By Chad Ingram
Calling all angels.
Eclectic and critically acclaimedrecording artist Jane Siberry will be performing in Minden in earlyDecember as part of the Christmas pageant at St. Paul's AnglicanChurch and in her own show the following day.
Siberry who rose to prominence in the1980s with art-pop hits such as Mimi on the Beach and IMuse Aloud has had a long andwide-ranging musical career working with the likes of K.D. Lang andBrian Eno. Perhaps her best-known song Calling All Angels was released in the early 1990s and it is that tune Siberry willtreat the audience to at an event at St. Paul's Anglican Church onDec. 5.
Entitled CallingAll Angels the pageant which will feature dozens of costumed castmembers is the brainchild of resident and designer Sinclair Russell.
“ Everythingcan be blamed on Sinclair” Siberry quips. “He told me he wasgoing to use [ Calling All Angels ]and asked me if I would come up and sing it. Mostly I'm just lookingforward to seeing the pageant with everyone else.”
Russell who isoriginally from Carnarvon and who returned to the Highlands lastyear and Siberry share a commonality. Both are related to Minden'sPritchard family.
Siberry's greatuncle was Lawrence Pritchard who was a reeve of Minden and hergreat-grandfather Joseph Pritchard who was a reeve of Stanhope.
So Siberry's tripto the village will be a homecoming of sorts for her.
“ Ilove Minden it's been in my soul since I was born” Siberry saysrecalling regular trips to the area particularly in the fall whenshe was young.
With a familycottage on Pigeon Lake she still returns to the Highlands every nowand again.
With spiritualthemes running throughout much of Siberry's work what does Christmasmean to her?
“ Ido love Christmas I think maybe more in a pagan way” she saysadding it's a time when the earth closes down and goes inside inorder to be reborn. “Just as humans must do.”
After disposing ofmany of her earthly possessions a decade ago Siberry tends to livewherever she is working that place currently Toronto.
“ I'mmixing a new recording that's taken me about five years” she says.“I think it's one of the most universal albums I've made.”
It could also bethe final full-length album Siberry produces the artist hintingshe's thinking about transitioning mainly to the release of singles.
Unlike some in themusic industry who have pushed back hard against the digitization ofmusic and the changing way in which it's consumed Siberry seems morecomfortable with the concept.
“ Ilove the flexibility when people can download for free and shareinstantly” she says adding that the Internet is facilitating asharing economy where people share their cars power tools etc.online.
Afterthe 9-11 attacks Siberry got a number of requests for the use of Calling All Angels.
Not feeling theneed to go after royalties “I just put it up for you to use”she says. “I don't need to be a gatekeeper.”
Siberry who is nowworking without a label also used the website Kickstarter tocrowd-source some of the funds for her new album.
There will be twoperformances of the pageant on Dec. 5 on at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.Admission is by donation with proceeds going to the church'soutreach programs. Along with Siberry's performance it will featurea choir Gord Kidd and Wendy Connelly of The Country Hot Flashes.
Siberry's concertwill also take place at St. Paul's Anglican Church beginning at 3p.m. on Dec. 6.
Tickets are $19 andthere will be refreshments after the show as well as an opportunityto meet Siberry. Fans can bring CDs to be signed and there will alsobe some available for sale.
Siberryalso has a special invitation “to the over-80 'club' and pre-16crowd . . . I would like you to come as my guest if you bring me apoem. One that you wrote yourself or from someone else's pen. Pleasehand-write it and put your real name or your pen name on it. I inviteyou to read it or we will have someone to do it . . . but you would likely do it best. We willhave a microphone too if you choose to use it.”