Aug. 22, 2012 - Issue #879: Is The Party Over?
Fri, Aug 24 (8 pm)
With Zachary Moon vs Rusty, Hollerin' Pipes, Cadence and Nathan
'I was drawn to the north before I was even doing music," begins Demetra Penner. She mulls over her reasoning: first drawn northward to work at a fly-fishing lodge to make money to travel, Penner ended up taking another seasonal job in Churchill, Manitoba, along the shore of the Hudson Bay. Soon she was returning to the town whenever she could.
"My fascination with the north just grew, and I fell in love with the community, and the nature, and the solitude," she explains. "And pretty much everyone who goes high north gets it in their bones and blood. And I totally have that. It's just really quiet and peaceful."
On one of her trips north she brought a mandolin, and started pouring her energy into songwriting—previously she'd been devoted to painting—and did her first show at Churchill's Seaport hotel. Now she's crafted a debut album, Lone Migration, and put herself back out on the road with the renewed purpose of playing shows rather than simply travelling for the sake of it.
Fittingly, Migration's songs shift restlessly, stricken with a musical dose of the wanderlust that so often taps Penner on her shoulder. Anchored by her lush voice, folksy songs build and collapse in unpredictable ways, crisscrossing singer-songwriter territory with a spacious but diverse instrumental backing (a banjo here, some throat singing there). To an extent, the album seems designed like a travelogue, though Penner notes that's not its sole angle.
"It's dealing with the migrations that we have to do physically, in a travelling sort of way, but also going inside ourselves, and the work that has to be done there," Penner explains. "Heeding the call of the spirit, and listening to that as well. Music definitely helps with those types of journeys as well.
"It was almost too fancy free," she continues, about travelling the world just for the sake of it. "Always felt I needed to be doing something more ... I went on my first tour last year, and I kind of vowed to myself that now when I travel, it's to tour and I can be happier with combining those two things: travelling and doing what you love."
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