Friday, September 29, 2023
September 29, 2023

Local artist raising funds for first music video

Salt Spring musician Trisha Spire is ready for the next level in her career but is looking for some community support to help get her there.

The talented vocalist and cello player has already won over two strong supporters in local filmmaker Ian Mackenzie and music producer Alex King-Harris. They are sufficiently impressed to have been exploring the idea of a new platform to launch island-based musicians using their own skills, with Spire as the test case.

A music video and promotional launch of her song Ember Dawning is now in the works, but the crowdfunding financing model also needs to be activated in order to finish production on what amounts to a short film by MacKenzie – the filmmaker who co-directed Amplify Her and co-produced Occupy Love (directed by Velcrow Ripper), among other projects.

“It feels like a dream that Ian and Alex want to work with me,” Spire told the Driftwood. “I really admire their work. Ian’s films have been shown around the world, and I’ve been dancing to Alex’s music for years, so that’s really cool.”

Spire started singing with a choir at age six. She studied classical and jazz vocals at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and has sung in many bands, ranging from folk to metal. She is now emerging as a solo musician, writing her own songs and performing them with her cello, a looping pedal and a keyboard.

The body of work she is currently recording is drawn from a desire to reconnect with her Celtic heritage, and through that to an Earth-based spirituality. As Spire explained, she had been feeling cut off from her cultural roots. She also admires First Nations traditions but didn’t want to stray into cultural appropriation, so she looked back into her own ancestral past to find the same type of approach.

While the Celtic tradition influences her songwriting, her work is not noticeably Celtic in terms of song structure or style. Rather, it’s in energy and the inspiration.

Spire said some of her songs seem to come to her “on the wind” or as if they are being received ready formed, but her lyrics are almost always imbued with intense meaning.

Ember Dawning’s lines are filled with abundant imagery and layered meaning that references the suppression of an old way of life in the British Isles. Spire calls up pagans being burned at the stake, grief at lost culture and the “sin” of not knowing who you really are. Snakes are honoured, both as symbols of pagan Ireland and of India’s Kundalini energy. The music video has Spire appear as forest fay who comforts a child who has run away from an enforced English school.

For more information or to donate to the GoFundMe, visit

For more on this story, see the May 29, 2019 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.


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