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Time for something a little different tonight instead of my usual Author Interview Series.
I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing an amazing Singer/Songwriter/Multi-Instrumentalist and I wanted to share the experience for you to all enjoy too.
Please therefore let me introduce you all to the delightful Vanessa Cardui, as we find out more about her passions, inspirations and best of all how she composes her breathtaking, catchy tunes.
Thanks for reading and happy listening folks.
Hey there Vanessa, thank you for stopping by to spend some quality time with us and allow us to discover more about both yourself and your eclectic music.
Please start by telling us the genre(s) of music that you perform, the instrument(s) that you play and ultimately what led you to becoming a musician?
My primary instruments are guitar and mandolin, but I’m a dabbler – I like having a lot of sounds to choose from in studio, and playing different instruments helps me stay fresh as a songwriter. To varying degrees of competence, I play ukulele, piano, harp, violin, recorders, percussion, and lute (that’s not a typo, I play the lute, not the flute).
The genre question is harder to answer. A lifetime of making music has acquainted me with many styles, and my original music is constantly changing. If you asked me to describe the music I’m releasing right now, I’d call it folk with strong rock and Renaissance influences, at times edging dangerously toward musical theatre.
What ultimately led me to become a musician? I’ve always been a musician, because of my parents, but the turning point for me (when I decided to make a life as a recording artist) was the songwriting course I took in Grade 7 with Susan Picard. Once I got my head around writing songs it became the centre of my identity.
Vanessa’s new album ‘Patience’ is out now
What is your favourite aspect of being a musician? And what is your least favourite?
I’ll begin with the things I don’t like about being a musician. I’m tired of hauling gear, sound checks, fee negotiations, and handling my Daliesque finances; the lack of job security makes me queasy, as does the vertigo that can result from improvising one’s life without a chart. As for the aspect that is my favourite, well – that’s harder. I love absolutely everything about being a musician, right down to bitching about the lack of security and Daliesque finances. I do what I love and I am good at it. What more could a human being ever want?
Your latest solo CD album is called “Thought Experiment”. Can you go into more detail about the creative process for this album, what the themes are behind this record and what specifically drove you to make it.
The theme of Thought Experiment is love in its various forms, the love that sustains us even as it destroys us. I started work on it after releasing Indelible , the one and only album from my band, Heroincredible. Indelible turned out beautifully, but it took much too long, and I was bursting with new material to record. My bandmates weren’t as gung-ho to go back into studio as I was, and I had plenty of more quiet, soulful material to experiment with, so I set about making a solo album. I became completely obsessed, spending hours upon hours in the little padded rooms of my home studio. Toward the end I even stopped teaching music lessons. I told all my students that I was retiring and went into hiding, venturing outside only to get takeout from the local sushi place.
Most of the parts in Thought Experiment , whether performed by me or by one of my talented session musicians, were created in the moment, under the spell of that magical time and place. By contrast, the songs on my upcoming album Patience are composed very deliberately, with a focus on craft over spontaneity.
I also notice that you have a couple of other albums that we should focus on too – “Filk and Cookies” and an EP “The Wine-Dark Sea”. Can you give us some more background information on them and the explanation behind their witty titles/lyrics.
I’m glad you asked! The Wine-Dark Sea came first: I released it in celebration of my performance at the Sun Wheel Pagan Arts Festival in 2013. I was in the middle of a new album of music for pagan and Wiccan worship at the time (which is now semi-permanently on hold) and I wanted to give the Sun Wheel attendees something to purchase and enjoy. The title is a reference to Homer, and shows up in the lyrics to the song “To Forget I Am Ashamed” (which will be released in a new form on Patience ). It was the obvious choice for a title once I decided to use Teela Stoll’s gorgeous oil painting for the cover. (She originally painted it for the Indelible CD booklet, but I’m sure you’ll agree, it really deserved to be on the cover of something.)
Filk and Cookies is an album of sci-fi/fantasy and other nerdy-themed material that I created for the fandom community. I started performing at sci-fi/fantasy conventions
back in my Heroincredible days, almost by accident, and the community was always very appreciative and generous with the band and with me. I wanted to make something just for them, full of inside jokes, whimsy, and little orgasmic squeals of glee. The title
is one of those inside jokes, so I’m not going to explain it here. I started making it while working on my audio engineering diploma, and I wanted to see if I could engineer and produce an album alone from start to finish. With the new skills that I learned in school and from other professionals in my field, I made Filk and Cookies all by myself, except for a few session musicians, the graphic design, and of course manufacturing. The budget was almost zero.
How you go about composing a typical song – do you start with a melody or a lyric or do you begin with some other starting/jumping off point?
Every song starts with an idea, which might be a story or concept, but is usually a fragment of lyric and melody which comes to me in a sudden flash, or in a dream. The song grows out of that initial embryo. As opposed to starting with lyrics or with melody, I almost always write the words and music at the same time.
You mentioned previously that you were in a rock band called “Heroincredible”. Please tell us how and when this band was formed, along with the history behind it? How do you view the experiences of playing in a band versus being a solo singer/songwriter?
I formed Heroincredible shortly before I turned 18, so we started playing in bars as soon as I hit legal drinking age. We had a good run from 2004 to 2012 with a lot of memorable shows. I loved playing with Heroincredible, and I still do shows and recordings with David Sharow, the bass player, but that band is in my past. Working with other musicians is great, but I can do that as a solo artist. I do collaborations all the time, both in studio and on stage – I just don’t have any long-term commitments with other musicians. I like my freedom.
Tell us more about your record label (Pink Radio Records) and your reasons for signing with them. Also what other material are we going to find with your labelmates? (if you have any of course)
Pink Radio Records is mine, all mine. My only labelmate is Heroincredible, though one day I hope to sign others. I’ve worked as a producer on a few different projects, so signing other artists to Pink Radio could be an exciting new challenge for the future.
What type of music do you listen to for fun and/or for inspiration?
As I write this, I am listening to Beethoven’s 6th Symphony. When I’m alone, I listen to classical music almost exclusively, and I’m a history buff, so I listen to a lot of early music. I particularly love Baroque opera, Renaissance polyphony, and secular love songs of the Middle Ages. As much as I love music, though, I don’t listen to much of it these days. I am constantly making music, both in my creative life and in my day job as a music teacher, so my quiet me is very precious to me. If you ever see me walking or riding the train, I won’t have headphones on – but I might be singing!
Who else do you admire and turn to for inspiration in the world of poetry, historical figures, authors, actors or anyone else that motivates you in life?
That’s a very big question for an artist, and I have to narrow it down before I can answer it – there are so many! If I focus on the artists who influenced and inspired the songs on my new album, Patience , then I should give credit to Herman Melville, Stephen Sondheim, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the Brothers Grimm, Dr. Seuss, Shakespeare, Jorane, Joni Mitchell, Douglas Adams, and the colourful figures who populate the Golden Age of Piracy.
I understand that your parents are also musicians. Please tell us more about them and your musical heritage.
My childhood home was listed in the phone book as the Learn With Love Music Centre. Between about 4 o’clock and 7 o’clock each day our house was filled with music (usually discordant, often vexatious, but such are the sounds of learning). My mother taught voice, my father taught flute, violin, and piano, and there were several other teachers who worked in the various rooms of the house. After the divorce I lived with my mother and her new husband, a pipe organ technician and gifted keyboard player. All three of my parents are very accomplished musicians. My mother is a truly gifted singer, the kind to take your breath away and make you wonder what you’re doing with your life. She was featured in the Scorsese film The Age of Innocence playing the role of soprano Christine Nilsson, but she took a long hiatus to pursue a completely different career and is just returning to the world of opera now. I just got off the phone with her talking about her audition today in Milan. I believe she has a legendary career ahead of her, because – and I say this with complete sincerity – she probably has one of the most captivating
voices of any person alive today.
My father is a world-class flute player. He’s very soft-spoken and laconic when you talk to him, but all of his passion and emotion pours out of him when he plays the flute. My stepfather builds big church organs, designs and programs pipe organ control systems, restores antique instruments, and directs choirs. A bit of a Renaissance man, that one. He also plays the trombone and gave me my earliest education in audio engineering.
Are you planning on touring any pubs, clubs, bars or other live venues? If so then please let us know where we can catch a live performance of you in action.
I’m so glad you want to come and hear me play! My CD release party for Patience will be held on September 7th in Calgary, Alberta. As I write this, I don’t have any tours planned, but I hope you’ll find me on Facebook for all the news about my upcoming shows. I do occasionally do live webcam shows, so wherever you live, stay in touch! If you want to listen to my music online, the best place to go is my Bandcamp page, at www.vanessacardui.bandcamp.com – there’s plenty of music to stream for free, or you can purchase my albums through that page as well, either digitally or in physical copies by mail.
Do you have any tips to help avoid/reduce anxiety or stressful nerves before a performance?
Great question. Back in 2005, I had just reached legal drinking age, I was facing my first pub gig with Heroincredible, and was completely freaked out. I was going over some songs with our bass player, Jay (an older, more experienced musician, who left the band shortly thereafter to make room for David). I was fretting and clucking like a headless chicken, scared to death that we were going to screw up, when Jay uttered one of the most important sentences I have ever heard: “Trust me, we’re going to screw up.” I stopped short, thought about it, and then a profound sense of relief washed over me. We were going to screw up! The inevitability of that fact made all of my anxiety meaningless.
If I have only one piece of advice for my fellow performers, it’s this: give yourself permission to make mistakes. There’s no way around it – it’s what happens when human beings get up to perform premeditated acts before other human beings. When you make a mistake – when , not if, when – most of the time the audience won’t notice, and even if they do notice, the more important thing is how you play the rest of the show after
the mistake. Don’t try for perfection – perfection is hollow, sterile, and uninteresting.
People who go out to see live shows don’t want perfection, they want spontaneity, human life, and risk.
Stage fright can be a real bitch, but you don’t have to let it own you. I still get stage fright every time I perform. Part of me wishes I could kick it, but another part of me really enjoys it – it’s a thrill, like jumping out of an airplane. If you’re nervous, be nervous. It’s a legitimate emotion. Just don’t let it stop you from doing what you came to do.
What do you do to unwind/relax when you are not playing music?
I’m pretty introverted, so I spend a lot of my leisure time alone or with the people closest to me. There’s almost nothing I love more than drinking wine and watching Netflix
with my mom or my boyfriend. I also love to read.
Have you any specific plans for releasing future material? Do you have any other albums that you are working on at this time?
I am always writing, and I’ve got a fair bit of material ready to go for another personal album – let’s call it “Vanessa Cardui III”, if Thought Experiment is I and Patience is II. Filk and Cookies, by contrast, is not a personal album, but a novelty album with a unifying concept, and I’ve got ideas for more of those, too. For example, I’m working on a children’s album. I’ve been really enjoying the challenge of writing music for kids.
Finally, what advice do you have for other aspiring singer/songwriters?
I’m still aspiring myself, so I have no advice, just camaraderie. We’re in this together – keep doing what you do, and I’ll do the same! Never forget how amazing you are!
And that’s a wrap! Thank you a very entertaining and enlightening interview Vanessa, we look forward to listening and chilling to your songs soon 🙂
Vanessa Cardui is an outlandish and daring musician with an alarming tendency to swing between the whimsical and the tragic. She began performing live in the Calgary music scene as the lead singer for Heroincredible in 2005. Heronincredible developed a loyal following, playing a number of memorable shows including the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo in 2011 and 2012.
The band dissolved in 2012 and Vanessa began performing regularly as a solo artist, culminating in the release of her debut album, Thought Experiment. Thought Experiment was an original, intimate album with edgy emotional content that went on to becoming a local favorite with high acclaim and garnered local radio exposure. In addition since going solo, Vanessa has collaborated with a number of accomplished musicians to create depth and complexity to the stage. Some of the notable performances include: Sage Theatre’s IGNITE Festival, Pride Calgary, When Words Collide on an annual basis, and the Pure Speculation Festival.
Vanessa has written hundreds of songs in a variety of genres, including rock, folk, filk, and choral music, and has a special love of historical and mythological subject matter. Beyond her debut, she boasts three full-length albums of original music, and will be celebrating Patience, her most ambitious recording project to date, slated for release in the near future.
You can connect with Vanessa via the following Social Media channels:-
Facebook:- Vanessa Cardui – Singer/Songwriter/Multi-Instrumentalist (FB)
Soundcloud:- Vanessa Cardui – Singer/Songwriter/Multi-Instrumentalist (Soundcloud)
Twitter:- @VCardui (Twitter)
Website:- The Official Website of Singer/Songwriter/Multi-Instrumentalist Vanessa Cardui
YouTube:- Vanessa Cardui – Singer/Songwriter/Multi-Instrumentalist (YouTube)
You can buy her music here:-
If you too are a singer/songwriter who would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have an album or series of music albums that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.
Still want more? Well, Vanessa plays many instruments magnificently, along with her talented session musicians, creating a symphony of sounds. For more article on the theme of ‘Symphony’ then check out the links below:-
1. A Life Retired Blog – Enamored with words
2. Living a dream and protecting a promise – My Daly Bred
3. Branching Out – When the Sun Smiles Upside Down
4. emmapalova – Symphony of words
5. Symphony – Melinda J. Irvine
6. Mainline_Matter – Symphony Trombones
7. Symphonic Souls – Daily Surrender to God
8. Cookies & Moo – Dottie
9. Carmz – Battle Symphony
10. Scriptures for Sunday – Fearless
11. My Learning Styles (VARK) ’16 – LiveFree & LoveOnPurpose
12. The Irony in “Friend”ship – Touchwords
13. Frost At Midnite – Pakoda!
14. Candlelight – Serendipitous Web Life
15. Shift Your Frame – Symphony (Teamwork and collaboration)
16. Sacred Grove – Writer’s block
17. Musing I Can – A Rednecks Symphony
18. Symphony – Ralli’s Musings
19. Need Extra Cash? Here Are 20 Ways… – Success Strategies
20. Wanders Meander… – Nomadchasingwaterfalls
21. SUMMER SONG – MY WALL
22. I am the Supernova that created me… – missy miller
23. Swell Time – Sounds of the city
24. Keeping the Maiden Name after Marriage – Rishta Online Blog
25. Tiny Fawns – somewhere between
26. Symphony of Flavors – citySonnet
27. Farts and Squeaks – and then the cow woke up
28. Photo Challenge – Day 4 – Paisley & Roo
29. Do Not Feel Free… – fit2fatforme
30. Chewing with your mouth open – TheMicroRead
31. 5 Top Reasons To Avoid Soda – Simple Tips for Healthy Living
32. A Diary of A Single Man: A Father’s Day After Thought – Harlem Cafe
33. Covenant: In it to Win it – Stew Rd.
34. Nature and symphony – richa pandey
35. Symphony of life – My little storybook
36. David’s Alms – Quiver and Quill
37. Giselle Lynette: An Ordinary Woman – Harlem Cafe
38. A Diary of A Single Man: Do You Know Me? – Harlem Cafe
39. Give And Take – Leigha Robbins
40. Exploring the World around us – My Symphony
41. Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored – Tonight #amwriting
42. The Shower of Blessings – Life’s Symphony
43. helen meikle’s scribblefest – Daily prompt: How I came to love Beethoven
44. Thoughts on Life – Symphony
45. Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored – Mouse Trap #amwriting
46. My Symphony Epiphany – StyleKemistry
47. Pet Sounds – Write Away
48. VirtuousParagon – Dial it Down
49. Wading in the Deep – Simple Symphony
50. Trump Imagines Himself the World’s Great Person – A lot from Lydia
51. It’s The Little Things – Time Will Tell
52. Walk with God – Not a Solo but a Symphony
53. y – in the car heading
54. Vox Humbug – Eclectic Music
55. Seventeen – A Short Conversation
56. Netdancer’s Musings – Subway Symphony
57. Thoughts of Words – Radio & Tea
58. Timeless harmony – Un Camino de Hojas Secas
59. The Hockey Mom Fit Life – Laughter as a Symphony
60. ~215 Of 365~ – ……….365 Days………..
61. Dance to the tune of life… – Mum’s the Word Blog
62. Symphony – wordsareallihavesite
63. Symphony: The Sound of Celebration – WysJoyFul Company
64. Where the Dreamers Sleep – authoranonblog
65. Peaceful Journey – Life is a Symphony
66. Symphony – Stories
67. An unsung symphony to their crime – Your Nibbled News – 2017 YNN
68. Symphony – Snapshots of Life
69. Legacy – Wind Kisses
70. Time (13) – This is Nobody’s blog
71. The Soothing Symphony – rupalislale
72. My Daughters First Symphony-Daily Prompt – A Journey Through Blessings and Trials
73. Orange Flying, in Slow Motion – hannah t.k.
74. The Seminary of Praying Mantis – August: Spear of Destiny
75. Life is a bittersweet symphony – Tachispeaks
76. Sleeping in Symphony – On a mission
77. Symphony – Site Title
78. NATURE’S SYMPHONY – IDLE BRAIN
79. Scott Andrew Bailey – Sound Box
80. Making it write – The Symphony of Life
81. Sound Box – thehouseofbailey
82. WOTD: Symphony – Did You Know?
83. Writing and Works – Haiku August 2017 – Day Three
84. A Rednecks Symphony – Musing I Can
85. The Symphony of My Backyard – christinapociask
86. Sand … Stars – A Red Rattle Toy
87. Free Verse: Mirrored Souls – Urban Poetry By Linda J. Wolff
88. The Symphony of Colours – Journeys of Len
89. Symphony for my ears – In my world
90. On symphony – Just me musing
91. Shackles of Misunderstandings – LiveFree & LoveOnPurpose
92. Daily Post Symphony – All About Writing and more
93. Summertime – BONSALLES ART
94. Heaven’s Sunshine – Symphony of Reflections
95. For you I’d write a Symphony – Life Upside-Down
96. For you I’d write a Symphony – Rosie Hoekstra
97. Call Him.. – Life After Fifty
98. Notes to Women – Clearing the Fog
99. The Wonder of Yarrow House – The Great Maestro
100. slideaways – Dissociation Symphony
101. Jingle all the way – The Musing Monkey
102. Insach – It is a symphony.
103. True Meaning Of Symphony – Free Time Advisor
104. Symphony of our life – Stupid Topics
105. Zombie Flamingos – A Sore Throat and Kitten Thursday!
106. Symphony of Thoughts – Today’s Agenda
107. Piper’s Adventures – Engaging in a Thunderstorm Symphony
108. Symphony of Life – The Vagabond
109. Soul deep – Toxique Humanité
110. Charmed Chaos – Ethereal Night
111. Flowers and Breezes – Symphony
112. Symphony – The Inkwell
113. Life On The Skinny Branches – Harmony
114. A Beautiful Clash – epiphanyofsumi
115. Her voice – Edwin’s Journal
116. SPENGA what? – Self Evolve
117. Self Evolve – SPENGA what?
118. Success Inspirers World – Symphony
119. My Own Cello – TyroCharm
120. SERENDIPITY – SYMPHONY
121. Psithurism – citySonnet
122. Sweet Symphony – Smell The Coffee
123. Passionately in symphony – Finally Unchained
124. A Love Story? – Chapter Seven – Sketches By Nitesh
125. Summer Symphony – Let Me Stay Among The Stars
126. Night Owl Poetry – Symphonic Rain ~ #DailyHaikuChallenge #TheDailyPost #poetry
127. Teen Supreme – Not So Perfect Girl
128. A Life Retired – Ones own symphony
129. Covert Novelist – Symphony
130. Na’ama Yehuda – City Symphony
131. Paint + Poems – There is No End
132. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: TEXTURE – Words We Women Write
133. Take It All In – This, That, and The Other
134. Free Verse: I Am in His House – Urban Poetry By Linda J. Wolff
135. Staci Troilo – Not Exactly Classic Symphony
136. Yellow Symphony – citySonnet
137. Giggles & Tales – The Daily Prompt – Symphony!
138. juantetcts – Daily Post
139. Eye for an I – Journey
140. Symphony is all around us. – Piqued
141. Symphony – Emovere
142. The Love Sorcerer – I’m a Writer, Yes, I Am!
143. Just Brittany Moments – Symphony Of Life
144. Charron’s Chatter – Formalist Arrangement
145. living your life – Matt’s thoughts on…
146. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: Feline Symphony
147. Sandmanjazz – Last Words
148. “Spring Symphony!” – Nomadic Adventurer
149. Barge Party – A Unique Title For Me
150. Can you hear it? – Mask Off
151. It’s Bittersweet Symphony: – Storysite
152. Morning has broken ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
153. Chandni Chowk – Don’t hold your breath
154. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Morning Symphony
155. Symphonic Praise – As I was saying…
156. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – Surrounded by symphonies
157. DCMontreal: Blowing the Whistle on Society – Symphony of the Absurd at the White House
158. Symphonies From A Mental Asylum…. #2 – Thunder Poet
159. I hear a Symphony – Espiritu en Fuego/A Fiery Spirit
160. Symphonies From A Mental Asylum…. #3 – Thunder Poet
161. Telling the Truth – slow motion
162. Hot White Snow – Leader of the Band
163. Final Movement – Percolating Poetry
164. Dronstad – Big dreams
165. Symphony – Learning about Writing
166. Mary’s Symphony – Islamic Methodologies Made Easy
167. Live life; make meaning. – Life (Remix #2)
168. Happy Union – Haiku Abound
169. One Last Time – Zeckrombryan
170. Love in the Dustbowl – CD-W, Author Flawed to Perfection
171. Friendship – stoneronarollercoaster
172. Vivid Tales – Symphony In Life – Simple Tips (short)
173. Relax – Balms for the senses
174. Piper’s Adventures – Coastal Bird in a Hurry
175. Symphony – Image & Word
176. The Hidden Chalkboard (The HC) – The Holy Boldness of Noah
177. the15thday – fluffing his pillow
178. The Future, Hidden Yet Seen – Wandering Worlds
179. Symphony Inside – damswriter
180. Scrambled, Not Fried – Outlier
181. I remember you… – Wunmi Akinfemiwa
182. Booknvolume – Serenade – #DailyHaikuChallenge
183. Self-soothing with the five senses – Bird Flight
184. Karen Lynne Beads – Symphony
185. Common Pursuit – The Symphony of Flames
186. Beethoven’s musical flight of ideas – Bird Flight
187. Symphony – bob
188. Healing Room – High Soaring Woman
189. Quoting portions of earlier music – A comparison – Bird Flight
190. Dronstad – Tune of Chaos
191. Writing the wrongs – Paris
192. The Ambitious Drifter – Symphonic Feast
193. sonja benskin mesher – .index.
194. I wrote a book. Now what? – Distracted By Distraction
195. Dancing to our silent symphony. – Individual expressions of a naive mind.
196. 6 tips for a healthy life – Wells Baum
197. Symphonies – aroused
198. Terror in the Music Hall – Just Writing!
199. We Are All Mooches – Patches of Light, Pieces of Grace
200. Symphony Deep In Us – emotionsoflife2016
201. Boringbug – Volleyball and Me! -by Crucio Girl
202. Frank Prem – the old lady’s parrot
203. The Wandering Poet – A symphony of flavours about to start
204. Cimmerian Sentiment – #20 Too Close (Beth & Sean)
205. Frank Prem – choir and accompaniment
206. Frank Prem – school soiree
207. Down By The Pond – By Sarah
208. Symphony – All About Writing and more
209. Taken away – By Sarah