Home Feature Jerry Cans alum Gina Burgess releases contemplative new single from ISNOW

Jerry Cans alum Gina Burgess releases contemplative new single from ISNOW

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There’s nothing all that bluesy or melancholy about “Kingsburg Blues,” the new single by ECMA Fusion Recording of the Year-winner Gina Burgess, although it is indeed haunting. Instead, the song, which blends psychedelic elements with Celtic and Inuit roots, takes us into a magical and mischievous fairy world shimmering with fireflies and secrets.

There’s only one lyric to the song: “And how long does it take for a rose to bloom and die?” But that lyric allows an entry point into that November day in Nova Scotia when Gina was first inspired to write “Kingsburg Blues.”

“I was walking along the ocean coast in the village of Kingsburg, on the south shore of Nova Scotia,” she recalled. “The path I walked was lined with rose bushes entering their hibernation state for the winter. The wind picked up, and I heard this magical music. It felt as though the rose hip spirits were singing this melody to me.”

In fact, it was more as though Gina was being led into the song rather than fully forming it herself.

“Quieting my mind, I could hear the whispers of the fae folk as they taught me this song,” she said. “I immediately went and got my violin and played the notes I had heard.”

The trance-y, hypnotizing composition features Gina’s violin accompanied by Cynthia Pitsulak’s contemporary Inuit throat singing. Also featured is the Angolan instrument, the berimbau, played by Gina’s former Gypsophilia bandmate Ross Burns. Jordan Stephens plays bass, along with Matthew Gallant on the drum kit.

“I met Cynthia Pitsiulak in Ottawa at a Silla and Rise (her band at that time) performance. I knew immediately that I wanted Cynthia to record the contemporary Inuit throat parts,” Gina recalled. “We have since then created a wonderful friendship and collaborative spirit together.”

Gina’s collaborations with Jordan Stephens and Matt Gallant go back even further. “I have played with Jordan and Matt in many capacities over the last two decades,” she said. “They are both incredible musicians in their own right and I knew I wanted to work with them for my solo project.”

The Brazilian percussion is played by Ross Burns, a capoeira practitioner and teacher. “Ross and I have a long history performing together in the swing manouche band Gypsophilia,” Gina explained. “We composed, performed, and toured together in that band for 12 years. During that time, he would occasionally bring the capoeira instruments into the mix, and I absolutely love those sounds.”

“Kingsburg Blues” is one of nine songs on Gina’s new album, ISNOW. The genre-bending compositions were written for violin, contemporary Inuit throat singing, double bass, drum kit, and Brazilian percussion, and they fuse together the different musical elements that have influenced Gina through her musical training and travels.

“I spend a lot of time in nature,” she said. “That’s where I hear music the most. When I am still and listening, the music comes to me. I have never actually sat down to write a composition yet. I feel more like a conduit where the spirit of music flows through me.”

Gina, who is from Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia), is an internationally recognized artist, a multi-genre violinist, a composer, yoga instructor, educator, and musician wellness facilitator. A former member of the JUNO-nominated Iqaluit-based arctic rock band The Jerry Cans, a four-time East Coast Music Award winner with the hot jazz group Gypsophilia, and collaborator with numerous ensembles, she is a highly sought-after performer. Her latest project, ISNOW, reflects her diverse experiences by mixing classical music with Celtic folk and incorporating contemporary Inuit throat singing with elements of jazz.

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