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Thursday, 18 October 2012 15:51

Alexis Normand tours Saskatchewan to promote album release

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To celebrate the release of her first full-length album Mirador, fransaskoise artist Alexis Normand is sharing her blend of folk and jazz music with audiences across Saskatchewan. The album is unique in that it was created with visual artist Zoé Fortier, and inspired by the prairies.

 

“In university, I studied the similarities between different art forms, and had the idea to work with a visual artist on a project where we could share the experience of discovering and rediscovering spaces,” Normand explained. “Sometimes, these spaces represent a particular physical location, and sometimes they are more abstract, but I wanted to get people thinking about the spaces in their own lives.”

Normand and Fortier started collaborating in 2009, and recently held the art opening and project release for the album. Their Saskatchewan tour will keep them on the road for almost a month, sharing their vision with audiences throughout the province.

“When people are listening to my music and seeing the show, I hope that they start reflecting on the spaces that have influenced them and shaped them, that helped build their identities,” noted Normand. “With the visual art aspect incorporated into the show, every show is different and really unique, and I hope people enjoy that experience.”

Music has been an important part of Normand’s life since early childhood, when she started her first music sing-a-long classes at age 3. She taught herself to play piano in elementary school, guitar in high school, and eventually started writing her own songs.

“It’s been a big part of my life for a long time, but I didn’t think about making it my career in a serious way until about four years ago,” Normand admitted. “I was working as a music teacher in a French school, and didn’t really have enough time to focus on music as a career.”

After taking a ten month singer-songwriter program in Quebec, which taught her the basics of a music career with classes in career management, studio work, and lyric writing, Normand decided to pursue her passion and try to make music her full-time job. She still steps in occasionally as a substitute music teacher, but has been working full-time as an artist ever since.

“As any musician would attest, there is a really important link between artists and community,” Normand explained. “I have been really supported by the Saskatoon music community and the fransaskois community in Saskatchewan. I’m very hard working and have been fortunate to receive funding from organizations like the Saskatchewan Arts Board, so opportunities have been made possible for me.”

Normand is grateful for the support and opportunities she has received, because it has allowed her to do something she had only dreamed of doing for a living. She is thrilled to be able to share her experiences with others, through her music.

“I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing, writing about things that inspire me and hoping that others can relate to it. That’s what makes art forms touching, when you can relate to what’s being demonstrated. If it really resonates, the job of the artist is done well,” she added. “Performing lets me really live my songs, and experience them in a different way each time, depending on how the audience reacts. That’s what keeps the art living.”

Normand will be performing in Ponteix on Oct 12 and in Gravelbourg on Oct 19.

Read 2300 times Last modified on Thursday, 18 October 2012 15:53
Jessi Gowan

Reporter/Photographer