Singer-songwriter Lynn Miles' apartment concerts and her support of housing for lifelong artists
Lynn Miles is supposed to be on stages in Europe and across North America.
Instead, her stage is her Ottawa apartment and she’s inviting crowds of a thousand to join her, virtually, from their living rooms.
For the next three Saturday nights, for a $10 ticket, you can have Lynn Miles in your home “live”.
Through Side Door Access, Miles will serenade you with the incredible clarity of a voice that never falters; her beautiful guitar work and her lyrics that both cut and heal with the precision of a heart surgeon.
“My apartment shows are low-fi intimate,” explains Miles.
“A way to stay connected to my audience. It's also very necessary for my sanity to play music and to have shows to look forward to!”
A songwriter since the age of ten, Miles has a repertoire of lyrics and melodies that will take you on an emotional road trip and although her music forces you to feel, it’s also pure fuel.
I am clearly a fan.
The concert series will be filled with her original songs. Each concert will be different.
“I’m going to try to not repeat a song for the shows, unless it's a request,” says Miles.
Miles’ storytelling cuts right through our emotional fascia.
She’s written nine hundred songs, won a Juno, and multiple Canadian Folk Music Awards.
On CTV’s News at Noon, the humble singer-songwriter entertained viewers, with her hauntingly beautiful voice, and samples of lyrics that make up a soundtrack of heartache, love, loss and resilience.
The song, “A Heart Can Only Take So Much”, sounds like an anthem for this time.
“It snowed all night
Then it rained all day
Then the sun came out
Then it went away
It's a lonely life
When the road’s been rough
And a heart can only take so much”
Last year, Miles’ album “We’ll Look For Stars” climbed to the #1 on the Euro Americana Chart and earned numerous 5 star reviews in Europe and North America.
We’ll Look For Stars
We will wax and wane just like the moon
And in the end the end will come too soon
The stories we keep in our souls
Are wild and true and sad and gold
Our songs will rise and fall
And change their tunes
We will move just like the wind and tide
Our little boat will rock from side to side
Regrets will let their presents known
And make us feel so all alone
And leave us with no place to put our pride
So the only thing that I can do
Is try not to fall apart on you
And hold on to your heart with all my might
We’ll stop before we go to far
And when it’s dark we’ll look for stars
To guide us home and get us through the night
While streaming has become our “go-to” for convenience, Miles says those platforms don’t do much for an artist’s bottom line.
If you like to hold an actual CD in your hand and you like knowing that your purchase directly supports the artist, you can buy Lynn Miles’ albums at Compact Music in the Glebe.
Or, if you reach out to her on Facebook, she may just hand it to you herself.
Lynn Miles and other talented Ottawa artists are all about supporting each other.
Artists here are working to build a Performing Arts Lodge. www.palottawa.org
“People who spend their lives dedicated to the arts rarely have a safety net,” explains Miles.
“The public perception of ‘you’re on stage so you must be financially successful’ is a myth.”
“For about 95 per cent of us, it’s just not the case. Affordable housing for arts workers has always been an issue and it keeps getting more dire with each passing year, as rents increase and salaries in a precarious industry stay stagnant,” says Miles
“With the living and performance space PAL will provide, we can make the arts, and arts workers, a vital part of the community.”
PAL Ottawa was created to provide affordable housing and a support system to arts workers 55+ in need.
According to the PAL Ottawa website, the living space is “a vital resource—a lifeline—for artists and arts workers in all disciplines who, due to age, low income and, in some cases, disability, struggle to maintain a decent style of life in their senior years. past age 55”.
“Since the annual income of most local arts workers is below the poverty line, PAL works to secure affordable places to live and work – especially for those with little or no pension – that is described as hanging like a dark cloud over far too many, increasing their risk of health problems and isolation.”
108 Third Avenue
Postal Station E
PO Box 4457
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 2L0
While working to generate interest in, and funds for PAL, Miles will continue to entertain her fans during this lockdown from her own apartment and hopes you’ll see her there.