05.11Ember Swift Interview on Lyrical Venus Radio! Tues 5/26
UPDATE: The Ember Swift interview has been rescheduled for 5/26. I’ll still play some songs off the new album for those of you hoping to hear it, and tune in on the 26th for the interview!
One of my music loving friends brought the indie Canadian musician Ember Swift to town several years ago and I was blown away by her show, (including the talented multi-instrumentalist Lyndell Montgomery, who is also someone you should check out!) which was vibrant, lively, passionate, quirky, informative and fun.
When I went home that night to find out more about Ember online I was even further inspired as I learned more about her empowering and generous attitude toward her independent career.
Blessed with both an artistic AND a business mind, Ember’s website for her Few’ll Ignite Sound label was a testament to her clearly defined mission and ethics. Phrases like “Independent by identity, not by default”, and the following paragraph so inspired me and gave me hope as an artist: “In keeping with our ethics, we believe it is very important to share the knowledge we acquire and to keep information FREE for everyone. The hoarding of information and the defensive, fear-based idea that we must keep this power from others is still rampant in this industry. We are not in competition. We can all live here together. It is Few’ll Ignite Sound’s goal to promote a more cooperative approach to the world of independent art.”
Though the large database of venues and other musical resources on the site was removed when they lost their main administrator and could no longer maintain up-to-date information, that spirit of cooperation and sharing of knowledge is perhaps more evident than ever in Ember’s newest project – Lentic.
After completing a degree in East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto, Ember had always expected to travel to China, but her music career took a life of it’s own. For 10 years Ember toured internationally, and released 9 albums plus a DVD project in that time. In 2007 she finally realized her goal of traveling to China and has been splitting her time between Canada and China ever since. (For a good read, check out her travel blog about one of her stays in China. While she no longer updates that particular blog, the writing and insights are both exquisite.)
As she spent over 12 months in Beijing, Ember’s music began to take a new direction, and as a result she needed a new name to represent the new body of work. Looking for something that was the opposite of the speed and fire in her given name, she came upon the term lentic, which is a word meaning “of or related to or living in still waters”. As new project, Lentic is a musical expression of Ember’s experiences in merging East and West – everything in Lentic, from the lyrics to the packaging to the instrumentation, is a beautiful collaboration of languages and cultures, allowing the two to learn from, inform and celebrate each other.
Another fascinating element to Lentic is how it was produced. Ember connected with a Canadian musician and producer named Tim Rideout through the internet, and he immediately understood the new sound she was going for in the project. They created the album by sending each other the pieces back and forth over the internet from across the continents! The result has been dubbed “Folktronica” and I for one, love it!
Have a listen yourself at the Lentic website or on her MySpace. You can purchase the CD, including the option for a special limited edition silk book with all the lyrics in English and Chinese, Ember’s photos of China and each one is signed and numbered by Ember as well.
You can also tune in to KRUU-LP 100.1 FM here in town or kruufm.com online anywhere on Tuesday from 9-10 AM Central time to hear some tracks from Lentic, and an interview with Ember that will start at 9:05.