Allison Crowe in Be-CREATIVE: Found in Translation

Italy’s Be-CREATIVE has Allison on its cover this month – http://be-creative.lifestylecommunity.it/3 – and, now, the feature is translated for us all by the fine Italian hand of Rhonda C.

Allison Crowe: La Sua Voce Ha Stregato Anche L’uomo D’acciaio,” says the publication’s cover – “Allison Crowe: her voice has bewitched even the Man of Steel” – and, here’s the rest of the story:

Allison Crowe, originally from Nanaimo, (November 16, 1981), is a Canadian singer-songwriter and pianist. She records for her own label, Rubenesque Records Ltd.  Her first albums, Secrets and Tidings, were published in 2004, while the double album Live at Wood Hall, recorded live on tour, was published in July, 2005.  She also produced a DVD containing live in-the-studio performances made during the recording of Tidings, in November 2005.

Of Irish, Scottish and Manx descent, Allison grew up listening to jazz, classical, and rock, and under the influences of musicians such as Ani DiFranco, Pearl Jam, Tori Amos, and Counting Crows.

Her music is the result of the union of all these genres, and the uniqueness of her voice has such force that it has been compared to that of Mahalia Jackson.  She usually accompanies herself with the piano.

Her percussive style, characterized by a great physicality, was often associated with the pioneers of R&B and rock and roll like Fats Domino. She perform as a soloist, and has also been a part of musical bands, specifically a trio known as the Allison Crowe Band (2000-2003).

One of her songs, Whether I’m Wrong, composed in early 2003, was selected for the initiative endorsed by UNESCO, New Songs for Peace.  However, she is also very popular for her interpretations of songs by other authors, from Jerome Kern and Pearl Jam, through to John Lennon, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. Her interpretation of the song Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) was named Record of the Week by Record of the Day (UK) in August 2004, and again in November, 2005.  Towards the end of 2005, she held a series of concerts in Europe, with stops in Dublin, London, Monaco, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Paris.  In the spring of 2006, Allison Crowe made a coast-to-coast tour of her own country, making most of the journey by VIA Rail Canada Company.

In October 2006, she released her new album, This Little Bird, and subsequently held a series of concerts that have touched England, Ireland, and Scotland. On March 17, 2010, she released the album “Spiral“.  Recently, she has also performed in Italy, specifically in 2010, and 2012, at the Teatro del Sale in Florence. In 2013, she appeared in a cameo role in the film “Man of Steel” directed by Zack Snyder and released in Italian cinemas on June 20.

Q: Hi Allison, how are you?  Singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist: with which of these roles do you identify most?

A: I’m doing great, thanks! I don’t know if there is one thing that I do that expresses myself the best – I’d have to say it’s likely a combo of all of these things! I’m always wanting to learn new ways to express myself and explore new things, and they sort of all work together in that way.

Q: In addition to having made several albums, you also really love the connection with the audience, and the thing that is more amazing is that your voice is as beautiful, and vibrant live as on CD.  How important is it for you the relationship with your fans?

A: I think my favourite part of what I do is the live performance and getting to interact with a live audience, and see and hear how they respond. My relationship with my audience is incredibly important to me, as the energy I get from people is energy I put in to doing what I do.

Q: Where do you prefer to perform: in large concert halls, or in a more intimate environment, perhaps with fewer people?

A: All of the different types of venues all have great features! A smaller, cozier show is nice because everyone is up close and it’s such a nice feeling, whereas a larger seated theatre show is maybe more dramatic and theatrical – due to the various circumstances that come with that. (lighting, seating, etc.) – and outdoor shows are big, fun and lively events with lots of energy. They are pretty much all good, in their different ways!

Q: From where does the  inspiration for your albums come?

A: I get inspiration for writing from different places for each album – a lot of it has come from my past relationships with people or the world around me. This new album (Heavy Graces) is more to do with my relationship with myself, than anything else, and how I go about dealing with and viewing that, from both in and outside of myself.

Q: Your slogan is “Why music?  Why breathing?”. With this phrase it is as if you want to say that music is life, energy for your soul. True?

A: It is! I find if I go too long without music, in one way or another, I feel like something is missing – especially live performance. It’s just who I am

Q: You recently loaned your song “Snow” for a dance performance – Ellipses Dance Company’s debut on video of a work entitled “The Writer”.  How has this experience left you?

A: It’s very cool to see a song I’ve written be used for dance – I love dance (and I wish I could dance like that!). I love seeing someone’s interpretation of what I’ve written through movement, and they’ve done such a wonderful job!

Q: You recently participated in the film “Man of Steel” about the origins of Superman. How’s it to play “yourself”, a singer, in such an important movie?

A: It was such a cool experience being in Man of Steel – just to see how everything works, and what everyone else does in making a movie, and how good they are at what they do! For me, playing a singer in a bar definitely wasn’t a stretch, and is something I’ve done for a very long time, so it felt pretty natural.

Q: Plans for the future?  Maybe a visit to Italy for your concerts?

A: My new album, Heavy Graces, was released on October 15, and I will be in Europe for a tour in 2014, in the Spring, and hopefully in Italy soon.

Nota Bene: Allison Crowe anticipates at least two European tour visits in 2014

To the Be-CREATIVE collaborators we say grazie!! Buon Natale – to all! :)

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