A conversation with Raven:
Can you summarize your connection with music?
I have a deep and intimate relationship with music. It is my comfort in times of sadness, companion in times of loneliness, and playmate in times of joy.
Tell us about your journey with music.
You’ll likely be surprised to know that I really didn’t discover music until my late twenties. You see, I was raised in a small town and my father worked nights demanding an absolutely silent house without radio or records of any kind.
At the age of twenty-one, I bought my first ‘radio-less’ car and headed to the big city of Toronto. Having had no music in my life, my new friends’ knowledge of music, excitement about favourite bands, and love from concerts bewildered me.
My friends would often ask me if I was born under a rock because, hey I hadn’t even heard of John Lennon! The silver lining however was that my late introduction to the world of music impacted me on a very deep and emotional level, stirring intrigue and captivating a desire to learn and express myself through song.
How does music enhance your life?
Music has and continues to offer me an incredible means to access my innermost thoughts, feelings, and dreams. Having lived through some dark times as a child; writing, singing and playing my original music has provided a medium for healing my heart and soothing my mind. Music continues to provide inspiration and a platform for personal expression on this creative journey through life.
What is the root of your inspiration?
Perhaps my late start and limited musical knowledge provided a clean slate from which I began my musical quest. With my Indigenous heritage deeply connecting me to the land, nature has provided the essence and beauty of my music. Surrounded by an enchanting forest where the willows wave and the streams babble with delight, I sit, reflect, write and play for my ever-attentive forest audience.
What motivates you to create your songs?
In the beginning, I simply began writing to express my feelings and find the voice within that wanted to be heard; a form of self-healing. This evolved into a desire to share my experiences through my music and stories developing an intimate connection with those who might be searching for comfort and inspiration.
Tell us a bit about covers versus your original songs.
Playing covers provides an opportunity to be included in music circles that surround me with like-minded people. I’ve been known to ‘Ravenize’ songs to honour my own creative slant while celebrating the original artist.
Writing and performing my original songs however challenges my confidence and leaves me feeling vulnerable and exposed, while strengthening my determination and liberating me from internal fears. My songs are the greatest gift I could give myself.
What is your perfect environment in which to share your music?
Green, green, green did I mention green? I’m at my very best playing and singing under the trees or stars. Outdoor festivals, porch performances and garden gigs are my top favourites however when indoors, I am a lover of house concerts and small intimate gatherings.
Are you planning to collaborate with other artists?
Absolutely! I am intrigued by the co-writing process with other songwriters and plan on doing more of that. My dream is to share a stage with a panel of women songwriters who openly share their stories and songs in front of a captive audience in an intimate setting.
Thanks to the financial support of the OAC (Ontario Arts Council) for grant funding, I look forward to releasing a new album in 2022. Titled SILENCE OF THE SEASON this music and spoken word album explores the link between the seasons of the earth and the stages of our lives.