Gaelynn Lea: Voice and Violin

“Where have you been?” you might ask, when I tell you about the amazing singer/songwriter/violinist Gaelynn Lea.  I know, I know– I’m a little behind when it comes to cultural trends.  She’s been around for a while, on NPR and Ted Talks.

In the car, waiting for my husband at his appointment, I tuned in to the On Being podcast.  Krista Tippett was interviewing Gaelynn Lea.  In her introduction, Tippett mentioned that Lea had a genetic disorder (osteogenesis imperfecta) that made her bones brittle, even before birth, and that she’d been in a wheelchair since age three. As they talked, I was captivated by Lea’s music and her realistic, spiritual take on life.

            Lea won NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest in 2016.  You can watch that performance here:

            Lea is also an inspirational speaker.  When I got home, I listened to her talk on why she chooses Enrichment over Progress. She’s an advocate for people with disabilities as well.

            It’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to listen to any contemporary music, but I bought Lea’s album, Learning How to Stay, that includes the songs I want to hear again: Bound by a Thread, Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun, and Moment of Bliss.  I’m intrigued by the way she uses the “looper pedal” to build a whole backup for her voice. Her lyrics offer sparks of beautiful language. 

Our love’s a complex vintage wine
All rotted leaves and lemon rind
I’d spit you out but now you’re mine

-Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun

            Check out Gaelynn Lea, if you haven’t heard her already, and let me know what you think.

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