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Phantom chords

ECMA winner Jenn Grant ready to return to home turf (Press photo)
ECMA winner Jenn Grant ready to return to home turf (Press photo)

Jenn Grant is holding on to the past, but in the most positive of ways. Grant, an East Coast Music Award winner and Juno nominee, set off on a cross-Canada tour of new material last week with shows in her native province of Prince Edward Island, and at the recently re-launched Marquee Ballroom on Gottingen Street.

Grant reminisced about the Marquee Club before her September 7 show with musician Jim Bryson.

“I’ve wanted to play there again for years. It’s one of my favourite places,” Grant said of her return to the iconic Halifax venue.

“I used to go there a lot, play there a lot. Greg Clark [Marquee entertainment manager] is back, so it feels like the old days.”

Musical memories may haunt the Marquee, but memories of what used to be haunt Grant’s songs, and her stage. On this tour, a backdrop by interdisciplinary artist Charly Young will cascade across the set. Young’s art—like the massive, gossamer installation print of a demolished building she presented in Halifax during Nocturne 2011, explore phantom limb theory—the sensations of lost limbs felt by amputees.

Young’s theme, the meditation of absence, resonates for Grant in the current of her musical work.

“Feeling the presence of someone when they’re gone is something that comes up in my song-writing,” Grant says.

Grant’s recent song writing has a “folky, Spanish vibe,” and a captivating expansive sound.

“I’ll be bringing two drummers on the tour, so it should sound wide and more orchestral, but not in your face,” Grant explains.

While Grant will be playing new material, she emphasizes the endurance of connections to the past, to the people and places that define the present.

“Hometown shows are the best,” she says of beginning the tour in the Maritimes. “They’re what’s been there since the beginning, what will always be there.”

Zoe Doucette
Zoe Doucette
Zoe was Assistant Arts Editor for the Gazette's 146th Volume.
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