• May 24, 2024
  • Rydr
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Folk singer Bronwyn Claire Asha Churcher is taking her new one-woman show ‘As I Roved Out’ on the road this spring and will include a stop in Qualicum Beach on May 24.

Churcher, with guitar and violin in hand, will bring the audience at the Village Theatre along for an immersive folk experience that will reveal the secrets of the universe through song and tale.

‘As I Roved Out’ combines myths and ancient history with traditional Irish, English, Welsh and Scottish folk songs with the goal of connecting and healing people across cultures.

“It’s a show that’s very universally applicable. Whether you’re into folk music or not, it’s very much about what brings us all together,” she said. “It’s an immersive theatre experience, is what I’m calling it. It’s really weaving story and song together into a whole evening of theatre.”

A time-travelling troubadour, the Bardesse, will transport the audience to the world of their ancestors. Part of that journey is inspired by Churcher’s Celtic heritage.

“I’m also tying it in to a bigger picture and that is part of the journey the whole show is on,” she said. “Is that we’re embarking out together just to realize how connected we are to our own earth and to each other, no matter who we are, no matter where we’re from.”

The show debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2023 to sold-out audiences and was featured on BBC Radio Scotland.

Churcher was inspired to create a new show while she learned about the beginnings of sound and how humans thousands of years ago would have started to learn to sing.

“I became fascinated just with this idea of let’s journey back to our very early ancestors and imagine what it would have been like,” she said. “The beginning of creativity, the dawn of civilization and culture.”

The show begins with a Welsh lullaby from the Seventh Century and is one of the oldest surviving songs, she said.

“We sing it together as a collective. I teach the audience the song,” Churcher said. “And one of the theories about the first songs is that they were actually lullabies. They were songs of mothers singing to their children to help them keep calm and to nurture them as they’re growing up.”

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People sing together for many reasons, she added, to celebrate, mourn, pray and express emotions.

“It’s a beautiful thing that happens when people sing together and we do it a couple times in the show and it’s always a really special moment.”

Churcher began her training at the age of four in classical violin and completed Royal Conservatory diplomas while also playing fiddle tunes and singing folk ballads since early childhood. She has toured internationally as the front-woman of the high-energy Celtic folk group Knacker’s Yard and toured Europe with acclaimed Scottish singer/songwriter Simon Kempston. After a tour in Germany last year, she went to visit a friend who lived near Lisbon and a branch of the ancient pilgrimage route the Camino de Santiago. Churcher fell in love with the country and within three weeks she was learning about Lisbon’s storied history and working as a tour guide.

“I’m telling the people about this city, and they say, ‘wow you must have lived here for a really long time,’” she said with a laugh. “And I’m like, ‘no, not actually.’”

Churcher is working on her Portuguese, while she plans more concerts in Portugal, the UK and Germany.

The ballad collector, multi-instrumentalist, storyteller and singer released her debut album The Maiden’s Lament in December 2022.

The concert is an all-ages event but probably most suitable for children eight years old and above. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and doors open at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are available via Eventbrite, $18 for youth and $25 for adults, or with e-transfer to bronwynclaireasha@gmail.com (please email the payment receipt and have it available to show at the door as proof of purchase).

Tickets will also be available for $30 at the door.



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