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Old 11-04-2010, 05:27 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 15,624
Default Liona Boyd @ Lightfoot Auditorium,Orillia Opera House

I had planned on attending but will have to miss this show:

Musical duo keeps it classical
Posted 1 hour ago

It's been a roller-coaster of a ride for Liona Boyd recently. After a decade-long struggle and a six years absence from the concert stage, the internationally renowned, multi Juno award-winning guitarist marks her return to performing with a tour that stops in Orillia this weekend.

There are marked differences. She is singing for the first time, writing her own songs, and performing as a duo rather than a solo act. There is still a lot of the classical Boyd is known for as she and Croatian guitarist/singer Srdjan Givoje play in the classical technique and the program includes some instrumental solos.

"People will derive from my concert some of the same qualities they used to get from the classical but it has a bit more variety," she said.

Most importantly Boyd is still playing guitar, even thought she has learned to play it differently after developing task specific focal dystonia, a incurable neurological disease caused by years of repetitive guitar movements.

It affected the fingers on Boyd's right hand and made playing an arpeggio unco-ordinated. Her hand would no longer obey what her brain told it to do.

She was devastated and gave up many times along the way to reinventing herself. But she couldn't imagine her life without a guitar.

In some ways the seeds to her becoming a singer-songwriter emerged very early in her life.

She's been writing poetry since she was a child. Singing, however, was another matter.

The first time Boyd sang in public was on Canada AM in September 2009 -- to launch a new CD -- and it surprised her how much she enjoyed it.

"That's the thing ' I could have sung my whole life but I never had the confidence because people put me down," she recalled. "I got thrown out of a choir when I was eight -- they said I growled -- so I was the little girl who got to present the flowers at the concert. I was taken out of the choir."

Using a combination of fingers and a pick, Boyd reworked her whole technique and taught herself how to play the guitar differently. She marked her first public concert in May 2010. Leading up to it she released two new albums, one called Liona Boyd Signs Songs of Love was with Givoje.


"I wanted both of the records to have a healing, soothing quality," said Boyd. "I wanted the music to be very relaxing to transport people into another dimension for awhile."

For the Orillia concert, she is performing a program that includes songs off both records, songs she has composed as well as popular tunes by Peter, Paul and Mary, John Denver, Bob Dylan and the like.

Boyd met Givoje at a guitar conference and she and fell in love with his material -- Croatian songs that were composed by Djelo Jusic.

She flew over to meet the composer, who she likens to the Beethoven of Croatia, and secured permission to write English lyrics to his music. Some of these songs will also be featured in the Orillia program.

As for Givoje, Boyd said he's a wonderful singer and a fantastic guitarist who achieved his own fame in the former Yugoslavia in a duo similar to Simon and Garfunkel. In addition to singing harmony and filling in some of the more complicated guitar fingering for Boyd, he also whistles and plays harmonica.

Boyd has played Barrie many times in the past, but Orillia holds a special place in her heart because of Gordon Lightfoot. She credits Lightfoot for playing a major role in launching her career.

She did hundreds of concerts, touring with him across Canada and the U.S. over two-year period in the '70s.

Today Boyd lives in California -- she moved to Santa Monica in July -- but still considers Toronto her home. Her parents, brother and sister live there.

Boyd plays the Orillia Opera House on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 8 p.m.

The audience will have an opportunity to meet and talk with Boyd during a reception after the concert.

Tickets are $50, available at the box office, 326-8011.
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