From a little girl of six years old chosen to represent her school singing the ballad "I Had a Little Secret" at the county stage competition in rural Ontario, to the searing crossover-soprano vocalist singing on stages in Cannes, France, or back home on Mainstage, Parliament Hill on Canada Day or in the National Arts Centre of Canada, Alice has travelled a passionate if challenging road as a singer-poet-songwriter - now adding musical co-arranging and producing into the mix.
As an artist passionate about every aspect of her art and craft, and unendingly devoted to "singing ALL the great songs that have ever been written," as well as her own originals, Alice is like a whirling dervish from recording session to live performance and from one genre to another pulling it all together in her delivery which has thousands of fans making comments such as: "Wow! I listened to your music on your profile and.....Wow!" (Robert Rubio, Myspace); and
"What a voice!" (Mrchiefmv, Youtube). Because it's about the voice - She puts it out there every time - both heart and soul.
Her song choices are very up-close and personal to her and the listener can hear that. She's reaching out around the planet. And for that reason, her sound carries depth and mystery which speak to the human heart, and not to one particular type of person or nationality. After all, she says "Music is the sonic glue that holds humanity together."
When her family moved from a rural Ontario farm to the very multi-cultural capital of Canada, Ottawa (she was nine), Alice's 'world' journey began - a journey into many cultures and languages - all rich with prismatic colour and charm and possibilities. Ever proud of her Celtic Anglo-Irish parents and heritage, she nevertheless absorbed the French language quickly, made friends with anyone and everyone - the more cultural variety the better - and sang in school and church, radio and television choirs throughout elementary and secondary school.
Singing in clubs during her university years "helped to pay my way"..... and then the music went into a sort of necessary hiatus during a family posting (she had married her university mate) to the Middle East (Beirut Lebanon). But the years in Beirut were to fuel her thirst for music and provide new and larger direction to her already eclectic multi-cultural sound and repertoire. Her love for the Moorish Arabic-Spanish sound, instrumentation, and feel, she realized, was not far-removed from her native Celtic sound. After all, while music/sound is endemic to its native origins, people, especially the Celts, have migrated across the face of Europe and the Middle East so endlessly that their music is not mutually exclusive. "Every culture's music is charming and I want to sing like the wind, touching down here and there and everywhere, carrying music with me, with my voice at the core, but with sounds that everyone will recognize - and this is what 'World' music is all about. It's my way of talking to people, no matter where they're from. Sure I'm an Irish-English Canadian, but I speak "Music"!"
This fascination with world cultures starting in Ottawa, and mushrooming in the Middle East, found a further avenue when, back in Canada after the 'wild' years in Beirut, Alice joined forces with a Brazilian-Peruvian quartet which performed and recorded songs of the inimitable Carlos Jobim, Jorge Ben, Luiz Bonfa, et al. So that now a picture was emerging of this artist as someone who could weave the sounds she fell in love with into HER OWN pure voice and Celtic sensibility. Leaving the quartet at the end of a decade of regular performances everywhere from small cafes to concert halls, Alice decided to re-examine her musical DNA; and the result is the album "Soft Illusions". "These are songs that I love and feel crazily-passionately about! The kind of songs that make me fly, that take me to another place and time!" - and it must be working for the listener too, because her fans love it and are buying it up on the Internet. As one of her Youtube fans recently commented: "Love your voice. It really transports the listener to a different place and time, and that's a rare gift." (Webfan2009, Youtube)
While "Soft Illusions" is clearly a 'World' genre album in its far-reaching themes and stylings, listeners can hear the jazz and folk edges flowing through. As Chicago's Thadeus Project has commented about her: "...Classy voice, Alice! I'll bet you could bring down the house with Roberta Flack's 'The First Time Ever I saw Your Face...' "
The extra 'surprise' in "Soft Illusions" is soul-searing lyrics like "The Phoenician" - delivered by Alice as a 'spoken word' lyric with her flowing soprano vocal scatting in the background intermittently with the music. Or her original "Today's Lover" about the fleeting, insubstantial nature of modern relationships which, although hauntingly sad, do not rob the singer of hope. The despair of lost love leaves her asking questions and yearning...
No matter what song you listen to on "Soft Illusions", you can count on the fact that it will be about LOVE - whether gloriously ecstatic and/or gloriously painful - always the highest form of meaning in life; and you can count on hearing a uniquly blissful soprano voice according to the thousands of testimonials pouring in from around the world such as that of Italian photographer Marco Girolami - "Your voice is gorgeous!" (Myspace); and, finally, last but not least, you can count on feeling 'touched' by her soul...
And that, is her "Little Secret".