“The haunting beauty and sacredness of Sleeping Buffalo Mountain lifts us to dreams and whispers to us the way there.”
So says singer-songwriter Norine Braun of her latest single Sleeping Buffalo, a spacious and stirring tribute to the Alberta landmark featured on her most recent album Through Train Windows.
“Sleeping Buffalo was inspired by a musician residency I did last fall at the Banff Centre,” explains Braun. “I was writing material for my current album Through Train Windows based on my tour across Canada by rail. My musical composing hut was on the ancient Sleeping Buffalo Mountain. I felt compelled to honour where I was and began my composing of this place, asking in effect for guidance.
“Historically, First Nations people such as the Stoney Nakoda and Blackfoot people travelled here for vision quests and ceremony. The energy of Sleeping Buffalo Mountain is sacred, dreamy and beckoning. The mountain asks us to look within and to connect to all that is. The video takes you on the path up the mountain and gives us pause to reflect our interconnection to all things.”
Vancouver-based Braun is an award-winning artist who has a slew of festival appearances under her belt. Her music blinks an eye to the past, while firmly looking forward, blending timeless elements such as blues, folk and soul, presenting them to the audience with a freshness and balance that are in tune with today’s sensibilities. Norine’s eclectic approach to songwriting and her prowess as a heartfelt performer are the fundaments of her solid reputation within her local scene, and beyond.
Through Train Windows was inspired by her Riding the Rails tour as Artist On Board Via Rail with partner Alice Fraser last year. Travelling over 6,000 kilometres from Vancouver to Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City, Montreal and Halifax, Norine absorbed the ever-changing, vast and beautiful panoramas from the Rocky Mountains to endless prairie sunsets, boreal forests and the Atlantic ocean. With no WiFi and time to reflect on nature and the paradoxes of life, Norine met and communed with the diversity of fellow sojourners from all over Canada and around the world. Following the tour, Norine wrote in her studio facing Sleeping Buffalo Mountain.
The multi-talented and Juno nominated Adam Popowitz produced this album and also plays bass and lead guitar on the recordings. Also appearing on the album are drummer Elliot Polsky, blues harpist Huggybear Leonard, keyboardist Alice Fraser and saxophonist Steve Hilliam.