Joyfully All Over the Place by Veda Hille
"Canadian singer-songwriter, Veda Hille, regularly sells out theaters throughout Canada and Europe, and it's easy to see why. She possesses the high register range of Tori Amos, the coy wit of Ani Difranco, and the sort of grown-up wisdom that Sarah McLachlan casually displays. Hille's words are smart, uplifting, and a little arty, but endearingly so. Her music is joyfully all over the place, from confessional, personal, and painful songs to punky, powerful romps and pretty, floating tunes that stick in your head for days" — Mike McGonigal, Amazon.
Steve Baylin, another reviewer, calls her "the Monet of modern pop." He feels her work is a "pure sonic celebration of colour and light, its fluid moods and shifting rhythmic shapes always precise and striking." He was reviewing This Riot Life. His conclusion? "It's what great music was meant to be: human to a fault."
Have a listen as you read on. (Click on Music Player.)
A Subud member from Vancouver. Veda has put out 13 independent recording of her own music, starting out with the tapeSongs about People and Buildingsin 1992. Her latest release, Young Saint Marie with the CBC Orchestra, features reinterpretations of songs by Buffy St Marie and Neil Young. In her 20 year music career Veda has toured in Canada, USA and Europe, composed for opera, musical theatre and dance, curated shows, mentored young talent, worked on musical collaborations — and that's just the music part.
She's really a Renaissance artist. Her 2012 hit musical, Do You Want What I Have, a Craig's List Cantata, (written in collaboration with CBC host, Bill Richardson) for Vancouver's PUSH Festival, is a huge runaway hit that theaters everywhere are clamoring for. It's scheduled to play Toronto's Factory Theater in 2013. Indeed, she is joyfully all over the place!
So where did all this start? Veda announced to her family at the age of 5 that she was going to be a musician and hasn’t wavered or looked back since, building constantly on her keen creativity and love of exploration of all things. Influences have been Glenn Gould, Beatles, and the Talking Heads according to the interview with ‘Vancouver songwriting legend Veda Hille’ in Scout Magazine Dec 31, 2009. On her creative process Veda writes: “I think the best advice that I was ever given was to write about what amazes me. This has led me to a huge variety of subjects, and helped me to remain interested in music as well as cultivated a kind of constant amazement at the world.”
And what does she think has been the influence of Subud and the latihan in her work? “It was soon after I was opened (at age 21) that I began writing music. I’ve always seen that as a pretty direct relationship. The act of surrender that we practice in latihan is closely related to the writing process for me; learning how to listen hard to music that isn’t there yet.” Veda and husband Justin Kellam (a drummer with the band No Kids) spent the fall of 2009 working and living the creative life in Europe’s cultural center — Berlin. These days they both lead a busy life as working parents in Vancouver with their little boy Anders (18 months) and daughter Saoirse (17).
As one music critic wrote about Veda – “She is a gift from God, or at least from Canada.”