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With unconventional lyrical vision, the music Canadian singer/songwriter Sora writes is naturally neoteric; a collision of past and future. Sora evokes a new esoteric in music that fuses the poetry of the Celts, the global influence of World and the stunning melodiousness of Neo-Classical into music that defies the boundaries of traditional genre categorization. Much like the trend towards global integration, Sora writes music that harmonizes in a world of differentiation, music for a new world.
Sora, who has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, has a deep interest in mythology, fairytales, archetypes, feminism, society’s collective consciousness, and narratives that illuminate life’s passages. On her fourth studio album, Scorpion Moon, Sora delves deeply into stories, both mythic and modern, that transcend time and place, boldly claiming the complexity of contradictory truths within the emotional landscapes that shape our own personal stories. Light and dark, joy and sorrow, urban versus nature, birth/rebirth but also death, ancient and modern, Sora delicately balances it all to provide music that is at once ethereal and grounded.
In addition to Scorpion Moon, Sora has released three previous recordings -- Winds of Change (traditional folk songs from the British Isles), Light (a four-song EP featuring her first original songs) and Heartwood (a Top 20 album on the international Zone Music Reporter chart, featuring all-original material including several tunes inspired by children’s stories and ancient legends). Heartwood has received international praise and airplay, charting on several Canadian college radio stations (CFAM - Manitoba, CFBX - BC, CKUW - Manitoba, IRFT-Ireland).
As a performer, Sora’s crystalline voice, unusual instrumentation and penchant for threading stories and narratives through her live shows makes her a sought after commodity. In 2010 Sora was a featured performer three times for the Winnipeg Concert Series Musica Speciale as well as a featured performer with the Lily Quartet. In 2011, choral arrangements of Sora’s songs were requested by the Airdrie Community Choir, for a performance in which Sora was the featured soloist. In 2011/2012, Sora’s unique collaborative concert series, The Mask and the Music, with spoken word artist, Erin Dingle and singer, Catherine Gell, were performed to sold out crowds.
Sora’s uncanny sensitivity to meaning within stories and her ability to maintain urban relevancy within the organic settings of her music is starting to garner recognition. In 2010, Sora was commissioned to give voice to Calgary Family Service’s 100 year anniversary, which became the song, Legacy, recorded with Juno – nominated producer, Douglas Romanow and performed at the gala event. In 2011 Sora collaborated with Danish composer, Nicky Bendix to write the song Giant’s Causeway, commissioned for the American short film American IRA and in 2012 Sora wrote and recorded Moving On.
From her lyrics that read as poetry, to her ability to breathe life to even the oldest stories, to her otherworldly voice this much is clear; you have never heard anything like Sora.
Music inspires the mind and stirs the soul. It is the universal language of humanity; and myths and legends in all cultures portray music as a catalyst for healing, unity, emotion, and inspiration.
The rhythm and flow of music and spirit is what we are celebrating at this year's Gaia Gathering. We are so very lucky to have two very talented musicians in our community who will stir our souls and inspire us with their art!
Vanessa Cardui - Songwriter, Poet, Singer, Multi-Instrumentalist
Sora - Voice, Piano, Violin
Vanessa Cardui is a lifelong poet and songwriter, as well as a performer, recording artist, and producer. She has been active in the Calgary music scene since 2004 and has contributed to a number of local projects. Vanessa's own original rock band, Heroincredible, has performed to great acclaim at several well-attended science fiction and fantasy conventions, including the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo in 2011. The Dragon-Slayer, Heroincredible's rollicking drinking song about the knight life, inspires laughter and spirited tankard-swinging on YouTube and around Canadian firesides alike.
Vanessa has written hundreds of songs in a variety of genres, including rock, folk, filk, and choral music, and has a special love of historical and mythological subject matter.
In 2011 she released her first solo album, Thought Experiment, which has been hailed for its refined lyrics and emotional honesty. Cory McCrindle of Grayowl Point writes, "Thought Experiment features a lot of depth and drama, and will appeal to the more literate among us. [Vanessa Cardui's] voice is rich and her songwriting cerebral. She connects with you, I feel, because she has bared her soul and allowed you to experience her trials and tribulations from a safe distance. However, in doing so, we risk venturing so close to the glowing candle that we might get burned."
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