Beowulf, a celebration of the epic poem
August 13, 2018 7:30 pm
$15.00 at the door
All proceeds to the Yukon Literacy Coalition
Join Kate Weekes, Keitha Clark and myself as we present some new original songs, along with some selected readings by Jan Stick and Roy Ness. This show has been inspired by our international Beowulf Book Club that the Kate, Keitha and I started about two years ago. Kate was in Norway for part of our joint reading of this poem, hence, the international flavour of our book club. Because all three of us are songwriters we had the idea of writing some music that was inspired by this ancient text. One thing has led to another and now we're pleased to present a musical, literary evening highlighting one of the English-speaking world's oldest surviving poems.
All of the proceeds from this evening will be going to the Yukon Literacy Coalition (YLC). The YLC is non-profit organization dedicated to supporting literacy and essential skills in the Yukon.
February Album Writing Month 2018
Rediscovering the Piano
This year I'm participating in the international songwriting challenge which is FAWM, February Album Writing Month . The goal is to write 14 songs in the month of February, so that's 14 songs in 28 days. As of today, February 20, I have completed 13 songs. One more to go. There are just over 2,300 participants this year from countries all around the globe. The FAWM community is welcoming and supportive. FAWMers are encouraged to comment on one another's new pieces (via the FAWM website where participants create an account and have access to one another and FAWM info) and it's fantastic to receive feedback from a songwriter in Finland and Florida in the same day!
The approach I take to this challenge is to work quickly. I give myself two hours to start and finish a song, then I need to move on to the next song. I don't edit myself and basically just put in the time to create because that's what you do as a creative. This process is working for me. Let me make it clear that these are just demos, not finished polished works. But they are a solid start to becoming more if I want them to. In truth, some of them are just okay, the timing is out, my playing is rough (what is my left hand doing?) my recording/mixing is off... but I pressed save because, again, I have limited time to get it done. Songs are done, blemishes and all.
As in the past two years, I've been writing piano instrumental music, free-style compositions inspired by many new piano composers I've been listening two for the past several years. This is a stark departure from playing the guitar and the full, heavily produced songs and performances I had been putting out the past six years but it's a welcome change. My first instrument was the piano and I took Royal Conservatory for a large part of my early childhood (I gave up after grade 3 RC to pursue some higher arts: sports !). I've met LOTS of lapsed piano players over the years and we all wonder why we gave it up. It's been lovely reacquainting myself with my old friends, the black and white keys.
For those of you interested to hear what I created during this time, here is my Soundcloud link. These songs will be posted for a limited time.
Thoughts on Winter
I recently wrote an improvisational piano piece, "Thoughts on Winter" inspired by the coming of winter. It seems every November, when the light gets low, the ground finally freezes and the first snows fall I find myself looking inward and looking forward to the introspection that the season of winter brings to me.
Piano Day 2017
Piano Day is an annual worldwide celebration of the piano and was it started by Berlin-based pianist Nils Frahm. Piano Day takes place on the 88th day of the year - this year on March 29 - representing the number of keys on the instrument.
Here's Brenda's new piano piece, "Unto Others" featured on the 2017 playlist.
"When the Moon Was the Sun" off the 2016 Piano Day International Playlist
"Blue Through the Trees"
" 'Blue Through the Trees' ... a top local release of 2015." Chart Attack
My thanks to all of the musicians who worked hard to make this recording come together. I also acknowledge the generous support of the Yukon Film and Sound Commission.
Special thanks to Emm Gryner x and Sean Kelly x for your contributions and support across the miles.
For everything I am deeply grateful.
This album was recorded between May 2014 and June 2015 in Whitehorse, Yukon.