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Gravitas Sarah Slean

Photo courtesy Rick Matthews

Sarah Slean answers 21 Gravitas Questions

Signed to Atlantic/Warner Records at 19, three-time Juno nominee and modern-day Renaissance woman Sarah Slean has released 11 albums. She has also published two volumes of poetry, starred in short films and a movie musical, written two string quartets, held numerous exhibits of her paintings, and shared the stage with many of Canada’s professional orchestras. Classically trained, she routinely collaborates with contemporary classical ensembles like The Art of Time and has been invited to sing world premieres by Canada’s leading living composers. Citing such diverse influences as Leonard Bernstein, Joni Mitchell, Buddhism, and Bach, her music borrows aspects of cabaret, rock, pop, and orchestral. The CBC has described her voice as a 19th century Kate Bush. Metaphysics, her first recording in five years, is an amalgamation of Slean’s orchestral arranging and her signature take of songwriting. Time magazine called her, “one of the most compelling acts Canada has to offer.” She recently performed both as a painter and singer at a library fundraising event at the Hatch Gallery in Bloomfield.

She came to the County for a weekend years ago and fell in love. She returns often.

Name one universal rule of friendship?

What are you going to do about growing old?
Enjoy every minute.

What makes your heart stand still?
True art.

If you knew the truth, how would you reveal it?

We all hope there will be one more time. One more time for what?
That kiss on a balcony in Paris with the English epidemiologist.

What do you wish your mother understood about you?
No one gets me like my Mom gets me!

If you were going to launch a new prohibition, what would you outlaw?
Manufacturing anything that is poisonous to the environment.

How would you like to rewire your brain?
I was happy with my pre-iPhone brain; I’d go back to that.

If you were to ask for divine intervention, what would it be for?
Mercy for those who need it.

What are you fatally attracted to?
Trying to do it all!

Why do we sometimes crave chaos?
Because we know we’re part of something much larger than ourselves.

How do you stay clear of the rocks and shoals?
City living sort of does that for me.

When they say, ‘follow the fear,’ what fear are you following?
The fear that is so close to excitement you can’t quite tell the two apart. Which is stage fright, in a nutshell.

Why should we hang onto our illusions?
Because they contain seeds of dreams. And imagination is EVERYTHING!

When do reality and fantasy merge?

How do we get to the authentic self?
Stumbling through life whilst earnestly seeking it.

What is your favourite recipe for unhappiness?
Expecting someone to change who has no desire to.

What takes you down the rabbit hole?
Opera on YouTube. Lord help me!

How can we escape the trap line of our own obsessions?
Silence and nature.

If we come into this world with sealed orders, what are your orders?
I think we all get the same orders…love - love - love, and give whatever you’ve got.

What is the best way to deal with confusion?