Listening Party Podcast Episode 18
May 07, 2021 1:00pm
Friday, May 7, 2021 | 1 pm | On Demand
Look back on the Civic Engagement Quartet’s transformation from singer to creator during Music Alive and towards their project, Land Based Music as they join Rebecca Hass for episode 18 of the Listening Party Podcast! Over the past eight months Simran Claire, Kaden Forsberg, Micah Schroeder, and Charlotte Siegel embarked on a journey, working to become more than a voice, and to use their art to empower themselves, be creative, and help others in need. A journey to become Civic Engagement Artists.
Land Based Music is a project that flips the traditional approach to music on it’s head, putting a theme first and repertoire second. Look forward to it’s release on May 14th, where you will be able to witness the results of the Civic Engagement Quartet changing their musical process, and look at music through the lens of land.
The accompanying Spotify Playlist features songs from mentors of the Music Alive program!
The word community means many different things to many different people, so what does it mean to the Civic Engagement Quartet at the end of their Music Alive journey? For Charlotte it’s putting engagement and relationship building first and opera second. Micah, who used to see community building in the opera world as only taking opera out of the theatre (for example in a school tour). It was transactional. Now he sees it as more than that. It’s how to use music to connect with people, another prong of how he is an artist. It’s not just about exposing people to the art form, it’s about using the art form to create relationships. Simran came to the realization that we don’t create opera in a bubble. We are all a part of a larger community, opera is a part of a larger community, and that’s something that she plans to keep in mind when in opera spaces. That the art we create is both for our community and influenced by our community. Kaden sees community engagement as a whole spectrum – there’s making opera the most important element and there’s putting it in the background, but there is also a whole range of different forms of engagement that exist in between those two extremes. Forms that he is excited to explore.
When working on Land Based Music, the Civic Engagement Quartet were under the guidance of three Indigenous mentors: Sarah Rhude, Lindsay Delaronde, and Bradley Dick. Rebecca asked the artists what surprised them the most during their time working with these mentors and they all spoke of their struggle with one thing: getting past the idea that the final product, or what you “get” out of an event is what is important and instead seeing that the process is what is truly significant. The Civic Engagement Quartet explain how they often approach their careers with a product based mindset, the idea that we should receive something from everything that we do. For example, doing a workshop on voice technique and coming out the other side with a new skill. It’s transactional. The mentors worked to shift this perception, helping the Civic Engagement Quartet realize that sometimes what’s truly valuable is creating a shared experience, that connection and process are what informs the final product and not the other way around.
This episode of the podcast spotlighted our Civic Engagement Artist Program and the mentorships they received and the work they created. Rather than have the singers share songs for our playlist, I decided to give our mentors from the spring session an opportunity to share a bit about themselves through their music.
There are no opera singers in this group of mentors, but many are artists in their own fields and everyone of them is a leader in community. You can find their biographies, and learn more about them. You’ll find it under Mentors on the Music Alive page on our website.
Enjoy their varied selections and what this music means to them.
Six-Song-ish 😉 Playlist
I’ve always thought- how do people pick only 5-6 songs when asked to make a playlist. I’ve come to realize that while this is a snapshot of where I am at now, my list would always resemble some form of this feeling. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something Blues… I’m more in love with music than I can imagine. I would marry it if I could. <3
Note that while I am picking one quintessential song – and a suggested follow-up, really, I am choosing these artists for you to listen to in the guise of a song playlist…
So here you go.
- The Rheostatics, The Group of Seven, Seven or ”Northern Wish”
This album is my most played album of all time. Truly it needs to be listened to in its entirety. It can take me from any mood and send me into a creative dream state. When my son was little, we used to move the furniture and put on the album and he would interpretive dance the album. It’s an entire world. As an Indigenous artist, this album’s colonial nature can create inward conflict, (the place that The Group of Seven have played in the erasure of Indigenous art/ portrayal of the land). Here is a link to the Indigenous Group of Seven for you.
- Something New: Billie Eilish – Everything I wanted
Voice of a generation, in its angst, forced apathy, anxiety, beauty, honesty, uncomfortableness, and HER uniqueness. WATCH “The Worlds A Little Blurry”. This documentary on her is an eye-opening spiral into the perspective of some youth. <3. Don’t stop here. Listen to it all. Support and love our youth. Listen to their words.
Also, that voice!
- Something Old and Bluesy: Lil’ Green – Romance in the Dark
My favourite Jazz singer-just a hair above Billie. Put the record on, light a candle, turn off the lights and listen. Listen to all Lil’ Green – all. the. time.
The next two artists and the songs make me cry every single time I listen. Not because I’m sad… but because of the straight shot to my spirit that they send. The power, the angst, the truth, the love, the unyielding fierceness…
- Janelle Monae – Django Jane and her new song Turntables
This multi-disciplinary artist is amongst my favorite humans. Fist Raised. “You can kill a revolutionary, but you can never kill the revolution.”- Fred Hampton. Bring it.
- Allison Russell – Nightflyer
This song. This damn song.
I know Allison, and the adversity and utter bull shit she has risen above. I cannot be more proud of her. I picture her sitting on the edge of the kitchen table, in a smoky living room, drinking white wine, and just singing all the demons out of her damn heart out. That was us in our early twenties, and here she is still healing, singing, and killing it. Another song I cannot get through without those good ‘springing out of eyes’ tears by her and her husband JT Nero - American Flowers.
- Lastly, Something Borrowed: Fawn Wood – Remember Me
Cree beauty – Written by her Uncle Angus for his brother. We’ve been given permission to sing this song, borrow it, for our ANSWER (All Nations Strong Woman for Education and Reclamation) naming ceremony coming up. This song is a ceremony to listen and sing. And the eagle bone whistle – also a direct line to spirit.
but wait- a tail, gotta add one more here…
isn’t a list without some Buffy –
- Buffy Saint Marie – Qu’Appele Valley Saskatchewan
Perfect song to end off with. A contemporary/trad love song. “Wrap me in your blanket, dance me around”……
What does this playlist say about me- I feel it all <3
- Elton John – Don’t let the sun go down on me
- Brenton Wood from the album “Oogum Boogum” – I Like The Way You Love Me
- George Jones – I Threw Away The Rose
- Ana Carolina, Seu Jorge – Prá Rua Me Levar (Ao Vivo)
- The Tragically Hip – Ahead by a century
This song reminds me of simply reminiscing, past, present and perhaps what the future holds. Learn from my mistakes cause “disappointing you is getting me down”.
- Alt J – 3ww
Simply for the beautiful sentence – “I just want to love you in my own language”.
- Tom Waits – The Piano has been drinking
This some is somber, visual, poetic, reflective and about owning drunken metaphors about other, not me, but not me.
- Atmosphere – The Waitress
Slug has a way of telling a story, a perspective on life, whether hard or happy times, see tragedy in social behaviours, and points out the obvious.
For me…hmmm, how about Agnes Obel – The Curse. It is on Spotify, but I particularly like this video.
And as far as a statement:
There are many songs that I think fit under an umbrella of perfect (I guess I am generous that way 😊). When I listen to this song, I feel it is coursing through my veins, at times shooting through a longer passage with abandon, at other times resting gently within an eddy. I feel safe in giving over to the ride, and that false ending gets me every time, as if they are saying ‘we are not done yet, let us wrap you up and let you sink into a deeper place’.
- For driving: SiR – D’Evils
- For biking: Cautious Clay – Cold War
- For flexing your ego: Jazmine Sullivan – Pick Up Your Feelings
- For nostalgia: Terrace Martin – Sleepless Nights
All of these songs have injected emotionality into my mundane, everyday moments in life. I hope whoever listens, has the same experience as I did.
I know I have the support of my Ancestors, particularly my Nimamapun who rose above all the barriers in her life. This song reminds me of how we can all rise above our struggles, shine, and project love! ❤️
- Katy Perry – Firework
Here are 2 of my faves!
- Dadju’s – Django
- Master KG – Jerusalema
But I have so many I love, over so many genres it’s hard to choose. Depends on my mood. From Afro-beat, Latin-pop, R & B, Soul, K-pop, to good old country.
Physically Distant | Socially Connected
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