Even in a crowded musical world, Emily Millard stands out.
A poet, a song writer, a gifted singer and performer, she has been lighting up stages and concert halls in Canada and Europe. This week, following the October 7, 2016, release of her new album, By Heron & By Season (already awarded nine out of 10 stars by exclaim! magazine) the Iroquois-born artist is returning to this area for an extraordinary concert.
She will be appearing for one night at Winchester Old Town Hall on Saturday, October 15, at 8 p.m.
Emily is easy to chat with, open and frank about herself, her art, her music.
“In the last four or five years (since she began performing as Emily Millard, not under the stage name Miss Emily Brown) I took a lot of time for development in writing, studying voice and poetry and doing a great deal of performing,” Emily explained.
“I think the experiences made me more intentional about my artistic choices and more bold with my writing. I realize that my music may not be for everyone, but now I write for myself, and share that music with the people it touches.”
Because she resists being “pegged” musically, Emily describes her work as a “blend of folk, jazz and pop. I believe my music is original, that I am finding my own sound. Of course,” she added laughing, “I have to be more resourceful about my marketing since I’m not following conventional musical routes.”
She has explored some ‘less conventional’ ideas in By Heron & By Season, working with a professional producer for the first time, someone whose advice she found invaluable as the album developed.
“I find that I am interested (thematically) in expressing the intangible, those incredibly fleeting moments we experience in life: they disappear so quickly. The challenge is to dig into these moments to find the meaning,” Emily explained.
She credits the award-winning Canadian poet Jan Zwicky with being a powerful influence in her song-writing. “Through Jan’s workshops, I have become very interested in the subtle differences between the poetic form and song craft. Eyes Blooming on my CD actually began as a poem.”
Her songs invariably find rich expression in her use of a variety of instruments, some conventional, some not so, for recording them.
“I love the tenor guitar, its sound and its charm. It became a good friend in the writing process,” Emily explained. “I also find it inspiring to take up new instruments, to break musical patterns. There are brass, woodwinds, and even a harpsichord on my CD, adding an intriguing texture to the songs.”
At her concert, Emily will be joined by the international instrumentalist band, the Aerialists. Their strings and harp will back her up during her performance. Featured will be numbers from By Heron & By Season.
“I feel,” said Emily, with a laugh, “that this album is the beginning of a new chapter for me as an artist.”
Tickets for the Emily Millard album release concert at Winchester on October 15 are available at Mustard’s Variety in Iroquois or at www.emilymillard.ca/shows.