Gaelynn Lea is a violinist, a public speaker and an advocate for people with disabilities. She was born with brittle bone disease and that shapes the way she plays the violin, holding it upright, more like a cello than the traditional method under the chin.
In 2016 we were captivated by Gaelynn Lea and the song she performed stood out amongst the six thousand-plus entries to our Tiny Desk Contest. “Someday We’ll Linger In The Sun” was a stunning song performed using a loop pedal, with her violin and Gaelynn’s haunting words and voice.
Gaelynn just sent me her new song, which expands her sound beyond just the loop pedal. She’s added other musicians including a keyboard, guitar, drums and bass to her sound and it’s outstanding. Gaelynn wrote to tell me that for her, this song is a journey. “As the song begins, you slowly push open the creaking door to some mystical attic. You clear away the cobwebs to find a dormant old clock sitting on a shelf. You wind it up and it comes to life, the second hand keeping time as the story unfurls. This is a song about our connection throughout eternity.
“I have always been interested in spirituality, but lately I’ve been especially intrigued by the concept of reincarnation. What does it mean to say we are interconnected? Do we owe each other karmic debts? How can we help to right the wrongs of the past in this lifetime? These are the queries of ‘Bound by a Thread.’
“The arrangement for this track is built on layered textures of violin, augmented by the spare but impactful contributions of keyboard (Dave Mehling), guitar (Al Church), drums (Marty Dosh), and bass (Andrew Foreman). My voice is meant to hover above this music like a feather searching for a place to land. The bittersweet song builds slowly, carefully.”
Gaelynn Lea’s song and another new tune, “Dark To Light To Dark Again,” will be self-released digitally and as a 7” vinyl on November 10.
Since winning the Tiny Desk Contest she and her husband Paul Tressler have sold their home in Duluth, Minn. and have been touring extensively, including nearly 40 states and Europe. She has a GoFundMe campaign to record her third album. She’ll also begin a new tour on that date and if she’s coming to your town I suggest you don’t miss this magical performer.