Why Thanya Iyer Rules By Kyle Brenders
Just listen. Thanya Iyer is not a musician you should miss out on. Yeah, sure, you can listen to her record (and it’s awesome) but hearing her live is something else.
Live music isn’t about recreating what you hear on a record. It should be about exploring the liminal space that you experience that’s only possible live. And Tanya is someone that does this. She and her band explore the music. They take songs apart and improvise within them, they go deep into the music and leave you slightly breathless afterwards.
I work at Banff Centre. I have pretty special job as Program Manager for Performing Arts. My job lets me create space for artists to come to Banff and explore their own artistic voice. To give them time to look at what they do differently or to investigate their own practice. It’s a place that allows for risks with the opportunity to transform yourself. I saw this happen with Thanya Iyer.
As part of my job, I get to hire faculty for Banff Musicians in Residence program. Last year, I brought in multi-instrumentalist, composer/improviser Jean Derome (if you don’t know his music, you should search that out too!!). Thanya and her band were here at that time too, as a stop mid-tour that allowed them to rehearse, write and explore. I’m not sure if they knew Jean from before or not but they connected immediately. The amazing thing about this place is I get to witness collaborations that are sometimes one off and usually spectacular. The music Thanya and Jean made was one of those experiences. Jean fit seamlessly into the music. The small set they played had a musical arc that peaked in such an organic way it was ethereal. That’s not hyperbole, I can guarantee I hear a lot of music here and this was truly something special.
Go and hear Thanya Iyer!
Kyle Brenders is the program manager for performing arts at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Brenders is also a musician who, as a saxophonist, has worked with a variety of artists including Caribou, Bry Webb, Bobby McFerrin, Tanya Tagaq, Marshall Allen and Mary Halverson among many others.
Thanya Iyer plays Kazoo! Fest 2019 on Friday April 12th with John Southworth and the South Seas at 10C (42 Carden St.).