|Sarah Slean performs at the Kelowna Community Theatre on Saturday.|
While she was able to take the Land album on a highly successful tour, taking Sea on the road seemed about as impossible as carrying seawater in your hands.
But then, this is Sarah Slean. And it seems that not even trying to carry the sea could stop her. "I'm overjoyed to say, we've actually found a way to tour it," she said, in a recent phone interview.
Originally recorded with a
21-piece orchestra, Slean explained that the score for Sea contains five instrument voices: two violins, a viola, cello and bass. "So, we're bringing a core five-piece with us, so we have all the voices covered, and in venues where space allows, such as Kelowna, we're hiring some local classical musicians as well."
Add to that a drummer and the talented backup singer Karen Kosowski who accompanied her on the Land tour and the result will be the full rich sound Slean intended it to be.
But if you're going to the show expecting to hear hits from her Land album, such as Set it Free, Everybody's On TV and Girls Hating Girls, be warned! Slean said she's already toured that.
What you will find rounding out the play list, however, are some old favourites from previous albums where she's used strings. "We'll be doing things like Parasol, The Rose, and Duncan - songs from all the way back to 2002."
She did, however, hint that there might be a secret song added in from the Land CD, one she experimented with on a recent tour in Europe that worked well with the strings.
The story behind the double album, Land and Sea, is that when Slean began writing, she noticed songs going to two very different camps. However, there are a few songs which sound like they could have gone to either the Land or the Sea side.
Slean admitted the song called I Am the Light, was one of those songs. "It went well with Sea but I did feel for the most part that Sea was not about the word 'I' so that was the one reason I decided it should stay on the Land side...
I wanted to keep Sea as much as I could as a broader perspective about no one in particular because it is about the great mystery that we're all a part of," she said.
Slean was recently selected to receive one of the Queen Diamond Jubilee medals but in a show of solidarity to the Idle No More movement, she declined accepting it. She had been living abroad in Paris at the time and had been following the coverage of what was going on and found it provoked a very strong emotional response.
"I was appalled by so much of the media coverage - it was so blatantly slanted," she said.
"I was looking everywhere for some balanced reporting, some attempt to understand what they wanted and why, but there was this blind spot in terms of the facts," she said.
She noted the terms of Bill C45, changes to the navigable water act, changes to how resources are stewarded and the changes to the treaty rights and access to treaty covered land.
"It was a blatant disregard of the government in their constitutionally obligated consultation with the Native communities in this country," said Slean, so when she saw on Twitter that others, such as Naomi Klein were turning down their medals in support, she decided to do the same. "It wasn't out of disrespect or to critique the government or lashing out in anger, it was a positive gesture of support for Idle No More because I feel anyone with a public voice should be saying, 'I see you, I hear you and I'm making an effort to understand you' and the entire government seems to be saying the opposite and that's un-Canadian to me."
Slean is married to another successful Canadian musicians, Royal Wood. They have done a few shows where they've opened for each other, but Slean said that touring together is hard to do. "We're both just so busy right now," she said, "and as a marriage, you have to respect boundaries and everyone having their own work...We are the victims of each other's muses, he follows his and I have to follow mine."
As for an album together? She didn't rule it out, but laughed, "We eat together, we can't do everything togetherâ€¦.(but) that door is open and I'm sure we'll end up doing a record together some time."
What: Sarah Slean's Sea tour
Where: Kelowna Community Theatre
When: Tuesday, March 5 at 8 p.m.
Tickets: $28 plus fees at SelectYourTickets.com of phone 250-762-5050