Friday, November 15, 2019 | 8:00pm
Dayna Manning CD Release
$30 Advance / $35 Door *
Juno nominated artist Dayna Manning exemplifies the very best that Canadian Folk music can be. Her cool clear voice along with her insightful songs represent a history of Canadian musical art that goes back to the early 60’s and sounds just as vital today.
Hugh’s Room Live headlines the launch of singer-songwriter Dayna Manning’s solo album Morning Light, a chamber-folk record which has a unique collaboration with arranger Ben Bolt-Martin; Ben arranged the chamber music orchestration to all the songs on Morning Light. We’re also featuring Dayna Manning’s debut memoir Many Moons!
Enjoy a moving performance and songwriting insights from an exceptional group of musicians.
What can you expect from this event?
-An intimate performance of folk music and chamber music
-Enlightening conversation between musicians and songwriters
-An exclusive look into the mind and methods of songwriters
Who is this event for?
-Dayna Manning fans
A 30 minute opening round will be performed by members of Dayna Manning’s Folk Army of young Stratford based female songwriters ages 8-18.
About Morning Light:
On Morning Light, Dayna Manning fulfills her destiny as Renaissance woman.
With the instrumentation of flute, violin, cello and French horn adorning the dozen songs that comprise the Stratford, Ontario native’s fourth solo album, Manning feels she has finally discovered the ideal setting for her artistry: chamber folk.
“I feel like I’ve found my home, right here in my hometown,” Manning declares. “I don’t know how to explain it. I found something really beautiful production-wise that I could put around what I do acoustically that didn’t take away from my voice and guitar.”
Lovingly arranged by cellist and Stratford Festival alumnus Ben Bolt-Martin and released in tandem with Many Moons – A Songwriters Memoir – Manning’s first foray into authorship, Morning Light is a compendium of original, traditional, the revived and the revisited.
It’s steeped in the maple syrup sentiment of authentic Canadiana storytelling that she’s perfected over 25 years of solo artistry and acclaimed work with Trent Severn, the flannel-clad folk super-trio she formed with Emm Gryner and Lindsay Schindler.
“There’s a very clear red-and-white troubadour line to me that I’ve wanted to honour which includes Ian & Sylvia, Gordon Lightfoot, Anne Murray, Great Big Sea, Spirit of the West and the Tragically Hip.” Manning explains. “And it’s definitely from the point of view of where I was born and got into popular music. I want to be part of contributing to that legacy.”
The connection is there in the opening strains of “Charlie Lake,” a song about a magical, transformative place that was the setting of a life transition for Manning – as she describes in Many Moons; in the exhilaratingly romantic declaration “You You You;” a sparkling, vibrant cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Free Man In Paris” and in the trilogy of songs that date back to the formation of the country itself: “The Weaver,” “The Bonny Banks of the Virgie, O” and “Peter Amberley.”
And it’s there in the reimagined presentations of “King Of The Background” – Manning’s tribute to the late Richard Manuel of The Band – and the warm, wintry wave to the fluffy stuff in the fluegelhorn-enriched “O Snow” – and in the gorgeous album-ending instrumental “Reflections,” a family affair that finds Dayna tackling second trumpet to support the lead trumpet of her father David.
It’s there in “The Same Way,” a homecoming tale; the declarative intimacy of “When I Love You” – and the cozily observant “I Get Closer,” which features her mom Darlene on clarinet.
But the true impetus of Morning Light, produced by Manning and engineered and mixed by Juno Award winner John “Beetle” Bailey, comes down to one word: community.
“I looked around Stratford in 2019 and thought, how do I make a true, community-based folk record? Most of the people I hired for this record live or work on my street,” she states. “These are my neighbours. I wanted to be part of what was going on around me and I made this record to be a part of that.”
The inspiration for Morning Light came shortly after Manning had returned to Stratford after living away from the area for a spell. She was invited by violinist Andrew Chung’s Inner Chamber to participate in what would become a life-changing project.
“They asked me to be part of a folk chamber show that presented Canadian songs done circa 1867, tying back to the Centennial,” Manning recalls. “I got to research them and pick which ones I wanted to do. Then they were adapted for flute, Violin, French horn and cello – and the minute we had our first rehearsal, I knew that this is what I wanted to do.”
Violinist Chung, cellist Ben Bolt-Martin, flautist Laura Chambers and French horn player Derek Conrod formed the backdrop for Manning’s blend of voice, acoustic guitar and banjo – and it was important for the singer-songwriter to keep the lineup tight and fluid.
“I kept it to the four of us because I want to be able to recreate this in any live setting,” Manning explains. “I’m hoping that this album will present an opportunity to play in Vancouver or Winnipeg or Halifax. I want to engage in community outreach and I’m hoping to take the scores with me and hire local musicians to accompany me, wherever I go.”
Community-at-large was also responsible for completing Morning Light: although it was partially sponsored by FACTOR – the Foundation To Assist Canadian Talent On Record – Manning had also engaged some crowdfunding to help with expenses.
Unfortunately, the eleventh-hour collapse of her chosen crowdfunding platform – PledgeMusic – left Manning in the lurch for $5300 USD. Jumping to Kickstarter, Manning appealed to her loyal fan base and was gifted with a further $8500 – in only eight hours!
“I can’t tell you how grateful I am for my supporters,” she says. “They are so amazing!”
Morning Light isn’t the only new offering from Dayna Manning – coincidentally, the first woman to receive a public phone call from the orbiting International Space Station and Canadian commander Chris Hadfield during a Trent Severn concert in Goderich a few years back.
Many Moons – a memoir told through the creation of Dayna’s songs and the brainchild of Heidi Sander issued by Sander’s Stratford-based Blue Moon Publishers – chronicles the stories of such Manning classics as “A Walk On The Moon,” “Truscott” – and from the new album, “The Same Way,” “Charlie Lake” and “O Snow.” It also offering entertaining encounters with such celebrities as Sean Lennon, Burton Cummings and David Foster.
“I can’t believe how easy it was to write, “ she laughs. “I just thought of the really fun and memorable adventures my songs had led me on and it poured out of me.”
Today, Dayna Manning is deeply immersed in her community, teaching promising female singer-songwriters through her Folk Army; performing trumpet in New Horizons, a band that performs weekly in seniors’ homes and churches – and a few other endeavours.
This is a Stratford record. This is a community record – and one that Dayna Manning has had in her for a long, long time.
“I’ve had followers since Volume One and they always say my records are too produced, they can’t hear my voice and they want a record just like my live show,” she admits. “But I can’t deal with putting out a record that is just me and acoustic guitar.
“So, this was the hallowed ground that I found.”
Hallowed ground indeed: with Morning Light, Chamber folk has never sounded so inviting.
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