Prior to their mentorship experience with Norine Braun, Summer Tyance was passionate about music but didn’t know how, or in what ways, she would eventually be connected with it outside of just listening.
Summer Tyance: Learning and developing new music skills is something I will carry with me. The only instruments I can play are the hand drum and a rattle, but I’ve learned that I can write music. There are so many shapes and forms of song and being able to write two songs (one contemporary song and one hand drum anthem song) throughout this mentorship was an excellent hands-on and collaborative experience.
BC Culture Days: Norine, did the mentorship have any impact on your artistic practice?
Norine Braun: Yes. Summer asked to see my creative process in songwriting, so we had a session and wrote a song together. I am not one for collaborating often in songwriting but I was thrilled with the outcome and will likely record it in the future. Deconstructing my process was also enlightening for me in observing how I create a song I hadn’t ever thought about in that way. It was also wonderful to see how Summer absorbed my facilitation outline and ideas into a well structured workshop. I hadn’t anticipated the usefulness of understanding group processes in creative work and how important it was to this project.
Summer Tyance: This particular program was a great length to really create an authentic connection to someone, and the thought that went into connecting us with mentors who seemed like a good fit doesn’t go unnoticed. Being an Indigenous youth, adding tools to my toolkit allows myself to eventually pass on these valuable skills to others. To also be a mentor myself one day is a goal to strive towards. Connecting with those who are wiser than you in an area such as music, and who have lived experience to speak to really clarified a lot of questions I’ve wondered about. Being able to connect with someone like Norine was an exceptional privilege. I feel honoured to have met her and witness her creative process.
Summer Tyance (Anishinaabe) is a Queer, Two-Spirit, multidisciplinary artist from Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek located in Northwestern Ontario. She is a self-taught painter who has been painting with acrylic for over ten years, and more recently also does beadwork. Other arts they are interested in and have been involved with are podcasting, improv, traditional hand drumming, singing, creative writing, film, and fancy shawl dancing. Summer utilizes art as a way to connect with their Anishinaabe culture, to heal, and to express spirit. She currently is based in Vancouver, BC or xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territories.
Vancouver singer-songwriter recording artist Norine Braun released her 13th album, Songs For Trees, dedicated to the forests and the spirits within the trees. As we fight climate change, trees are the lungs of the planet. Thanks to a Canada Council For the Arts Award and a First Peoples’ Cultural Council Award in 2021, Norine set her musings during the ongoing pandemic to focus on climate change and the healing power of trees. Her groove based roots, jazz and blues are blended with some rock and synthesized pop elements to create a textured and ambient soundtrack to nature. Songs For Trees is a spiritual narrative, with each song guiding us through a journey through the forest. A trip literally and metaphorically about the interconnectedness of all things. The Vancouver Sun names Songs For Trees as “one of 5 albums you need to hear!” “Songs For Trees” is unlike any other album I’ve ever heard. It’s beautiful and genius.“ Taylor Williams SubbaCultcha “Each song is beautifully tied together to create a music forest with a very important message.” A.A. Christi NYC Broadway World The single The Burning charted on SiriusXM Indigenous Music Countdown reaching the Top 10 and charted on Earshot Canadian College radio Folk/Blues/Roots. The album has also garnered play on US AAA and non-commercial stations. Norine’s ancestry is Metis and Ukrainian and identifies as Two Spirit. Norine is currently writing her 14th album set to record the album this fall 2023.