Folkus: Exploring the idea of North

Folkus presents Kevin Closs and s/g Flying Hórses April 28th

by Sandy Irvin

I was intrigued with the idea of presenting two musical travellers who’ve been North. Since we first met, both Closs and Flying Hórses have both travelled beyond the North, but I expect stunning music from both of them.

Kevin Closs is an independent artist from Manitoulin Island, now working out of Sudbury. Since 1990 he has worked as a recording and performing artist releasing eleven independent albums and touring across the country. His music has been featured in the soundtrack of Hard Rock Medical, Survivorman, The Jane Show and in a number of films. An excellent fingerpicker, and a clever lyricist, Closs is a versatile guitarist who has turned his hand to many styles. Closs has toured with Charlie Major, but his own style is far more folk than country.

But we’re bringing Closs into Folkus in because of his latest project. In Deep reflects his time travelling up North (and now South — he’s just back from Antarctica!) as a musician-in-residence and Zodiac driver. He’s worked in sonic textures from the sounds of ice, ships at sea, and even the melody from a bird song. Closs was inspired to take on his travels by his musical mentor, Ian Tamblyn (Folkus 2007).

Recently he wrote a powerful new environmental ballad, “A Blue Whale’s Lament”, while sailing with the cruise ship, M/S Expedition. He recorded it in the hold, uploaded it to Soundcloud, and had it in our hands in less than 24 hours — how’s that for hi-tech?

Since his return, Closs has been working on his 12th independent album with the support of the Ontario Arts Council.

In a first for Folkus, this show will include visual elements, with some of Closs’ stunning photographs of the North.

Flying Hórses is the project of Jade Bergeron. She is a classically-trained pianist working on original compositions, and recently completed a residency at the Banff  Centre. She came to Almonte for a while last year to take advantage of the AOTH Steinway, and we have invited her back to give the piano a thorough workout.

Bergeron’s last album, Tölt, was recorded mostly in Iceland (with Sigur Rós’ producer, Biggi Birgisson, at Sundlaugin Studio). Bergeron was invited to play Iceland Airwaves Music Festival in 2015 as well as the world-renowned Festival International de Jazz de Montreal in 2016. In the spring of 2017, she released the single Sorg Sea — mixed by Efrim Menuck (God- speed You! Black Emperor); it premièred on CBC’s Strombo Show. Flying Hórses was nominated for the 2018 Prism Prize for Best Canadian Music Video, alongside Leonard Cohen, the Weeknd, and Feist.

Bergeron is currently working on her sophomore recording, to be released on Bonsound next year.

Folkus shows take place at the Almonte Old Town Hall, in the fabulous Ron Caron Auditorium. Doors open at 7:30pm and seating is first-come,  first-served. Folkus offers a cash bar with local beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages. Details and tickets can be found at folkusalmonte.com; you can find hard- copy tickets at Mill Street Books. Questions? hello@folkusalmonte.com.

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