Hi! I’m Raine Hamilton. I am singer-songwriter and chamber-folk musician from the flatlands of Winnipeg Manitoba, and I am passionate about the power of art!
How would you describe your musical style?
Joni Mitchell with a string quartet. I call my style chamber folk, an intertwining of singer-songwriter folk, and string-centered chamber music. I perform most often with my string trio, alongside a cellist and double bassist.
How have you evolved as an artist since you started playing music?
I would say, since I started working in this field professionally in 2013, I am definitely more confident, and I think my sense of beat is steadier. I hope, anyway, because I’ve really been working on it. For me, that is the trickiest element of live performance. I am really working on staying present and sensing the beat deeply. I think things are improving.
What can you tell us about your latest album, “Night Sky”?
“Night Sky” is a 10 song album of original songs, featuring the string trio on almost all the arrangements. I am proud to say that “Night Sky” won the 2018 Canadian Folk Music Award for Emerging Artist of the Year. I made that album before naming it. Once I had the songs in front of me, I sat with them and heard what they had to say. I noticed a recurring thread of night sky imagery, and the title landed easily on Night Sky.
How important is it to add ASL interpretation to a live performance?
I am so happy that American Sign Language (ASL) performance and ASL interpretation will be part of the show at The Burdock on Nov 14th! To me, this is an important measure, because I believe deeply that art is powerful and that art is for everyone. I have been working to include ASL interpretation in more of my shows because it helps make the show, and the shared emotional experience of live art, more accessible to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities.
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I started doing shows with ASL interpretation in 2017 after connecting with some Deaf folks in my hometown of Winnipeg, who expressed a desire for better accessibility. I’ve been receiving feedback from the Deaf community and making improvements as we go. I have also had the honour of working with some amazing Deaf artists, either as consultants, performers, or collaborators.
Toronto based ASL poet Tamyka Bullen will share 2 beautiful works in the show on Thursday. I can’t wait! Tamyka and I have worked together twice before, and she is a moving poet and performer.
What can audiences expect from your live shows?
Audiences can expect a performance that goes deep, that is present and courageous and sometimes intricately arranged. The songs offer an open door to the rough and beautiful places, sharing stories and themes that are at once personal and universal, supported by cello and bass in a chamber-folk style. I perform on guitar and voice, or on violin and voice, which, I will say, is really hard to do. I tell stories between the songs, often sharing the origin of the song, or how it lands for me. I weave a lot of humour into this element, so optimistically I would also say audiences can also expect to laugh.
What’s next for your career?
For the past few years, I have been working as an independent artist full time and touring hard. In the immediate future, I’m making another record! The winter is blocked off for this project and I can just feel it on the other side, so keen to show itself earthside. Long term I plan to continue this artist’s life, writing and sharing art. In my next chapter, I can also see working as a producer/engineer.
What advice would you have for aspiring singers/songwriters?
I would say: This music business thing is learnable. Take everyone you know who knows more than you out for lunch, and take notes. Know what is really important to you, and make a 5-year plan.
What’s your life like outside of music?
I am a volunteer bike mechanic at a Winnipeg community bike shop, The Wrench. It is just the best!
Let the readers know where to find you online.
I can be found basically on every surface of the internet: