Canadian Singer/Songwriter Jill Barber to play for the Guelph community this Friday

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

  • Jill Barber to perform at Dublin Street Church this Friday

    Jill Barber to perform at Dublin Street Church this Friday

Written by Stephanie Rennie

When the night darkens and the moon comes out of hiding, Jill Barber truly finds her musical inspiration.

The release of her fourth album vividly demonstrates her fascination and fixation on something many of us take for granted. Barber describes the moon as “a symbol of romance, intrigue, and mystery.” Such definition resulted in a heartfelt and appropriately titled album, Mischievous Moon.

In her childhood, Jill showed an interest in astronomy and now as a beautiful young musician, she still shows great fascination for the moon and the stars. Barber describes her interest in the moon as a result of its overwhelming “presence, it’s always there and affects us [in ways that] are hard to understand.”

With continuous inspiration from the night sky, Jill Barber also looks to her heart for musical motivation. Barber’s third album Chances demonstrated deep themes exploring the process of falling in love. Barber describes Mischievous Moon as a “continuation of exploration from the last record [showing] a deeper journey of complexity of love when you are actually in it.”

The profound lyrics found in each of Barber’s masterpieces come easily to Jill. She describes the natural process of creating such beautiful songs as “lyrics just flowing out of me.” Barber also suggests that her lyrics have evolved and that she is “less wordy now, leaving more space lyrically for the listener to fill in the blanks.”

It is evident that Barber places great emphasis on language and she recently undertook the overwhelming task of learning a new language. After a life changing visit to Montreal and experiencing the beauty of the French language, Barber strived to speak and sing fluently in French. Jill describes this ambition as a way to “open music up to the francophone audience [because it is] my job to express myself and communicate with my audience.”

When asked where her initial aspirations to become a musician stem from, without hesitation Jill responds “my older brother, Matthew.”  Barber also seeks inspiration from fellow Canadian singer/songwriters such as Royal Wood.

Barber has thick Canadian roots growing up and attending University in Ontario, then travelling to the East and West coast at different stages in her life. Jill explains her relationship with Canada in terms of “having allegiances to different places in this country.” After travelling from coast to coast, Jill suggests that “this country is really small to me now and yet so expansive.”

Jill colourfully describes the many relationships that she has established with Canadian cities spanning from the Prairies to the Maritimes. Her descriptions of each city that has stolen bits of her heart are captivating from “the quant, old fashioned Halifax where I first got out on my own” to the “intriguing, sexy Quebec city”, all the way to Guelph which Jill describes as “a nice in between.”

Many of her summers were spent at the Hillside Festival during her years as a student. Barber expresses a deep connection with the annual festival as a place where she found an initial spark of inspiration to begin writing songs.

Now, years later, Jill Barber will embark on another journey to Guelph, but she will be the one taking the stage and inspiring young musicians.

She states that her visit to Guelph is “long overdue.” Jill is eager to show Guelph what she has to offer now that she has “grown up and evolved since my last stop here and [I am] eager to present my band.” Barber places great emphasis on the vital role of her band to her music. She “hopes that people understand that we are a band and that this is not a solo record.”

As the Guelph community anxiously awaits Jill’s performance at the River Run Centre on Friday, Barber gives thecannon readers a glimpse of her show. The evening will include “songs from the new record, but not with exclusion of older songs.” Above all else, Jill Barber describes this event as “an evening of music.”

An Evening with Jill Barber will take place at the Dublin Street United Church. Tickets are $20 for students at the University of Guelph and are available at the River Run Centre Box Office, Ground Floor Music, and at the CSA Office.

For more information on Jill Barber, please visit http://www.jillbarber.com.

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