new voices hit all the right notes

by Wendy Hollo

Angela Trudel performs I’m Done Packing, written by Amber Strong (on piano)

For artists and audience alike, March 3 was a magical night at the ATB Arts Barns.  ATB Financial presented New Voices – six original songs composed and performed by artists from the Nina Collective, four music videos and a documentary short film produced by Arthouse Productions.

It all started like many things do at the Nina – with a Big Idea and a question.  Artists had been working with writer-in-residence Jocelyn Brown to develop story telling skills – what would happen if artists had the chance to work with a music producer to compose original songs?  Award winning singer songwriter Raphael Freynet was excited to accept the challenge of working with artists from the Collective and ATB Financial, believing that there’s a song in every life, partnered with the Nina to make this bold project possible.

Raphael working with songwriter and pianist Amber Strong

There is definitely a song in every life and their songs are as diverse as the artists who compose them.  The six songs produced over the past year and a half range from fantasy (The Phantom of the Sea, Bubble Field 9 and Charlie in the Woodlands) to poignant tales of an immigrant’s journey to Canada (Searching for Hope), transition to womanhood (Time for Change) and moving on from a difficult situation (I’m Done Packing) and represent an equally diverse range of musical styles.

Brittany Leitheiser and Angela Trudel with vocal coach Joelle Prefontaine

Artists performing songs had once in a lifetime opportunities to work with a vocal coach and record in the professional studios at CKUA.

Yvette Prefontaine in the CKUA studios

With support from ATB Financial we were thrilled to launch the completed songs and music videos, along with a short film documenting highlights from the 18+ month project.  You can download the songs for free by clicking on this link – https://goo.gl/MrTSDK, or consider following this link where you can listen to the songs for free and support the artists by purchasing the downloads here https://nhca.bandcamp.com/releases

Down the videos here https://goo.gl/8ceUzh.  We would love to hear what you think of the songs. Visit our Facebook page to post comments on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  To keep up to date with the Nina, follow us on FB, Twitter or Instagram.  https://www.facebook.com/ninahaggertyarts/ or Twitter https://twitter.com/ninahaggertyart, https://www.instagram.com/ninahaggertyarts/

Yvette performed her own song in music video

It was a brilliant evening at the ATB Arts Barns.  Thanks to Sheri Somerville for hosting the event, SOCAN for financial support, and to CKUA, the Edmonton Journal, CTV, Shaw TV, City TV (Bridget Ryan) and CBC Radio for excellent media coverage.  And, of course, huge thanks to ATB Financial for helping these artists find the song in their lives.

Group joins Mayor Iveson on stage to take a final bow – incredible evening!