Just for the record, you could easily be staring a Serena Ryder triple album in the face right now.
It might have taken four-and-a-half years for this celebrated Toronto singer/songwriter to gift us with a follow-up to 2012’s expectation-defying critical and commercial hit, Harmony, but a lack of new material was definitely not the hold-up.
No, just as she did for the last record, the prolific Ryder amassed something like 65 or 70 songs during the run-up to her star-solidifying new platter, Utopia. The challenge wasn’t coming up with new material; the challenge was whittling it all down to fit an album-sized package. Ryder was so flush with good stuff heading into Utopia, in fact, that she briefly toyed with releasing her own equivalent of the Clash’s Sandinista! or George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass – a triple LP composed of songs that she envisioned divided amongst moods of “light,” “dark” and the “grey” area in between.
In the end, she chose to compress the full spectrum of emotions into a more manageable, but no less ambitious package that wouldn’t necessarily require booking a day off work to properly absorb in one sitting. But you’ve been warned: there is definitely more to come.
“I still have all those songs and, to me, they’re all good and they’re all good for a record so I don’t know,” she laughs. “I might have three more records.”
Hey, why turn it off when it comes easily? Some people need plans and deadlines and discipline to get anything done, some people just do what they do naturally and effortlessly. Serena Ryder does what she does naturally and effortlessly, and has done what she does naturally and effortlessly since she was a young girl. This girl was performing by the age of eight, cut her first record at 16 and could boast of being a major-label artist with a gold-selling album, 2006’s If Your Memory Serves You Well and a gold-selling single, the lingeringly knee-weakening “Weak in the Knees,” all before she’d even turned 25. And yet it took a debilitating bout with depression and artistic self-doubt brought on by her premature pigeonholing as just another “sensitive Canadian folk chick with an acoustic guitar” for her to finally let it all come out truly naturally and effortlessly on Harmony, the album where Ryder found her voice and discovered that the best formula for her success is … no formula at all.
You can still hear the results of the “letting go” that allowed Harmony – a genre-oblivious sleeper hit that went on to notch platinum sales in Ryder’s native Canada – to happen living and breathing on the radio to this day, since that record’s signature single, “Stompa” (triple- platinum and counting north of the 49th parallel), and its anthemic follow-up, “What I Wouldn’t Do,” haven’t left the airwaves since.
The Jack Singer Concert Hall in Arts Commons is described as one of the most beautiful and acoustically acclaimed venues in North America. Home of Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, BD&P World Music, and TD Jazz, audiences are treated to some of the world's finest musical events. The hall also welcomes a spectrum of events each season from TED talks and National Geographic speakers, to wedding dinners on the stage and rock stars on tour.
Ideal for: Weddings, performances, meetings, graduation ceremonies, and corporate events
Capacity: 1797 – Theatre-style seating 150 – Formal dinner seating 200 – Cocktail reception
Lighting & A/V: Fully customizable lighting and A/V options
Stage: Stage measures 86' wide by 38' deep.
Accessibility: Theatre seating includes wheelchair accessible Seats
Named after Mr. Jack Singer ($1.5M contribution from his sons, Alan and Stephen Singer), the concert hall is also the home of the Carthy Organ donated by the Carthy Foundation in the amount of $750,000 in memory of Mrs. Margaret Mannix. Suspended high above the stage is a laminated, 185,000-pound (90-ton) spruce-wood acoustical canopy that can be raised or lowered to tune the hall according to the specific needs of each performer.
Over its 32 year life, Jack Singer Concert Hall has undergone many upgrades to ensure that it remains a state-of-the-art performance hall, including a new million dollar sound system with state-of-the-art hearing assistance in 2004, a complete replacement of all its analog sound boards in 2014, and the future replacement of all of its seats to be completed by fall 2017.
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