Former CPO affiliate conductor Karl Hirzer drew on classical background for debut album, however the outcomes are arduous to outline

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In April 2022, Karl Hirzer was requested a considerably obscure query by Adam Fox of the Nationwide Music Centre.

Hirzer was in Berlin on the time, however he nonetheless had a yr left in his seven-year tenure as affiliate director of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Fox, who was director of programming at NMC on the time, requested if he had any expertise enjoying an Ondes Martenot, which is likely one of the earliest digital music devices. Invented in 1928, the proto-synthesizer sounds a bit like a theremin.  

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“It has this eerie, type of plaintive sound to it,” says Hirzer.

David Kean, founder and president of Audities Studio in Calgary, had made a contemporary duplicate of an Ondes Martenot known as an Ondea. In the summertime of 2022, the NMC was internet hosting the annual normal assembly of the American Musical Instrument Society and Fox recommended Hirzer carry out on the Ondea for the event as a means of showcasing the centre’s huge assortment of devices. Hirzer is a world-class pianist, however when he made his debut efficiency on the Ondea, his expertise was restricted.

“I performed the instrument for the primary time 10 days earlier than the efficiency,” says Hirzer, in an interview from his residence in Berlin. “I positively don’t have any mastery of the Ondes Martenot.”

However that was a part of the enjoyable. In June 2020, Hirzer collaborated with Calgary Philharmonic assistant principal cellist Josue Valdepenas on a bit that might finally be carried out on the assembly. Over seven days, Hirzer and Valdepenas labored collectively on the piece. Ringing in at practically 22 minutes lengthy, Crystal Clear was finally recorded on the NMC and is now the closing monitor on Hirzer’s debut album, Relaxer Distractor.

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“It was that liberation of approaching an instrument that I didn’t have years and years and the vast majority of my life’s value {of professional} coaching on like I do with the piano,” Hirzer says. “I discovered that to be a really liberating expertise as a result of I didn’t contextualize what it was that I used to be doing. I didn’t examine it to the a whole bunch or 1000’s of items that I do know for that instrument. I believe that’s a part of the character of this album. Sure, I’ve been enjoying piano for a very long time, however lots of the electronics and synth may be very a lot an exploration of that sound world and there’s a sense of discovery to it and even a playfulness to it.”

Aside from Crystal Clear, the album was largely recorded with Paul Chirka, the CPO’s former recording engineer. The piano continues to be the first instrument on the album, which options instrumental eight tracks that elude straightforward characterization. Plenty of the compositions even have Hirzer enjoying the Moog Matriarch, a synthesizer that he’s no less than a bit extra accustomed to. Nonetheless, the names of among the tracks – corresponding to Melancholy Quasi-Waltz in B-Minor or All This Occurred, roughly – spotlight the concept that Relaxer Distractor falls in between genres. On Cosmic Vertigo, Hirzer provides a heady, psychedelic piece that sounds prefer it could possibly be on an early synth-based soundtrack for a sci-fi movie.

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Karl Hirzer
Karl Hirzer. Picture submitted. cal

When requested immediately in regards to the style, Hirzer admits he has no clear reply aside from to say it’s instrumental music. There are many sonic and compositional threads. Hirzer was influenced by classical music and his coaching as a classical pianist and it’s a basis for the album. He was impressed by French impressionist composers corresponding to Erik Satie, Maurice Revel and Claude Debussy but additionally minimalist modern composers corresponding to Steve Reich and German composer Nils Frahm, who is thought for mixing classical and digital music.

“I name it post-classical,” Hirzer says. “It’s minimalist, modern – very cinematic, usually very chill and minimalist and normally tonal music.”

Hirzer was solely 26 and recent from McGill’s Schulich College of Music when he arrived in Calgary seven years in the past because the CPO’s resident conductor in 2016. He made his debut in September of that yr on the annual Style of the CPO live performance on the Jack Singer Live performance Corridor, main the orchestra by means of actions of Mozart’s G minor Symphony, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9, Beethoven’s Eroica symphony and Tchaikovsky’s Fourth. All through his tenure, he grew to become recognized for tackling difficult orchestral works and dealing with a variety of collaborators, together with Corb Lund, Bernadette Peters, iskwe and  Sarah Slean.

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Hirzer’s contract with the CPO led to August and he finally moved to Berlin, which he calls the “centre of the classical music world.”

His on-line bio claims that Hirzer started “composing” at his household’s upright piano on the age of 4, however the musician admits that that is “barely deceptive.” Banging away on the household piano was considered one of his first musical reminiscences, however he didn’t actually begin writing music till he was a young person and it was truly for heavy steel bands that he performed with in highschool. He didn’t begin writing modern classical or minimalist items till 2021 when he started Relaxer Distractor.

He was concerned with writing classical items, nevertheless it appeared a frightening prospect.

“You spend a lot time finding out the music of those composers who’ve actually transcended eras and historic intervals,” Hirzer says. “If you end up listening to composers and finding out the music of Beethoven and Mahler on a regular basis, that is music that basically tries to seize your entire human expertise of life. It rolls up love and loss of life and life and philosophy and the wilderness of the earth all into a bit of music. As somebody who spends lots of time with that type of music, there’s a feeling of ‘OK, how can I even method this?’”

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Hirzer says the compositions discovered on the brand new album are virtually “the other of that.”

“I don’t assume any of those songs attempt to make any daring statements about something,” he says. “They’re much extra impressed by settings or moods or making an attempt to convey the impression of one thing. It’s considering of issues on a smaller scale or a deconstructed scale. Conducting is my absolute favorite factor on the planet, I like working with orchestras and the orchestral repertoire is basically what I’m all about. However I did discover it wholesome in a strategy to create new songs and in addition to be participating with an instrument myself.”

Relaxer Distractor is on the market on all streaming providers.

With information from Kenneth DeLong

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On their catchy fifth album No person Cares, Calgary's Julius Sumner Miller invitations you to affix their 'hilariously enjoyable' cult

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For punk rockers who’ve been plying their commerce for any size of time, there’s a danger that youthful rage will ultimately harden into one thing resembling grumpiness.

Darren Ollinger, lead vocalist of Calgary five-piece act Julius Sumner Miller, admits the preliminary inspiration for a number of songs discovered on the band’s fifth album, No person Cares,  got here at a “bizarre time.” That may, in fact, be the pandemic. Since few acts might tour or play reside throughout that interval, many used the time to woodshed and provide you with a bumper crop of latest materials. Nevertheless it was additionally a bizarre time in different methods.

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“You’re writing songs whenever you’re not in a position to reside the life you as soon as had been,” says Ollinger. “So there’s lots of commentary on  watching different individuals fail in social media points. There are a number of songs that actually communicate to that: Individuals who you as soon as thought had been your pals are like ‘You’re not an excellent human being.’ You’re shedding these relationships resulting from their stir-crazy, right-leaning ideas or conspiracy ideas. It’s like, why is that this occurring?”

So it’s comprehensible that among the songs that got here out of this bizarre second in time — together with the  raging opener fifth Bar, the 44-second finger-lift No person Cares and pummelling Rage is a Completely Legitimate Response —   preserve a considerably bitter flavour, even when they do boast the act’s trademark catchy hooks. However they realized early on that this wouldn’t maintain a complete album.

“I used to be like ‘I can’t do 13 songs about this,’” Ollinger says. “. . . so let’s cowl Bryan Adams.”

A punk band protecting Bryan Adams is inconceivable sufficient, however Julius Sumner Miller opted to take a spin with Adams’ melodic if considerably treacly 1983 ballad Heaven, turning it into chugging rocker. It’s simply one of many surprises on No person Cares, a 13-song album the band recorded at OCL Studios outdoors of Calgary. It was the identical locale that Julius Sumner Miller  ecorded their 2021 album Strive It Out in the course of the first wave of the pandemic. As with that album, No person Cares was recorded throughout a five-day residency on the in style studio.

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It’s not that the opposite eight songs on the document are significantly light-hearted. However songs like The G Killer, 4 Floaters and Fundamental Wants cowl conventional punk lyrical tenets resembling malaise, restlessness and hypocrisy with craft and occasional flashes of humour. One of many stand-out tracks, Talking of Cults, begins with a youngsters’s choir. Youngsters’s choirs in rock songs don’t want a darkish backstory to be creepy, however this clip has one simply the identical. Ollinger says it’s an precise recording, discovered on Youtube,  of a choir from  the Individuals Temple. That was the cult lead by American preacher Jim Jones, who orchestrated. a mass murder-suicide at his Jonestown compound in Guyana that claimed by lives of greater than individuals.

It sounds heavy, however the track itself is extra of a tongue-in-cheek commentary on being in a band, Ollinger says.

“It’s like ‘talking of cults, do you wish to come be a fan of our band?” he says. “It’s only a play on fandom, I assume. It’s like ‘Get on board, that is going to be  hilariously enjoyable entertaining trip. We take all followers.’ Being in a band, particularly being a frontman in a band, is sort of like beginning your personal cult and cultivating individuals to consider in what you do. Nothing sinister although.’”

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Julius Sumner Miller is prone to entice extra congregants or cultists by way of their wildly energetic reside reveals. The band will play Fashionable Love on Nov. 3. The venue is the previous house of Damaged Metropolis, which hosted Julius Sumner Miller regularly over the previous decade.  In actual fact, the band performed the venue’s last present simply over a 12 months in the past.

“I feel we’re predominantly a reside band, firstly,” Ollinger says. “In the event you see us reside, you’ll know precisely what’s up as a result of we carry the leisure. We aren’t simply 5 individuals standing there taking part in our devices. It’s rowdy, it’s enjoyable, it’s entertaining, it’s thrilling. So individuals wish to be a part of it. As a result of that’s how we’re constructed, that usually bleeds into our writing.”

Shaped by Ollinger and guitarists Richard MacFarlane and Sean Hamilton in 2013, the band named themselves after the American physicist and kids’s present character who’s most well-known for showing on the Mickey Mouse Membership and for taking part in the Professor on The Hilarious Home of Frightenstein. The band’s longevity might have one thing to do with its considerably informal method to careerism.

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“In the event you’re busy, go be busy with life,” he says. “We’re not going to interrupt up. We’ll simply wait a few weeks after which begin jamming once more and bear in mind how enjoyable it’s. We’re simply making an attempt to remain lively sufficient: guide.a present each couple of months or a weekend out of city. It forces you to remain lively.”

Ollinger grew up in Winnipeg however moved to Calgary for his high-school years. He says he was typical outsider rising up and found punk as an outlet in early Nineties, immersing himself initially in Calgary’s all-ages punk-rock scene.

He says his relationship to the style has not modified all that a lot regardless of encroaching maturity. If something, raging in opposition to the machine tends to turn into slightly extra finely tuned because the years go by.

“Now I do know why I hate the federal government,” Ollinger says. “I used to be mad at society after I was 17 as a result of some band advised me to be. However now it sort of is sensible. I  simply fell into it. It’s a really customary story of how you discover punk-rock as a  lot of individuals do: you’re simply searching for one thing to be included with. I attempted every thing.  I feel I used to be simply unhealthy at being a child. I couldn’t work out buddies, I couldn’t work out no matter. I went to a punk-rock present and I believed ‘That is cool.’ I simply saved going to them. It was neat as a result of I used to be seeing lots of misfits, particularly within the 80s and 90s when it was very an outcast kind of scenario. Now it’s acceptable. It’s at all times been inviting, however it’s not as menacing anymore. My mother will not be as afraid of it as she as soon as was.”

No person Cares is now accessible on streaming companies. Julius Sumner Miller play Fashionable Love with Downway, Convey on the Storm and Arts Main on Nov. 3. Doorways open at 5 p.m.

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On their catchy fifth album, No person Cares, Calgary's Julius Sumner Miller invitations you to hitch their 'hilariously enjoyable' cult

‘Should you see us stay, you will know precisely what’s up as a result of we deliver the leisure,’ says lead singer Darren Ollinger.

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For punk rockers who’ve been plying their commerce for any size of time, there’s a danger that youthful rage will finally harden into one thing resembling grumpiness.

Darren Ollinger, lead vocalist of Calgary five-piece act Julius Sumner Miller, admits the preliminary inspiration for just a few songs discovered on the band’s fifth album, No person Cares, got here at a “bizarre time.” That might, after all, be the pandemic. Since few acts might tour or play stay throughout that interval, many used the time to woodshed and provide you with a bumper crop of recent materials. However it was additionally a bizarre time in different methods.

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“You’re writing songs if you’re not capable of stay the life you as soon as have been,” says Ollinger. “So there’s numerous commentary on watching different individuals fail in social media features. There are just a few songs that actually communicate to that: Individuals who you as soon as thought have been your folks are like ‘You’re not a very good human being.’ You’re dropping these relationships because of their stir-crazy, right-leaning ideas or conspiracy ideas. It’s like, why is that this taking place?”

So it’s comprehensible that a few of the songs that got here out of this bizarre second in time — together with the raging opener fifth Bar, the 44-second finger-lift No person Cares and pummelling Rage is a Completely Legitimate Response —  keep a considerably bitter flavour, even when they do boast the act’s trademark catchy hooks. However they realized early on that this wouldn’t maintain a complete album.

“I used to be like ‘I can’t do 13 songs about this,’ ” Ollinger says. “. . . so let’s cowl Bryan Adams.”

A punk band masking Bryan Adams is inconceivable sufficient, however Julius Sumner Miller opted to take a spin with Adams’ melodic if considerably treacly 1983 ballad Heaven, turning it right into a chugging rocker. It’s simply one of many surprises on No person Cares, a 13-song album the band recorded at OCL Studios outdoors of Calgary. It was the identical locale the place Julius Sumner Miller recorded their 2021 album Attempt It Out throughout the first wave of the pandemic. As with that album, No person Cares was recorded throughout a five-day residency on the standard studio.

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It’s not that the opposite eight songs on the document are notably light-hearted. However songs like The G Killer, 4 Floaters and Primary Wants cowl conventional punk lyrical tenets equivalent to malaise, restlessness and hypocrisy with craft and occasional flashes of humour. One of many stand-out tracks, Talking of Cults, begins with a kids’s choir. Youngsters’s choirs in rock songs don’t want a darkish backstory to be creepy, however this clip has one simply the identical. Ollinger says it’s an precise recording, discovered on YouTube, of a choir from the Peoples Temple. That was the cult led by American preacher Jim Jones, who orchestrated a mass murder-suicide at his Jonestown compound in Guyana that claimed by lives of greater than individuals.

It sounds heavy, however the tune itself is extra of a tongue-in-cheek commentary on being in a band, Ollinger says.

“It’s like ‘talking of cults, do you wish to come be a fan of our band?” he says. “It’s only a play on fandom, I assume. It’s like ‘Get on board, that is going to be hilariously enjoyable entertaining trip. We take all followers.’ Being in a band, particularly being a frontman in a band, is type of like beginning your personal cult and cultivating individuals to imagine in what you do. Nothing sinister although.’ ”

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Julius Sumner Miller is more likely to entice extra congregants or cultists by means of their wildly energetic stay reveals. The band will play Trendy Love on Friday. The venue is the outdated dwelling of Damaged Metropolis, which hosted Julius Sumner Miller frequently over the previous decade.  The truth is, the band performed the venue’s remaining present simply over a 12 months in the past.

“I feel we’re predominantly a stay band, firstly,” Ollinger says. “Should you see us stay, you’ll know precisely what’s up as a result of we deliver the leisure. We aren’t simply 5 individuals standing there enjoying our devices. It’s rowdy, it’s enjoyable, it’s entertaining, it’s thrilling. So individuals wish to be a part of it. As a result of that’s how we’re constructed, that usually bleeds into our writing.”

Shaped by Ollinger and guitarists Richard MacFarlane and Sean Hamilton in 2013, the band named itself after the American physicist and kids’s present character who’s most well-known for showing on the Mickey Mouse Membership and for enjoying the Professor on The Hilarious Home of Frightenstein. The band’s longevity could have one thing to do with its considerably informal strategy to careerism.

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“Should you’re busy, go be busy with life,” he says. “We’re not going to interrupt up. We’ll simply wait a few weeks after which begin jamming once more and bear in mind how enjoyable it’s. We’re simply attempting to remain energetic sufficient: e-book a present each couple of months or a weekend out of city. It forces you to remain energetic.”

Ollinger grew up in Winnipeg however moved to Calgary for his highschool years. He says he was a typical outsider rising up and found punk as an outlet within the early Nineteen Nineties, immersing himself initially in Calgary’s all-ages punk-rock scene.

He says his relationship with the style has not modified all that a lot regardless of encroaching maturity. If something, raging in opposition to the machine tends to develop into a little bit extra finely tuned because the years go by.

“Now I do know why I hate the federal government,” Ollinger says. “I used to be mad at society once I was 17 as a result of some band advised me to be. However now it type of is sensible. I simply fell into it. It’s a really customary story of how you discover punk-rock as lots of people do: you’re simply on the lookout for one thing to be included with. I attempted all the pieces.  I feel I used to be simply dangerous at being a child. I couldn’t work out mates, I couldn’t work out no matter. I went to a punk-rock present and I assumed ‘That is cool.’ I simply stored going to them. It was neat as a result of I used to be seeing numerous misfits, particularly within the ’80s and ’90s when it was very an outcast kind of scenario. Now it’s acceptable. It’s all the time been inviting, however it’s not as menacing anymore. My mother shouldn’t be as afraid of it as she as soon as was.”

No person Cares is now accessible on streaming providers. Julius Sumner Miller performs Trendy Love with Downway, Convey on the Storm and Arts Main on Nov. 3. Doorways open at 5 p.m.

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Postmedia is dedicated to sustaining a full of life however civil discussion board for dialogue and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Feedback could take as much as an hour for moderation earlier than showing on the location. We ask you to maintain your feedback related and respectful. We now have enabled e mail notifications—you’ll now obtain an e mail if you happen to obtain a reply to your remark, there may be an replace to a remark thread you comply with or if a person you comply with feedback. Go to our Neighborhood Tips for extra data and particulars on learn how to regulate your e mail settings.

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Cree musician embraces tradition for classical music album, Prairie Nightfall

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In 2020, Jessica McMann and her husband moved to Cochrane, a shift that had extra of an influence than the musician and composer had maybe been anticipating.

The flautist holds a Bachelor of Music diploma from the College of Calgary and was required to review composition as a part of her course load. Nevertheless it wasn’t till the pandemic that she started composing in earnest and delving into her tradition, impressed by the view outdoors.

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“Outdoors my studio window, I’m on the third ground, you possibly can see the nightfall occurring from east to west as a result of we’re south-facing,” says McMann. “On the east, you may have Cochrane, on the west, you may have Morley and Star Ranch and the panorama of the reserve. In that second of nightfall – I simply wrote it in that second of seeing that change of color. Once I began engaged on the album, I began to mirror on what that meant. I appeared on the items I already had written and I spotted there was one thing about coming dwelling, there’s one thing about my life as a Prairies particular person, as a Sixties Scoop adoptee, there’s something about that journey. There’s something about being from the Prairies and residing on the Prairies and what does that imply to me as a Cree particular person.”

There’s nothing on McMann’s new album, Prairie Nightfall, to counsel she is a relative beginner to composing. The recording options McMann on flute and voice, American Navajo pianist Connor Chee, violist Holly Bhattacharya and Metis baritone Jonathon Adams however the compositions all got here from McMann. This lineup may also be featured in an upcoming tour of western Canada, which incorporates an Oct. 29 present at Discovered Books in Cochrane.

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The album, which additionally comes out Oct. 29, begins with Kayas-ayiwan, a haunting mixture of piano prospers and viola/flute strains gently drifting atop a windy backdrop that’s meant to evoke “the traditional ones” of McMann’s tradition. It’s adopted by the multi-movement The River Has Man Methods of Being, which was partially impressed by a narrative of McMann’s late Cree grandmother. It’s adopted by Tales for My Folks, which McMann composed in 2020 after receiving a grant from Calgary Arts Growth and was impressed by Canadian residential faculties. The mournful Lament for Small Souls follows, which blends McMann’s conventional Cree/a capella vocals with flute and was written in response to the invention of mass graves of residential faculty kids.

McMann was adopted by non-Indigenous mother and father in Alberta on the age of two as a part of the Sixties Scoop, which refers to a interval from the Sixties to 1991 when 1000’s of Indigenous kids had been forcibly faraway from their households. The multi-disciplinary artist had explored this historical past earlier than in her dance items, however Prairie Nightfall is the primary time it has been integrated into her music.

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She was in highschool when she started trying to find and located her delivery household.

“I began making these connections into Cree tradition,” McMann says. “I really feel prefer it’s a scattered expertise however I really feel extra fortunate than most as a result of I do know quite a lot of adoptees battle with assembly their delivery households. That doesn’t at all times go very properly. I’m fortunate in the truth that I had a constructive relationship with my late grandmother and that I do know my household and my prolonged household they usually know me. A variety of adoptees don’t have that.”

McMann studied classical piano after which flute whereas rising up in Calgary. She additionally performed in a Christian-rock band referred to as Contemporary New Vibes, which toured a circuit of Lutheran church buildings, from her pre-teen years till she started college. Her debut album, 2021’s Incandescent Tales, was recorded on the Banff Centre and featured conventional and modern music by different composers.

In August, McMann, Chee, Bhattacharya and Adams entered the Nationwide Music Centre studios in Calgary with producer Kenna Burima for a two-week session to document Prairie Nightfall. McMann is already at work on a follow-up, an alt-pop album that may characteristic her vocals extra dominantly. As a composer, McMann has been busy with commissions. She has labored with Early Music Vancouver and Vancouver’s re:Naissance Opera. She can also be writing for a variety of Indigenous opera singers in Canada, together with Marion Newman and the Indigidivas and Jonathon Adams.

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“There’s this complete different life that began in 2020,” McMann says.

As with Incandescent Tales, McMann opted to make use of as many Indigenous artists as doable. That features musicians but additionally collaborators reminiscent of Tianna Delorm, a nêhiyaw artist from Cowessess First Nation who designed the album cowl.

“In classical music, it’s a really small group and we don’t typically see the identical degree of assist for that,” McMann says. “I imagine there may be an essence of voice that comes via when now we have our personal individuals on initiatives.”

Prairie Nightfall comes out on Oct. 29. Jessica McMann,  Connor Chee, Holly Bhattacharya and Jonathon Adams will carry out at Discovered Books in Cochrane on Oct. 29.

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The final chortle: Victoria Banner explores the darker aspect of comedy with debut album

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“I might name the document moody.”

It’s maybe not the primary phrase that springs to thoughts when selling a comedy album. However provided that Calgary humorist Victoria Banner’s debut document is definitely referred to as I Hate Stand-Up, it’s protected to imagine she has no qualms about bucking custom in terms of performances. Final 12 months, Banner carried out a half-hour set in an episode of Comedy Invasion, a Canadian sequence that highlights various artists within the comedy scene. She seen that a lot of the leftover materials that didn’t make it within the particular was decidedly darker in tone. So she went with it.

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“It made me chortle, as a result of I knew I used to be going to place it on a document and I’m a giant, dark-wave, ’80s goth fan,” says Banner. “So I used to be like ‘What if I select the remainder of my jokes which can be gothy, death-(obsessed), depressive and put them collectively for one more half hour?”

Recorded in June at cSpace in Calgary, I Hate Stand-Up is scheduled to hit streaming companies on Oct. 13. It’s not miserable, after all. However there does appear to be some flagrant rule-breaking within the first jiffy. Banner bursts on stage with one thing she calls “Hi there Neckbeard,” a really meta opening that finds her singing about how she is recording an album in entrance of all her pals however the one individuals who will take heed to it on-line can be her “enemies.” “Hi there Neckbeard, who’s on a podcast and needs a fortune to try to show that girls aren’t humorous!” she shouts. She then launches right into a self-deprecating story a couple of latest breakup.

“Normally on an album, you’re speculated to do polished materials you’ve been doing for 10 (expletive) years,” she explains to the viewers. “Nope, telling a narrative that occurred final week.”

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By means of her rapid-fire supply, she covers every thing from her dysfunctional relationship along with her father, COVID-19 deaths, considering her personal loss of life, the lyrics to Demise Cab for Cutie songs, paranormal TV exhibits, the loss of life of singer-songwriter Warren Zevon and, lastly, her personal experiences with psychological sickness and cognitive behavioural remedy.

“I feel it’s tremendous humorous to choose darker feelings and chortle at simply how dangerous issues have gotten and know that everyone is in it collectively,” she says. “It’s bought that graveside humour that touches on the pandemic and touches on a variety of mental-health stuff. That’s my massive factor. Though I’m a feminine comic, I’ve had folks say that I’m not doing feminine comedy in the identical approach you’d anticipate to see the ladies’ evening, Mamma-Mia model and I’m not doing queer comedy in the best way you’d anticipate to see at a drag present. However I do mental-health comedy.”

Banner, who’s bisexual and suffers from Consideration Deficit Hyperactivity Dysfunction, has been honing her stand-up for the previous decade. However releasing an indie comedy album, which is a little bit of a rarity today, is all a part of a call she made 5 years in the past to stubbornly blaze her personal path within the comedy world. Ever since she first heard her mom’s George Carlin album, she knew she needed to do stand-up and she or he discovered some early success that included competing within the SiriusXM Prime Comedian competitors and touchdown spots in comedy festivals. In 2014, she obtained a grant from Calgary Arts Growth to review comedy at in Chicago.

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However she says she now realizes her first 5 years of comedy had her attempting too onerous to suit right into a mould and following dangerous recommendation, all in an try to supply comedy that was “tremendous relatable.”

“Earlier than 2017, I used to actually compete,” she says. “I used to try to rise up at Yuk Yuks each single week. I used to try to rise up at The Chortle Store each single week. I might host on the Comedy Cave and stuff like that. I noticed I wasn’t clicking with these folks. So post-2017, that’s after I began producing my very own exhibits.”

However previous to that, Banner additionally suffered a psychological well being disaster that she says was not less than partially introduced upon by profession frustration.

“A bunch of horrible issues occurred on the similar time,” she says. “My psychological well being was only a home of playing cards. I ran out of cash, there have been some deaths within the household. I didn’t know the right way to behave as a human being so that they tossed me behind a cop automotive kicking and screaming to the hospital, the Rockyview. I spent months doing cognitive behavioural remedy on the psyche ward.”

It led to her restructuring her life and comedy, discovering what she calls an “various area of interest of people that truly do like me.”

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“I got here out (of the hospital) and was like ‘OK, perhaps I’m a bit completely different than your common bear however we are able to nonetheless work with it,” she says.

Banner has made appearances at each Femme Wave and Massive Winter Traditional whereas internet hosting her personal theatre exhibits. In Might 2022, she started co-curating The Chortle Loft each Sunday evening at The Attic in Inglewood with comic and drag queen Karla Marx. The present is supposed to focus on queer and feminine comedians and risk-taking is inspired.

“We would like them to really feel snug, not solely in doing properly but in addition in failing, too,” says Banner. “A giant factor I encountered was that should you’re a marginalized comic, you get one shot to characterize your whole sort of marginalized comedy. So if somebody has a pre-conceived notion that girls will not be humorous and also you do good 9 instances in a row and then you definately do dangerous one time, you affirm that individual’s perception and then you definately simply don’t get any extra possibilities.”

She alternates internet hosting duties with Marx on the Attic. Each have years of expertise internet hosting comedy nights and performing stand-up and believe that they’ll carry a present.

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“We simply inform all of the wonderful feminine, queer comedians that we work with: ‘Swing for the fences, take that threat,’ ” Banner says. ” ‘I don’t care if it bombs or not, as a result of we’re going to rescue the present for you and we’re going to offer you as many possibilities as you want.’ It’s been completely unimaginable to see all the comedians we work with not doing spinoff, protected materials however doing boundary-pushing materials that truly has inventive benefit to it and permits them to securely specific what they need to specific and get it to the purpose the place it’s humorous. Our exhibits completely are humorous. Once I say persons are protected to fail, they don’t fail as a lot when they’re protected to fail.”

I Hate Stand-Up can be on all streaming companies on Oct. 13. The Chortle Loft takes place each Sunday on the Attic. Go to vbcreates.ca.

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Diunna Greenleaf, 'The Folks's Queen of the Blues,' covers all shades of the style with new album

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Whereas this will likely come as distressing information to her followers, there was a time not that way back that Diunna Greenleaf was prepared to drag the plug on her blues profession.

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The Texas native, as soon as dubbed “The Folks’s Queen of Blues,” had gone by a very tough time throughout COVID. She had seen quite a few her pals die from the illness. Dozens, in truth. She was additionally devastated by the Might 2020 homicide of George Floyd in Minneapolis by police.

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The stunning case, which made headlines and sparked protests across the globe, was private for Greenleaf. She had recognized Floyd and his household when he was nonetheless in Houston. She was additionally caring for an ailing sister on the time, who had most cancers. On high of that, she was exhausted by the enterprise aspect of the music enterprise. All the time an indie musician, she had spent most of her profession not solely as a performer but additionally as a reserving agent, tour supervisor, songwriter and band chief.

This darkish interval did have Greenleaf writing a “e book of songs,” which she did think about recording as a long-awaited followup to 2011’s Making an attempt To Maintain On. However she modified her thoughts.

“I made a decision to retire,” says Greenleaf, in an interview from her residence in Houston. “I assumed the songs I had written through the pandemic … I wasn’t even able to sing them. I’ll carry them out at one other time when individuals come and hearken to them. However, you understand, they mirrored every thing that had been happening on the time. So I made a decision to simply go forward and retire.”

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Fortunately, one of many first individuals she advised about her impending retirement was long-time blues fanatic and radio host Noel Hayes, who had contacted the singer a few new album. He wouldn’t settle for Greenleaf’s resolution. He advised her that Little Village Information needed to work along with her, a label she initially knew little or no about. It was created by keyboardist Jim Pugh, who had labored with Etta James and Robert Cray, a specialised in that includes artists that Pugh felt haven’t obtained the eye they need to. Quickly, Pugh himself was on the telephone with Greenleaf.

“He stated ‘I’ve been admiring you for a very long time and also you most likely don’t know who the hell I’m,’” Greenleaf says. “I stated ‘Effectively, initially, what’s your title? And … how did you get my quantity?’” He says ‘Don’t dangle up on me, Noel Hayes gave me your quantity.’ I stated ‘Effectively, that’s a very good begin.’”

“He stated ‘Pay attention, everyone knows it is best to have gotten much more accolades, it is best to have had extra assist and also you didn’t. I at all times take a look at the those that we’re fascinated by. Earlier than they died, every one of many members of the Muddy Waters (Legendary Band) spoke extremely of you. Koko Taylor spoke extremely of you. B.B. King spoke extremely of you, he introduced your title up in dialog many occasions.’”

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Ultimately, Greenleaf was coaxed again into the studio after an in-person assembly with Pugh in California. The ensuing album, I Ain’t Enjoying, features a few originals on it, however not ones that she wrote through the pandemic.

Early on, Pugh prompt they provide you with an inventory of songs she want to cowl. Hayes got here up along with his personal listing.

“Inside an hour I had 60 or 70 songs on the web page and Noel had greater than that as a result of between us we all know so many nice songs,” she says. “B.B. was being honoured rather a lot. However I assumed, because the queen of the blues, Koko (Taylor) didn’t get the identical sort of recognition because the king of blues.”

So the album kicks off with a spirited and rollicking run by the cautionary story By no means Belief a Man. It had been a staple for Taylor, an in depth buddy of Greenleaf’s who died in 2009. She additionally provides a soulful and defiant model of Huge James Montgomery’s If It Wasn’t for the Blues, heartfelt tackle I Want I Knew Methods to Be Free, made well-known by Nina Simone, and even a young interpretation of Vince Gill’s After I Name Your Identify, which she sings with Alabama Mike.

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It’s an assured an electrifying revue protecting varied shades of the blues and that includes Greenleaf’s powerhouse  however nuanced vocals front-and-centre. The album cowl artwork includes a pic of Greenleaf with a decidedly no-nonsense glare, suggesting she continues to be the reigning queen of the style.

“I at all times like to combine it up,” says Greenleaf, who can be enjoying on the Calgary Blues Pageant on Aug. 6. “They needed to be sure that individuals knew that I may additionally sing not simply the onerous blues but additionally extra rhythm-and-blues fashion and likewise the up to date fashion as effectively. I stated, ‘effectively, sure, that’s not onerous in any respect.’ For me, the toughest of it’s like Koko was doing, the growling and all these issues. A few of this different stuff is rather like speaking. However I get pleasure from it.”

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Greenleaf grew up in Texas in a musical household. Her dad and mom have been gospel singers. She had a stint as a featured vocalist with the Legendary Blues Band, which was principally made up of Muddy Waters’ outdated sidemen, for a decade However performing usually took a backseat to her skilled life. She was an officer within the military and earned a grasp’s diploma in schooling counselling, which led to a busy profession outdoors of the music trade.

In 2005, Greenleaf and her backing band, Blue Mercy, took the highest prize on the Worldwide Blues Problem in Memphis. She was the primary girl to win the honours. It gave a pleasant increase to her profession, though she admits the blues world might be robust for feminine bandleaders. She stated there have been various festivals and promoters who didn’t need to e book her, even after the win, as a result of she was a girl.

However the brand new album has definitely been a hit. I Ain’t Enjoying received the very best blues album as this 12 months’s Residing blues Journal’s Critic Awards and reached No. 1 on the blues charts. In March, she was awarded A French Academ Courer d Cos Jazz Basis Award.

As for the songs she wrote through the pandemic, she says she may nonetheless file them in some unspecified time in the future. As for retirement, she says “I wouldn’t say it’s out of my thoughts, we’ll see how issues go this 12 months.”

The Calgary Worldwide Blues pageant takes place at varied places from July 31 to Aug. 6. The mainstage will happen from Aug. 3 to six at Shaw Millennium Park. Diunna Greenleaf performs the mainstage on Sunday, Aug. 6 at 8:30 p.m. Go to calgarybluesfest.com.

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Sargeant X Comrade look to a lo-fi future with third album

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When Sargeant X Comrade had been internet hosting cabarets at Arts Commons in 2022, the soul and hip-hop duo borrowed a tune from their upcoming third album to be the theme tune for a high-concept “discuss present.”

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It was a part of Arts Commons’ TD Incubator, a growth program for rising artists that emphasizes those who mix creative varieties of their work. Vocalist Yolanda Sargeant and producer Evgeniy Bykovets had been named fellows of program, which had them working with 22 artists for the 2022/2023 season and overseeing 4 cabarets. Additionally they borrowed the title of the album, Lo Fi Future, for the discuss present, which was described as “Johny Carson in Outer House.” Sargeant X Comrade would open every cabaret by performing the sultry,  strings-sweetened soul-pop quantity Travelin’ in House — one in all many standout tracks on Lo Fi Future — which might even be carried out once more on the finish of every cabaret by the collaborating artists who shaped the home band that evening.

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“We wished to foster connections between the rising artists in the neighborhood with the residency we had been doing,” says Sargeant. “For the album, we simply hope to encourage an entire new era of artists. Every thing is full circle and also you simply put it on the market and also you don’t know what the impact one some is who’s taking in that info.”

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All of it appears to suit properly into what has more and more turn into the Calgary duo’s modus operandi over the previous few years. Sargeant X Comrade’s roles as musicians, mentors, record-label house owners and common community-builders in Calgary’s hip-hop and underground music scene are likely to overlap. In reality, organizers of the TD Incubator program from Arts Commons came visiting the duo on the Nationwide Music Centre after they had been within the midst of a five-day residency again in April of 2022 that produced Lo Fi Future, which comes out Aug. 4 with an album launch present at Fashionable Love in Calgary. They had been impressed with what the noticed and Sargeant and Bykovets had been appointed fellows the 2022-2023 season. The duo determined the cabarets, whereas giving collaborating artists an opportunity to shine individually, could be organized below the unifying banner of Lo Fi Future, a free theme about utilizing instruments of the previous to forge a brand new future.

The idea truly started as a sonic yet one more than the rest. Since first arriving on the scene in 2014, the duo has been identified for mixing Sargeant’s powerhouse vocals with Bykovets modern manufacturing. That always concerned the latter scouring previous information for distinctive samples and beats. However when Sargeant X Comrade scored the residency on the Nationwide Music Centre, they knew they’d have entry to a gold mine of classic synths and amplifiers and different goodies held within the facility’s everlasting assortment.

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“We went in there with an concept to do that idea album,” Bykovets says. “It’s utilizing all of the retro devices to create the sound of the longer term with old-school classic know-how.”

Whereas the album nonetheless has some samples and benefited from additional manufacturing performed at Bykovets’ Calgary Kingsland studio, a lot of it was created at NMC with a band that included guitarist/bassist Marvin Kee, keyboardist/horn participant Ravi Poliah and percussionist Luis Tovar with soulful backup vocals often offered by Calgary’s Torchettes. What’s really miraculous in regards to the ensuing songs, significantly given the time restrictions, is that they typically got here collectively in bursts of improvisation.

“We simply banged out tracks,” says Sargeant. “We ended up with 15 tracks after that week, it was simply go, go, go. It was cool as a result of sure devices had been devices that a few of us have all the time wished to the touch that we had been capable of truly play. There was some concept of what we wished to do they usually simply got here to life when the devices had been touched.”

Not in contrast to Sargeant X Comrade’s earlier albums — 2020’s Magic Radio and 2021’s The Elephant within the Room — the sounds someway click on along with vitality and craft and preserve a way of unpredictability even when the vibes are mellow. On When the Stars Align, Sargeant’s spoken-word verses flip into soulful melodies beneath advanced rhythms and Poliah’s jazzy piano riffs earlier than opening to rhymes by native rapper Ok-Riz.

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The brand new-agey Pyramid Code options haunting cello performed by Jenny Crane, who was among the many artists Sargeant X Comrade labored with at Arts Commons, ghostly vocals and a clean rap by Toronto hip-hop artist Odario.  With its trippy sci-fi lyrics, Escape the Matrix (Half 1) and Escape the Matrix (Half 2) each function Juno-winning hip-hop artist Prevail taking part in off of Sargeant, who appears like she is singing an old-school James Bond theme.

“We got here into it extra fluid,” Bykovets says. “We had been probably not making ready for something, it was simply extra like free-style and going with the stream. I believe that took the stress off. So long as you don’t put that stress on your self, I believe you will get much more artistic.”

In 2021, Sargeant X Comrade launched Mo Gravy Information to place out each their very own music and like-minded artists. To this point, the label has launched 4 albums together with Ok-Riz’s Peace & Love. Bykovets hopes to spice up the output from the label. Upcoming tasks embrace unreleased materials from Marvin Kee. Kee was a long-time collaborator with Sargeant X Comrade — he will get a co-write credit score on eight of the 12 songs on Lo Fi Future — and staple of their dwell exhibits. He died in March of 2023 simply days after performing with the act at JUNOfest in Edmonton.

“That actually took the wind out of our sails,” says Bykovets. “He was an enormous a part of your entire course of. It wasn’t simply the dwell (present), it was the creation course of as properly. He was a part of the whole lot.

“It nonetheless impacts us,” Sargeant provides. “It was past the music, he was our shut pal. He was like a brother to us. He was household.”

Sargeant X Comrade will maintain an album launch at Fashionable Love on Aug. 4 with Bobby Henderson, Misplaced Decade & DJ Catfishwizard

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Calgary Folks Competition: Kenya native, Ondara, continues to dissect the American Dream on third album

Born in Kenya, Ondara got here to the U.S. seeking the America that impressed his hero Bob Dylan. The fact was much more sophisticated

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On the floor, J.S. Ondara’s unique plan for conquering the music business doesn’t appear significantly nicely thought out.

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It started expectantly when the singer-songwriter, who goes by the one-name moniker Ondara, received a green-card lottery that allowed him to depart his dwelling of Nairobi, Kenya in 2013 and head to america. He selected to land in Minneapolis, MN, for no different cause than as a result of it’s the dwelling state of his songwriting hero, Bob Dylan.

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At that time, he had written journal entries however had by no means written a track. Nor had he ever carried out publicly.

Nonetheless, inside 5 years Ondara had landed a significant report deal, launched an acclaimed debut album that was nominated for a Grammy and featured a powerful roster of A-list company similar to Andrew Chicken, the Dawes’ Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith and Joey Ryan of The Milk Carton Children. He additionally opened exhibits for Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, Neil Younger and the Lumineers.

On the telephone from his dwelling in Minneapolis, the songwriter says nobody was extra shocked about this success than his household again dwelling in Kenya. It appears that they had no concept that Ondara harboured ambitions, or possessed the expertise and ability, to grow to be knowledgeable musician in any respect — a lot much less a profitable one in America.

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“I feel they’re perplexed, attempting to determine the place I got here from,” says Ondara, who might be performing on the Calgary Folks Music Competition on Saturday and on the Edmonton Folks Music Competition on Sunday, Aug. 13. “Was I adopted or one thing? I feel all of them anticipated I’d come right here and go to (medical) college or one thing like that. Nobody noticed this coming. I needed to do that however I needed to inform my household I used to be going to med college. That was the one approach they’d let me go away. If I advised them I used to be coming right here to be a rock star they’d have thought I used to be insane and locked me in my room.”

Ondara’s journey began with romantic view of America

It appears a fairy-tale story in some ways. However, as Ondara’s semi-autobiographical songs counsel, actuality is rarely that simple.

Like many immigrants, Ondara had a wildly romantic view of America earlier than he got here right here and, like many immigrants, rapidly found that pursuing the American Dream was not so simple as he had imagined. Based on an interview with Rolling Stone again in 2019, the primary wake-up name got here when he arrived in Minnesota throughout a very frigid winter. An early journey to Dylan’s less-than-lively hometown of Hibbing, a small mining city northwest of Duluth, proved equally dispiriting. Ondara tried to kind a band, however didn’t know some other musicians so quickly started writing, performing and educating himself guitar by his lonesome.

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A part of that disillusionment and alienation may be discovered on Tales of America, his 2019 acclaimed debut. It options songs advised from the perspective of a  new American experiencing each the push of pleasure and the real-life hardships of the immigrant expertise, providing what Rolling Stone referred to as “pressing reflections on the hole between American promise and American actuality.”

It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Finest Americana album. When the pandemic triggered an abrupt finish to his tour with the Lumineers in early 2020, Ondara retreated to his Minneapolis dwelling to report the last word quarantine album as a follow-up. The all-acoustic report, appropriately titled Folks N’ Roll, Vol. 1: Tales of Isolation, solely furthered his repute as a surprising new voice in Americana. In 2022, he launched what’s actually his most formidable album up to now. Spanish Villager No. 3 is an idea album of types that had Ondara telling tales by the titular character, a disillusioned globe-trotting immigrant who yearns for sense of neighborhood and residential.

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“I wasn’t consciously pondering of a bodily character once I was writing the songs, though there may be all the time some type of unconscious voice in my artistic course of,” he says. “I feel what occurred was that in a while I gave that voice a reputation and narrative and introduced it to life in a bodily sense. I feel there are elements of me within the character, actually. But it surely wasn’t autobiographical in that sense. It was simply stream-of-consciousness. However there’s a little bit of reality in each fiction and I feel there’s a little bit of me within the character, for positive. Greater than I would really like.”

Emotional exploration of America current in songs

On A Prophet of Doom, a multi-voiced a cappella intro turns right into a rhythmic and soulful exploration of political corruption, greed and polarization in Ondara’s adopted nation. Arriving within the U.S. in 2013, Ondara obtained a first-hand take a look at the unusual political circus that adopted the ascension of President Donald Trump and his followers, displaying severe cracks and divisiveness in what he had all the time been led to imagine was a wholesome, functioning democracy.

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Singer-songwriter Ondara. Photograph courtesy of, MNRK Mgmt. jpg

“After I moved to America, I anticipated the democratic course of can be quite a bit cleaner right here and was shocked to search out that a few of the points we confronted again dwelling within the transition of energy and issues like that additionally occurred within the west,” he says. “That’s a part of the emotion in that track.”

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As on earlier albums, the songs are anchored by Ondara’s lovely voice, which alternates between a wealthy tenor and sharp falsetto. The latter is among the many first sounds heard on the haunting intro to opening monitor An Alien in Minneapolis, the place Ondara’s alter-ego experiences the identical sense of isolation and outsiderness as his creator did upon getting into America.

“The American empire does superb PR,” he says. “Should you’re exterior of America, I feel it’s very straightforward to have an idealized model of America and I feel lots of immigrants that transfer to America sometimes have this romantic concept of what America is. After spending a while, that will get knocked out your head fairly promptly.”

Ondara continues to evolve

Sonically, Spanish Villager No. 3 is Ondara’s most expansive album up to now. Impressed by his time with Buckingham, he started listening obsessively to Fleetwood Mac’s multi-layered Rumours and different big-sounding information similar to Dylan’s Freeway 61 Revisited and U2’s Joshua Tree.

Whereas rising up in Kenya, Ondara’s style in music got here virtually solely from the west. He found Dylan after studying he wrote Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door. Rising up, Ondara had all the time thought it was written by Gun ‘n Roses, who coated it in 1991. Ondara’s early music tastes included Weapons ‘N Roses, Radiohead and Nirvana. On stage, he even does a chilling and largely unrecognizable cowl of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. However as he evolves as a songwriter, he has developed a need to include extra African types into his personal music.

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“It’s one thing I really feel like I wish to do however I don’t know tips on how to do it but,” he says. “I want to sleep on it for awhile. I simply haven’t acquired the reply from the universe or Carl Sagan or whoever brings solutions. I’m not overly nervous about it. I feel by the truth that I’m African, no matter I do is simply African in consequence. I don’t suppose I must overthink it an excessive amount of.”

Ondara performs the primary stage at Prince’s Island Park on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. as a part of the Calgary Folks Music Competition. Go to calgaryfolkfest.com.

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Nation excessive: MacKenzie Porter returns to her roots with upcoming album, Stampede present

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It was throughout considered one of MacKenzie Porter’s extra high-profile current collaborations that the Alberta native realized she continues to be a rustic woman at coronary heart.

Porter is the visitor vocalist on One Evening Left, a single off the latest launch from Los Angeles-based digital dance music trio The Cheat Codes that the 4 just lately carried out on Good Morning America. The tune is featured on the band’s latest album, One Evening in Nashville, which had the trio pivoting to twangier territory. However, Porter says the distinction between nation music and the EDM crowd is apparent every time she is invited to affix them on stage.

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“My newest set proper now might be 8 o’clock or 9 o’clock,” says the singer-songwriter in a telephone interview from her house in Nashville. “The few instances I’ve performed with The Cheat Codes, as a result of they’re EDM, has been like, ‘OK, our set begins at 1 a.m.’ I’m like, ‘That sounds horrible!’ Nevertheless it’s been actually enjoyable to play a few nightclubs. It’s not my scene; I’m undoubtedly a rustic woman. Nevertheless it’s enjoyable to have a couple of nights like that and go see their world for a second.”

Porter’s profession in Music Metropolis has been on a gentle rise prior to now couple of years and just lately has been given a lift from some profitable collaborations. Alongside her duet with Cheat Codes, Porter helped Tennessee nation singer Dustin Lynch rating a giant hit with Considering ‘Bout You. Final yr, she duetted with fellow Canadian expat Dallas Smith on One Too.

The collaborations have been a pleasant detour, however Porter has been largely consumed lately prepping her subsequent album. She reckons she has banked 24 songs, a few of which can make it onto her debut full-length album for the powerhouse Nashville label Large Loud. She launched her EP Drinkin’ Songs beneath Large Loud in 2020. That album compiled newer songs she had written over two years with older tracks from additional again in her profession.

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The songs on the upcoming album, most of which she has written or co-written, return to her earliest roots in nation music and had her steering away from country-pop materials. Not less than a number of the tracks got here from a very artistic interval for the artist throughout the pandemic, which discovered her collaborating with a number of songwriters. The fabric is far more within the storytelling custom of nation music than her previous materials, she says.

“It’s a lot extra banjo and mandolin and fiddle; it simply sounds a lot extra like nation, which I’m so enthusiastic about,” she says. “Lyrically, I feel there’s extra depth to it. In fact, we have now our radio-friendly, enjoyable uptempo songs. However then there are numerous unhappy songs and songs that I hope folks relate to for issues that they’ve gone by means of of their life.”

Followers will nonetheless have to attend till the album’s launch this fall to listen to the vast majority of the brand new tracks. On her present tour, which takes her to the Calgary Stampede’s Nashville North tent, she will probably be taking part in a couple of new songs. That presumably will embody the latest single Chasing Tornadoes, a mid-tempo tune about thrill-seeking in life and relationships that Porter carried out final week in Nashville on the NHL Awards.

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It’s not a large leap for Porter to return to her nation roots. The singer-songwriter grew up in rural Alberta exterior of Medication Hat. Her first musical outlet was the classical violin, which she started taking part in on the age of 4. However she was all the time drawn to nation music. Rising up on a bison and cattle ranch, she grew to become a part of a household cowl and jam band that additionally included her brother Kalan, who would go on to win the second season of Canadian Idol again in 2004.

“It was like a canopy band,” she mentioned. “We performed reveals collectively. We didn’t write songs for it or something like that. However that’s how I fell in love with performing. There was the band after which there was me, which was just like the little dancing entertainer on the facet going too arduous on reveals as a result of I liked performing. That’s the place I feel I fell in love with extra country-pop issues over classical as a result of I grew up taking part in classical music. It was like, ‘Oh, I like this a lot extra.’ ”

Nonetheless, whereas Porter could have began acting at an early age, it was not her first profession path. Some should keep in mind her as a younger thespian. When she was 18, she left for Vancouver to pursue an performing profession.

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“There was like a yr after I simply might simply not e-book an performing half,” she says. “I used to be so pissed off. That’s after I mentioned, ‘You understand what, I’m going to attempt to write songs,’ and I really went to music recording faculty for a yr to discover ways to use professional instruments and construct my very own tracks and I simply fell in love with it.”

Her efficiency at Nashville North will probably be a homecoming as nicely. In 2011, not lengthy after she studied recording, she received a contest at Nashville North, which allowed her to open for famous person Kenny Chesney on the Saddledome.

Finally, she did begin reserving performing roles, together with a two-year run on the Alberta-shot western Hell on Wheels and was a lead for 3 seasons on the sci-fi Netflix collection Vacationers reverse Eric McCormack. That collection got here to an finish in 2018. Final yr, she did a TV rom-com referred to as Rancher 101 the place she performs an actress making an attempt to study the ropes from a hunky cowboy after touchdown the position of a rancher. Whereas music could appear an all-encompassing pursuit, she hasn’t put performing on the backburner. On the day of this interview, she had simply taped an audition.

“My schedule proper now’s absurd,” she says. “So all of it simply relies on timing. Can we match it in? Does it make sense? Is it present? Is it look, all of that kind of stuff.”

“I’ve discovered to dwell in a state of chaos,” she provides. “It’s all good issues. It’s all my passions. Generally the journey, that’s the half that will get me a bit bit – the flights and the bus rides and the automobile rides, that half I hate. However I get to do cool issues after I get there. So it does make it value it.”

MacKenzie Porter performs Nashville North on the Calgary Stampede on July 7.

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'I really feel like an outsider': completed sideman Ryan Bourne releases sophomore album 13 years after debut

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Earlier this month, Ryan Bourne held his launch get together for Plant Metropolis, a file that was 5 years within the making.

It was a suitably epic affair. It was held at considered one of Calgary’s coolest venues: The Dome Theatre at Modern Calgary, the previous Centennial Planetarium. The opening act was the newly fashioned avant-pop venture Cipayak, made up of Sarah Houle and Shane Ghostkeeper. Movies for songs from Bourne’s new album had been performed. The stage design – described as “Crytpolora” – was created by Bourne and Rebecca Reid and included large monoliths primarily based on the album’s cowl artwork. Each musical acts used visible projections throughout their performances.

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“It turned very immersive,” says Bourne. “It was a particularly intently centered viewers. You would hear a pin drop.”

It appears applicable. Bourne is just not solely a visible artist, his historical past within the Calgary music scene goes again to the early Nineteen Nineties when he performed guitar for the groove-heavy Interstellar Roots Cellar. He has since performed with Devonian Gardens, Ghostkeeper, Samantha Savage Smith and Chad VanGaalen.

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Nonetheless, regardless of his lengthy tenure within the Calgary scene, he doesn’t see his music as being notably reflective of it even when it’s onerous to think about it with out him. Bourne will probably be enjoying each the East City Get Down on Might 27 and at Sled Island on June 20. They’re festivals he has performed earlier than, albeit maybe extra typically as a aspect musician than solo act.

“In some methods, I felt like an outsider, not in a damaging approach,” Bourne says. “I’m all the time hesitant to touch upon the Calgary scene as a result of it appears so indefinable to me. It’s vibrant and wholesome. ”

Vibrant and wholesome appears to be a very good place to begin when discussing Plant Metropolis, which started in 2018 as a follow-up to Bourne’s 2010’s Tremendous Trendy World of Magnificence. Since 2018, Bourne has been working in studios owned by VanGaalen and Chris Dadge, a multi-instrumentalist who additionally performs alongside Bourne in VanGaalen’s backup band. Lots of the songs started life as rudimentary recordings from a four-track cassette recorder. Bourne despatched Dadge 15 or so tough stripped-down voice memos to full demo-ed songs.

These had been constructed upon utilizing synths, guitars and a few distinctive in-studio methods to get what Bourne calls “textural layers.”

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“We crunched dry leaves for one music,” Bourne says.

Singer-songwriter Ryan Bourne.
Singer-songwriter Ryan Bourne. Photograph by Rebecca Reid. jpg

“We just about deconstructed every part,” he provides. “I’m actually happy with it as I really feel prefer it’s a cohesive doc. It nearly seems like an idea file to me. The sequence simply feels completely proper to me. They detach themselves from the chronology of my life they usually really feel like their very own factor. They nonetheless really feel actually recent to me. The collaborative side is a giant a part of that, having the ability to bounce it off such superb inventive minds as Dadge and VanGaalen. Chad has such a eager ear for pop and hook. A lot of the concord traces and harmonic counter-point traces had been mine, however a handful had been Chad’s: Synth traces that tie a refrain to a bridge or one thing.”

Whereas Bourne’s sound is definitely singular, he does possess an adventurous spirit that remembers the work of collaborators VanGaalen and Ghostkeeper. Like these acts, he provides sturdy songcraft and melody beneath experimental sonic excursions. The songs additionally cowl loads of floor stylistically, from the darkish synth-pop of Blackhole to the fuzzy guitar-pop of Anemone Sound, Beck-like psych-folk of Entropy, to the album nearer Dream Membership, which begins as a breezy instrumental earlier than surging into unhinged epic pop with chanted vocals. Bourne showcases his knack for Beatlesque melodies on the ballad Hopeless and the Brian Wilson-inspired snapshot, Pink Gentle.

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“I really like the juxtaposition of enjoying round with some non-linear types however coming again to the hook,” he says. “I really like the Beatles, early McCartney, Pet Sounds. I simply discover it tremendous thrilling to play with that. I feel we simply selected the songs and went for it. We didn’t actually look again. There are nearly post-punk vibes on Black Gap after which the full-on nearly Pet Sounds, (Eden Ahbez’s Eden’s Island) sort of stuff of Dream Membership.”

Lyrically, Bourne says there’s a “thread of devastating, multi-layered love songs. There’s quite a lot of heartbreak in it. I prefer to play with that, with extra common themes. With Hopeless, there’s the very private layered inside this apocalypse nervousness layer.”

“I’m pleased with the span of the vibes on it, lyrically and sonically,” he provides. “It feels buoyant and joyful at instances nevertheless it’s additionally fairly heavy at instances. I resonate with information like that.”

Ryan Bourne performs the Kokonut Kove Pub and Grill at 11:30 p.m. on Might 27 as a part of the East City Get Down Competition. He performs June 20 on the Commonwealth as a part of Sled Island.

East City Get Down lineup

Greater than 50 acts will play 10 venues alongside “Worldwide Avenue” (seventeenth Avenue SE) on Might 27 as a part of the East City Get Down Competition, which provides a feast of indie music and worldwide delicacies.

Acts this 12 months embrace New Brunswick-based singer-songwriter Jon McKiel, Brooklyn art-punkers Grim Streaker, Montreal garage-rocker Priors, Edmonton singer-songwriter Jesse Northley, singer-songwriter Dana Sipos and Saskatoon’s post-punker Grimelda.

Different acts embrace singer-songwriter Carter Felker, DJ Catfishthewizard, folkie Heather Might, funk/soul act Deicha and the VuDudes and Calgary’s indie-rocker Kue Varo.

For a whole lineup, checklist of venues and schedule go to easttowngetdown.ca

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