Sora | Winds of Change

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CANADA - B.C.

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Folk: Celtic Folk Folk: Minstrel Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Winds of Change

by Sora

Sora's rich melodic voice soars above simple but distinct arrangements of folk songs from the British Isles.
Genre: Folk: Celtic Folk
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. A Piper
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1:20 $0.99
2. The Last Rose of Summer
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3:17 $0.99
3. The Trees They Grow So High
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3:24 $0.99
4. Searching For Lambs
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2:11 $0.99
5. The Foggy Dew
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2:38 $0.99
6. My Lagan Love
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2:20 $0.99
7. O Let No Star Compare With Thee
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2:17 $0.99
8. Skye Boat Song
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2:46 $0.99
9. The Salley Gardens
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2:19 $0.99
10. The Loom
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2:39 $0.99
11. The Lawyer
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1:42 $0.99
12. The Garten Mother's Lullaby
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3:11 $0.99
13. The Singer
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2:05 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Not many mothers can say that they fiddled their way through Australia, Norway, Scotland, New Zealand and England. Nor can many mothers say that they toured through out Canada playing fiddle with the soon to be members of “Barrage”. Well not many mothers are like Sora.

Sora (aka Andrea Hunt) is an independent musician with a different philosophy on how she wants to share her music with the world. Perhaps it was all of the touring she did as a teenager with the Calgary Youth Orchestra and the Calgary Fiddlers that made her appreciate the subtleties of having a solid home base. It may have been the influence of playing with elite musicians and performing to sell out crowds that seeded her desire to mould a new musical lifestyle.

Though singing has been a part of her life since early childhood, Sora only started focusing on her vocal abilities after the birth of her first daughter in 2000. Initially taking informal voice lessons, she quickly moved on to work with Katherine Ardo, an established vocal coach in Calgary. By 2002, after performing opera, classical and Broadway pieces in numerous recitals Sora was ready to stage her own show. It was this show that started her vocal move into Celtic Folk music.

Her natural flair for Celtic vocal styling leaps out in her 2003 debut CD “Winds Of Change”. On this self produced project all 13 tracks were recorded live off the floor. “What you hear is what we did” Sora says. “Everyone was in the same small room at the same time”. The arrangements for each song were chosen specifically because they were so different from anything she had ever heard – which gave her the chance to put her heart and sound into each track.

For Sora, part of developing her own sound centers around her decision to take a stage name. To explore who she is and wanted to be musically she felt that ‘naming’ herself would release her from the confines of her personality. “You take your husband’s name, your parents name you from birth” she says. “Choosing a name for myself is more spiritual and gives me more musical fluidity”. The name Sora stems from the Native American word meaning ‘singing bird soaring’.

In spite of the fact that she had been writing music since 2004, the fire to share her songs with others wasn’t lit until 2006. While reading the book “How to Make and Sell Your Own Recording" (Diane Sward Rapaport) Sora decided it was time to take her sound one step further, and to do so would involve working with a producer. References from her music industry friends led her to Toronto producer Doug Romanow (Fire Escape Recording – Erin Crosby, Jason Farnham, Sattalites). After listening to a couple of Sora’s songs he liked what he heard enough to fly to Calgary to meet with her. They are currently recording scratch tracks and developing arrangements for original songs that will be on Sora’s next album.

Being a mother of 4 young children while developing her music career is quite possible in Sora’s eyes. She feels that changes in recording technology and the music industry are allowing a “new model” of musician to emerge. Where the opportunity to write and record while raising her children is very viable. She has travelled enough as a performing musician to know that living a full life with her family is very important right now, and it will only enhance and inspire her recording projects.

With the borders in musical genres shifting every day, Sora’s dream to win a Juno in an ‘as yet unnamed category’ might not be that far off. Either way Sora is weaving motherhood and music into the mainstream.


Reviews


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Sara Hunt


As a music lover every so often I come across a hidden gem. An album that stands head and shoulders above the rest and is literally quite brilliant. One such album that fits nicely into this category is Winds of Change, the debut album, by talented singer/songwriter Sora. For her first album Sora has pulled together a collection of traditional songs many of which have a strong Celtic feel to them. Recorded whilst heavily pregnant this album carefully blends several styles of music together to create something quite magnificent. With very little backing Sora’s angelic voice is allowed to stand tall. The album starts off with A Piper, which originates from a book of poems published in 1908. A short song with a strong classical feel. The song starts off with a nice burst of the flute. Refreshing and stimulating, a nice piece to kick start the album. The Last Rose of Summer is a slower number again with a strong classical feel. The piano backs Sora’s vocals on this song. Previously recorded by artists like Clannad and Sarah Brightman it was Charlotte Church who made the song popular. The Trees They Grow so High is a traditional folk song arranged by Benjamin Britten. The song has many titles including Daily Growing and Bonny Boy is Young (but Growing). It first appeared in print in 1792 as a piece entitled Lady Mary Ann. The lyrics vary in different versions of the song. The lyrics here are quite moving and sad. Sora manages to capture the sadness of the lyrics in her voice. The end of the song has a really haunting feel to it with Sora’s vocals fading into nothing just silence. Searching for Lambs is a folk song about love on the moors. Sora is joined by Rod Bauman on the violin. Sora’s voice is dramatic and ghostly throughout. It is easy to imagine yourself on the moors whilst listening to this song. A wonderful burst of the flute starts off The Foggy Dew. There are many versions of this song. The first version with this title was of English origin. It is also known as the Foggy, Foggy Dew. There are many theories as to what this song really means. Not really a happy song Sora’s vocals portray a tale of sadness with great ease. My Lagan Love is a striking song with a definite folk/Celtic feel. The tune was originally from Ulster and the words date to the twentieth century. This is possibly a parlour song. Sora takes centre stage on this song with gentle piano backing. Oh Let No Star Compare with Thee is quite a lively song. The piano forms almost a duet with Sora on this number. Skye Boat Song is perhaps the most well known of the songs Sora covers on this album. This is a traditional Scottish song, which recalls the escape of Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) after his defeat at the battle of Culloden in 1746. He escaped with the aid of Flora MacDonald in a small boat to the Isle of Skye. This song is often sung as a lullaby and has been covered by a multitude of artists. Sora puts her own spin on this classic song but does not spoil it in any way. The Salley Gardens is based on a well known poem by William Butler Yeates. It was included in his book – The Wanderings of Origin and Other Poems, which was published in 1889. An enjoyable song that has familiar overtones. It is one of those songs you most probably know but never knew the name of. The Loom is another song that allows Sora’s vocals to really shine. The piano provides light backing on this song giving it added depth. Listening to this album listeners could easily be mistaken for thinking they had been catapulted back in time. Sora has kept all the songs on her debut album simple. She has been careful to retain their traditional and historical feel. This is also a very classy and magical debut album that hits all the right notes. The Lawyer is a lively number with a strong Celtic/folk feel. Sora is joined by the violin on this toe tapping number, which quietens down towards the end. The Gartan Mother’s Lullaby is a traditional Irish song. This is a gentle song as the title suggests. Sora is left to take centre stage on this number. The Singer is the final song on this uplifting and yet relaxing album. This is a fine song to end on. Sora’s voice is reminiscent of a heavenly choir on this bold, refreshing song. Sora sings without instrumental backing on this song, once again showcasing her sublime talents. All too soon the music fades away and the listener is left with an eerie silence. However Sora’s voice is powerful and still echoes in the listeners head long after the album has ended. This album is a great fusion of traditional music with folk, Celtic and classical overtones throughout. Sora’s voice is fresh and striking. Not an album for the faint hearted. Mesmerising!