Winter

They measure snow with a ruler, you know. Or a metre stick. Nothing fancy.

In December, in St. John’s, our first snowfall gave us thirty centimetres and I thought I’d never get through another winter. I stood still on a sidewalk, wondering how to navigate the ice, and said aloud “I can’t do this.”

My reflections on 2015 are just so. The year that was and will never be again. Shaky ankles on an icy sidewalk, a frightening promise of broken bones. During the slick St. John’s winters we all lose our cool, or at least cover it in thick layers of wool. Our typical downtown loping strides turn into tiny hops. Cautiously penguin-stepping down the middle of the road and into the new year.

I am afraid. What if I fall, and what if I fail.

But those first thirty centimetres are long gone and 2015 ended gently. What snow and ice has come since is still terrifying on these hills but somehow one grows accustomed. We do that every time. We say good riddance and tuck our chins into our chests and wait for the light to grow.

Somebody said it’s a minute a day. It’s probably not that precise, but still.

In the final minutes of 2015 I was riled into a spirited force, some delightful place between disorderly and hopeful. The old year is so tired and dull. The new year is full of promise and sunlight. I do that every time. Gather up a years worth of living and ball it up like painters tape. Measure it by it’s crumpled mass, it’s edges yellowed and dusty and softened. Try and throw it away, but it sticks.

Winter is a repetition. But it never promises to be anything different. Not like the voices of spring and summer that sing and beckon. Winter sits on us and refuses to change and we have to live around it. We listen to it intently while it whispers adoringly in lamplight and we hide away, small bundles, while it moans.

And we stick a ruler in it and measure the hell out of it. Five, ten, thirty centimetres. And one minute a day. One precious, sunny minute more, every day.

Stay safe and warm.

Amelia.

PS
You can help homeless and at-risk youth in St. John’s stay safe and warm this winter by donating to Choices for Youth, here.

Ron

The power went out in St. John’s after Ron Hynes died.  And even the Man of a Thousand Songs couldn’t have written it like that.

In Newfoundland, we are saying goodnight to a legend.  And when we wake up in the morning, for songwriters like me, it will be a different sort of craft.

Newfoundland songwriters have always paid tribute to Ron Hynes.  We have played his songs at kitchen parties and stood in awe of a particular turn of phrase or melody structure.  We did impressions of him and laughed and laughed.  But what’s more, we drank with him.  We shared stages with him and we got to be lifted by his vote of confidence and berated by his sharp tongue and sometimes in the same breath.

In St. John’s, there was little separation between Ron and those of us who looked up to him so.  Ron was around.  A fellow who was called “a living legend” for the last several decades of his life.  So celebrated here at home that when he was awarded a lifetime achievement award at the folk festival in 2006, he looked at me and said “Hello, I used to be Ron Hynes”, just before walking on stage to receive it.

From now on, we are telling you a story of us.  Because every Newfoundland songwriter is after the legacy of Ron Hynes.  And we have always known that.  We have always been proud of that.  Now, it is something a little weightier than before.  Now, as a Newfoundland songwriter, it is a responsibility.

We’re losing legends in music.  We’re getting used to saying goodbye and things have changed so drastically I don’t think we’re in the business of creating legends anymore.  To be alive now, in whatever skip generation allowed me to both admire Ron Hynes and to know Ron Hynes, well . . . I’m honoured for it.

There are poignant and beautiful things that make themselves very apparent in times like this.  Now, I haven’t looked it up, and maybe it’s our outdated electricity grid or maybe some poor sap ran into a hydro pole somewhere, that doesn’t matter.  What matters, what’s apt, is that the power went out in St. John’s after Ron Hynes died.

And that’s what a lot of us will remember about that night.  How, at around 7:30pm the news started to roll.  How at around 7:45 I went on automatic pilot and headed to the Ship Pub.  How, at around 8:05, the lights went out.

How candles were lit and the door remained open.  How more and more people came into the pub and ordered a whiskey and peered into the other faces in the crowd for recognition.  And some were devastated and some were compelled to respectfully celebrate.

At around 11:30, the lights came on again.  When I left the pub at 1:00am, they were still parking their cars, and packing the bars, and dancing the St. John’s waltz.

Letters from the North

Amelia wrote a blog about her week in the North. Check it out here.

Amelia Curran Receives 3 Canadian Folk Music Nominations.

Amelia Curran has been nominated for the following categories:
Contemporary Singer of The Year
English Songwriter of The Year
Solo Artist of The Year

The awards gala will take place in Edmonton, AB on November 6-7 at the Citadel Theatre. Tickets and information about the event can be found here.

The Guardian Interviews Amelia Curran

“Singer-songwriter Amelia Curran shares inspirational songs from new CD.” Read the full interview here.

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Amelia On The Cover of Verb Magazine

Pick up your copy of Verb Magazine in Saskatoon & Regina this week to check out the full feature on Amelia Curran.
Verb Magazine

National Post Roundtable Discussion: The Juno Awards

Amelia Curran sits down with The National Post, Tre Mission, The Arkells, and USS to discuss the Juno Awards from an artist’s perspective.

Read the full article here.

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Outlaws & Gunslingers Juno Showcase

Amelia performs at the Outlaws & Gunslingers Juno showcase this Friday, March 13 in Hamilton.

Outlaws & Gunslingers shines the spotlight on songwriters at this year’s JUNOfest musical bonanza, to take place at This Ain’t Hollywood on Friday, March 13 at 345 James Street in Hamilton, ON.

Take a look at the poster below for full set times.

Outlaws & Gunslingers @ JUNOfest 2015


( November 4th 2014, Six Shooter Records )
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