On the Cusp of Something Great

Category: music 163
By Matt Carter @M_J_C73

Halifax musician Gianna Lauren makes music her full time pursuit.

0001192002_10Sometimes life makes decisions for us.  Priorities change, our focus shifts and before we have to time realize what’s happening, we’re headed off in a new direction. Gianna Lauren recently found herself at a crossroads, balancing a day job at CKDU-FM in Halifax while trying to effectively guide her ever-expanding music career.  Life had a decision to make.

“For too long now I have been juggling an almost-full-time job in Halifax and this music ‘career’,” said Lauren.  “Recently the juggling act had reached a breaking point. Both these loves are so time-consuming and I’m afraid I can’t keep them both up any longer, not without burning out from both of them, so soon CKDU will be looking for a new Station Coordinator. It was a big decision, but I realized that it was time to see what would happen with the music if I could focus on it more.  Some would say I’m nuts, but I had to listen to my gut for this one.”

Lauren recently completed work on her next album, Moon Through Window, a lengthy process involving studios and musicians in Nova Scotia and Ontario.  Unlike her last recording, On Personhood (Forward Music Group 2013), which was five days, six songs, rehearsed, recorded and mixed, this latest project took a little longer.

“We took our time,” said Lauren.  “It’s a bittersweet process that I wouldn’t recommend for everyone.  There was a lot of back and forth, and with the band and I being spread out, at times it felt like a very disconnected initiative.  The new album spanned a year and a bit, which feels too long.”

But good things take time.  Moon Through Window will be released via Forward Music Group in September.

“The album is finished, and it’s the most sonically ambitious project I’ve ever worked on.  The band from the On Personhood EP and I recorded most of it with Daniel Ledwell at his studio in Lake Echo, Nova Scotia, and then finalized some extra tracking with Andy Magoffin at The House of Miracles in Cambridge, Ontario. Our process is mostly live-off-the-floor.  It’s what feels right to us. We came up with some really fun, weird, explosive, and unexpected sounds.”

Paired with her decision to make music her full-time commitment, Lauren also decided it was time to start performing with musicians a little closer to home.  Until recently, she and her band mates were spread between Halifax and Toronto, a relationship born during Lauren’s eight years living and working in Ottawa before relocating to Halifax.  While she maintains friendships and occasional performances with her long distance collaborators, working with musicians closer to home certainly has its benefits.

“The Halifax-based group came together organically and it feels really good to walk out my door and play with people who live down the street,” she said.  “I feel lucky to have these wonderful groups of musicians spread out in these different regions. So far it seems conducive to staying busy and touring often in these regions.”

The musicians in her new band also perform as Mauno, and together both parties have a busy summer planned.

“This summer Mauno and I are doing a West Coast Canadian tour, so we will be living out of a van and getting to know each other pretty well,” said Lauren.  “In September there are plans to tour overseas, and then hit the road more extensively in Canada and the US in the fall and spring 2016.  I’m really looking forward to playing these new songs live.”

Moon Through Window has already began to gather attention although its release is still months away.  The single Mistakes was released in April and was featured on the NPR program All Songs Considered, garnering some well-deserved attention from an international audience.

It may still be early in the game but by all accounts, Lauren’s decision to make music her full time pursuit came at exactly the right time.

Catch Gianna Lauren at Connexion ARC this Wednesday.

Gianna Lauren+Jacob Augustine+Hilotrons+Cedric Noel | Connexion ARC | May 13, 2015 | 7:30pm | $8 | View Event

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