, jazz, folk, improvisational
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, producer, filmmaker, actor
Instrument(s)Piano, keyboard, guitar, accordion, vocals
Years active1984–present

Career edit

In the 1980s Wiseman played at open stages in Toronto where he started producing friends Bob Snider, Kyp Harness, Ron Sexsmith, Sahara Spracklin and Sam Larkin. He joined Blue Rodeo in 1984 and quit in 1992 to follow a solo career.[4]

Wiseman's songs often incorporate new musical elements and explicit political themes. Guest contributors on his 13 albums include Daniel Lanois, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Eugene Chadbourne, Edie Brickell, Ron Sexsmith, Jane Siberry, Basia Bulat and Serena Ryder.

In 2009 a 20th anniversary edition of In Her Dream was released by the Blocks Recording Club and the songs were performed live by various friends including Ron Sexsmith, Geoff Berner, Owen Pallett, Kyp Harness, The Phonemes, Picastro, Michael Holt, Maggie MacDonald, UIC, Henri Faberge, and Don Christensen. In 2006 Wiseman and his partner, Magali Meagher, were accompaniment for Daniel Johnston. Wiseman was also a member of Slutarded, Black Eyes, The Hidden Cameras and Dick Duck & the Dorks.

Some of his better known songs include "White Dress" – a song about sexual assault, recorded by Serena Ryder, "What the Astronaut Noticed and Then Suggested" which was the theme song for the CBC Television series Material World, and "Maureen".

Touring and theatre edit

In 2009 Wiseman created Actionable,[5][6] a PowerPoint presentation utilizing Super 8, video and live accompaniment on accordion and guitar which he presented in 2010 at the Uno Festival in Victoria as well as Fringe Festival circuits.

Wiseman collaborated theatrically with Scott Thompson of The Kids in the Hall, creating and touring Scottastrophe also with Anand Rajaram on award-winning Cowboys and Indians and with Sean Dixon for Barbara Gowdy's story The White Bone adaptation, with The Madawaska String Quartet and with Maggie MacDonald and Stephanie Markowitz writing the music for their play The Rat King.

Wiseman toured with Feist, Final Fantasy, Ron Sexsmith, and Scott Thompson and was a guest performer with Wilco, The Wallflowers, Eugene Chadbourne, Jimmy Carl Black (of Frank Zappa), Edie Brickell, Michelle Wright, Ashley MacIsaac & Garland Jeffries. Videos on YouTube of Wiseman songs performed with Feist ("You Don't Love Me"), Serena Ryder ("White Dress") Sexsmith ("All The Trees)".

Artists who covered Wiseman's songs include The Madawaska String Quartet, UIC, Leah Abramson, The Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, Michael Holt, Change of Heart, Magali Meagher, Tom St. Louis, Ben Bootsma and The Blind Venetians.

Wiseman makes super 8 films and videos that he accompanies live on accordion, guitar or piano. He tours/ performs with these films in Europe, United States, New Zealand and Canada subtitling them when necessary. Wiseman is the only live musician on John Oswald's 1988 release Plunderphonics. He was on the board of directors for LIFT, TAIS, The Tranzac & the Blocks Recording Club label in Toronto. In 2019 he obtained his master's degree in Environmental Studies from York University and currently is in the PhD program at the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation.

Production edit

Wiseman started producing records in the 1980s, his debut "Wet Water" charted No. 4 on CKLN-FM at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. Soon he was arranging and recording many friends like Ron Sexsmith, Sam Larkin, Kyp Harness, Sahara Spracklin and UIC. The record he produced for Ron Sexsmith "Grand Opera Lane" was rejected by Canadian A&R representatives. Through persistence he managed to get it to Todd Sullivan at Geffen Records in Los Angeles, who eventually gave it to Ronnie Vance in the publishing department which led to a deal for Ron Sexsmith with Interscope. Other notable clients were Kid in the Hall Bruce McCulloch, with whom Wiseman produced and co-wrote much of his Atlantic Records release Shame Based Man (listed as No. 24 on Spin Magazine's top comedy albums of all time).[7] Other artists Wiseman has produced include Edie Brickell, Canadian Member of Parliament Andrew Cash, Knitting Factory Recording Artist Carmaig de Forest, Robert Priest, Anhai, Friendly Rich, Jess Reimer, Katie Crown, Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, Eugene Chadbourne, and Bob Snider.

Author edit

  • July 2023, Improv notes Issue on Andy Newmark Counting to Seventeen.
  • June 2022, Improv notes Issue on Coleman Hughes goes to Washington.
  • April 2022, Improv notes Issue on Freddie Stone Musical Phenomenologist.
  • April 2021, Improv notes Issue on the Tranzac and Covid.
  • July 2020, ECW Press Music Lessons 350 pages.[8]

Film scores edit

  • Polish (2023) by Eytan Millstone and Dan Bricker
  • Temperance (2022) by Scott Thompson
  • Rasputin (2018) by Jamie Shannon
  • The Drawer Boy (2017) by Arturo Pérez Torres and Aviva Armour-Ostroff
  • Idiots In Love (2016) by Kathleen Phillips-Locke
  • Meat Pie (2015) by Eytan Millstone
  • Political Refugee (2015) by Rob Stefaniuk
  • The Education of William Bowman (2015) by Ken Finkleman
  • Blood White (2015) by Rotter and Kess
  • Micah Lexier, Visual Artist (2015) by Min Sook Lee
  • Love Song for the Apocalypse (2014) by David Ridgen
  • Every Story Has a Twist (2014) by Bindu Shah
  • Mugshot (2014) by Dennis Mohr
  • Safir (2013) by Mariam Zaidi
  • David Noble: A Wrench In The Gears (2013) by Jon Bullick
  • Candy (2013) by Cassandra Cronenberg
  • The Ghosts In Our Machine (2013) by Liz Marshall
  • What's Art Got To Do With It? (2013) by Isabel Fryzsberg
  • The Thunder Bird & The Killer Whale (2012) by Caroline Trudell
  • Even If My Hands Were Full of Truths (2012) by Franci Duran
  • Sad Wet Happy Dry (2011) by Levi MacDougall
  • The Old Ways (2011) by Mike Vass
  • That Thing That Happened (2010) by Josh Saltzman and Lindsay Ames
  • The Pickles Shane (2009) by Levi MacDougall
  • Sous l'oeil du temps (2009) by Madi Pillar
  • Drawing from Life (2008) by Katerina Cizek
  • Abstract (2007) by Steve Whitehouse
  • Heart Mission (2005) by Katie Crown
  • Scarlett's Room (2004) by Yvonne Ng
  • The Racist Brick (2003) by Dave Derewlany and Adam Brodie
  • Toraanisqatsi (2001) by Leif Harmsen
  • Thirst (2000) by Jessica Joy Wise
  • American Whiskey Bar (1996) by Bruce McDonald
  • Coleslaw Warehouse (1994) by Bruce McCulloch

Television scores edit

Theatre scores edit

  • Charming Monsters (2013) directed by Aaron Rothermund
  • Smother (2012) directed by Omar Joseph Hady
  • Actionable (2011) directed by Sean Dixon
  • Cowboys and Indians (2008) directed by Anand Rajaram
  • The White Bone (2007) directed by Sean Dixon
  • The Rat King (2006) directed by Maggie MacDonald and Steph Markowitz
  • Hys Unauthorized Lyfe and Tymes (2002) directed by Anand Rajaram
  • The 3 Penny Epic Cabaret (1994) directed by Adam Nashman
  • Peter Cottontail (1969) directed by Mrs. Smith

Radio scores edit

  • Someone Knows Something (2016) produced by CBC

Production discography edit

Selected releases edit

Production edit

  • Wiseman Sessions (1988) UIC
  • Outside The Law (1989) Basic English
  • Sam Larkin (1989) Sam Larkin
  • Grand Opera Lane (1990) Ron Sexsmith
  • Put Your Head on Your Shoulders (1990) The Bourbon Tabernacle Choir
  • Nowhere Fast (1991) Kyp Harness
  • You (1991) Bob Snider
  • Love Song to the Alien (1992) The Liz Band
  • Shaylee (1992) Edie Brickell
  • Hi (1992) Andrew Cash
  • Just Buy It (1992) Furnaceface
  • Gamble/ Motel 6 (1993) Lowest of the Low
  • Ruins of Our Own (1993) Eugene Chadbourne
  • Shame-Based Man (1995) Bruce McCulloch
  • California (1996) Jeanette Froncz
  • Spacewoman (1998) Selina Martin
  • We Need A New F Word (2005) Friendly Rich
  • Gamma Knife (2011) Maria Kasstan
  • Apology (2011) Eihpos Grapes
  • Countdown (2011) Stacey McLeod
  • Arachnia (2011) Sean Dixon
  • New Boots (2011) Laska Sawade
  • Catholic School (2011) Christine Cleary
  • Love You More (2011) Kwesi Immanuel
  • Three of Swords (2013) Mimi Osvath
  • The Nightjar and The Garden (2014) Jess Reimer
  • The Secret Songs of Sam Larkin (2015) Sam Larkin
  • Tomorrow Is Today (2018) Anhai
  • Love is Hard (2022) Robert Priest

Solo discography edit

  • Wet Water (1984)
  • In Her Dream: Bob Wiseman Sings Wrench Tuttle (1989)
  • Hits of the Sixties and Seventies (1990)
  • Presented by Lake Michigan Soda (1991)
  • City of Wood (1993)
  • Beware of Bob (1994)
  • Accidentally Acquired Beliefs (1995)
  • More Work Songs from the Planet of the Apes (1997)
  • It's True (2004)
  • Theme and Variations (2006)
  • The Legend (2008)
  • In Her Dream (2009) – 20th anniversary edition on vinyl with previously unreleased tracks
  • Giulietta Masina At The Oscars Crying (2013)

Film and videography edit

A retrospective of his films and videos were shown in 2010 both in Kuopio, Finland and in Genoa, Italy at the Associazione Culturale Disorderdrama.

  • Alexander and the Hydro Pole (1999)
  • All Dressed Up (2001)
  • Bhopal (driftnet plan) (2003)
  • My Cousin Dave (2003)
  • Uranium (2004)
  • Drum Sounds (2005)
  • Bob And Choice (2006)with Scott Thompson, Levi MacDougall and Nathan Fielder
  • Found Poetry (2006)
  • 100 Instruments (2007)
  • Dead Inside (2007)
  • Who Am I (2008)
  • Ten Cent Job (2009)
  • Response of a Lakota Woman to FBI Intimidation (2009)
  • Disappearing Trick (2009)
  • Hand Language (2010)
  • You Don't Love Me (2010)
  • Three Men (2011)
  • Two (2011)
  • Neil Young at the Junos (2013)
  • Misery (2016)
  • (2017)
  • The Reform Part at Burning Man (2019)

Personal life edit

Wiseman attended Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate, École River Heights, Grant Park, Argyle Alternative High School in Winnipeg, Manitoba and holds a Masters of Environmental Studies from York University. Currently a 2024 PhD candidate at the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation.

Awards edit

References edit

  1. ^ Armstrong, Denis Sun Media (30 September 2009). "Artist: Wiseman, Bob > The many faces of Bob Wiseman". Jam!. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ Keast, James (March 2005). "Music School > MEET & GREET > Mar 2005". Exclaim!. Toronto: 1059434 Ontario Inc. ISSN 1207-6600. Archived from the original on 6 April 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  3. ^ Schwartzman, Lisa. "Bob Wiseman Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  4. ^ LeBlanc, Larry (4 July 1992). "Wiseman rides in to solo career" - Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 47. ISSN 0006-2510.
  5. ^ "Actionable:music is at its beautiful core". Plank Magazine. 24 May 2010.
  6. ^ *""Bob_Wiseman's_One-Man Actionable Show Makes Its Way Across Canada". 2010-05-19. Retrieved 2011-03-03.
  7. ^ "SPIN's 40 Greatest Comedy Albums Of All Time". SPIN. 1 November 2011.
  8. ^ "12 Canadian books coming out in July we can't wait to read". CBC Books. 7 July 2020. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  9. ^ "*In her dream (sound recording): Bob Wiseman sings Wrench Tuttle / [all songs written by Wiseman-Tuttle]",, Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada, OCLC 25529378, AMICUS No. 19537810, retrieved 4 March 2011.
  10. ^ Liss, Sarah (29 July 2009). "What about Bob? Toronto music MVP re-releases his dreamy debut on Blocks Recording Club". Eye Weekly. ISSN 1192-6074. Archived from the original on 10 July 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  11. ^ "Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - ChartAttack's Top 100 Canadian Albums of All Time".
  12. ^ "City of Wood - Bob Wiseman - Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic.
  13. ^ "Libelous, by bob wiseman".
  14. ^ "Benjamin Boles's Top 10 Discs". NOW Toronto. 28 December 2006.
  15. ^ Berry, Dave (15 May 2007). "He would not feel so all abandoned, everybody must get Bob Wiseman". Vue Weekly. Archived from the original on 29 August 2013.
  16. ^ "Bob Wiseman The Legend". Exclaim!.
  17. ^ "'Muzzling' of Canadian government scientists sent before Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault". Toronto Star. 15 March 2013.
  18. ^ "Artist Summary - The JUNO Awards".
  19. ^ "Juno Awards Database". Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  20. ^ "CBC Music".
  21. ^ "Best of Winners - Archived copy". NOW Toronto. Archived from the original on 19 November 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2014.

External links edit