ROADLESSONS

Singer-song­writer Cygne has put a lot of miles be­hind her

Tempo - - MAIL -

Cygne (pro­nounced “seen”) is a singer­song­writer whose adopted name is the genus name for “swan.”

Her name is fit­ting in that it rep­re­sents a crea­ture of air and water, which in turn are el­e­ments full of mo­tion and breath, as is song. Cygne’s lat­est al­bum is called “Let It Breathe,” and its lyri­cal beauty be­lies that it was in­spired by po­lit­i­cal may­hem.

Catch Cygne to­day (April 26), 7-10 p.m., at theTaos Mesa Brew­ing Moth­er­ship, 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west. No cover will be charged.

“My most re­cent al­bum was in­spired by the refugee cri­sis [in Europe] and the [U.S.] elec­tion,” Cygne said. “I’ve been tour­ing mostly in Europe the last cou­ple years. I was in Paris the night of the Paris at­tacks… Iwas just dev­as­tated. The al­bum was recorded dur­ing the Pres­i­den­tial cam­paigns and elec­tion.”

Cygne’s newal­bum was made as “a glim­mer of hope” for dif­fi­cult times.

“Let It Breathe” was pro­duced by Steve Ros­siter of NewYork City’s Axis Sound. Ros­siter has also pro­duced sev­eral other al­bums by Cygne, but this one is con­sid­ered by many to be their finest col­lab­o­ra­tion.

For her Taos show, Cygne will be singing solo ac­com­pa­nied by her elec­tric gui­tar. She says she plays “bluesy, folky, soul­ful mu­sic.” Cygne is the quin­tes­sen­tial tour­ing mu­si­cian and has clocked more than 300,000 miles and 1,200 per­for­mances, in­clud­ing main stage shows at the Tel­luride Blue­grass and Rock­yMoun­tain Folk Fes­ti­vals.

She re­mem­bers al­ways be­ing drawn to­ward mu­si­cal in­stru­ments. At 5 years old, Cygne re­mem­bers hear­ing TomPetty’s mu­sic. “I knewIwanted to do that and be that,” she re­called.

Be­cause her school of­fered a vi­o­lin pro­gram, she be­gan her en­try into mu­sic by study­ing vi­o­lin and played in­tensely in the school orches­tra through high school. In middle school, Cygne be­gan writ­ing her own songs and picked up the gui­tar.

“When I started play­ing gui­tar at the end of middle school, that was a re­ally dark time forme. It re­ally be­came an out­let. I was lis­ten­ing to a lot of Joni Mitchell and Bob Dy­lan.”

While Cygne de­scribes her early songs as “re­ally kind of de­press­ing,” she said, “I feel with ev­ery year … my al­bums be­come more out­ward-look­ing and hope­ful. With the cur­rent cli­mate and na­ture of the world, it’s nec­es­sary.”

The singer-song­writer said that song­writ­ing be­gan as a ther­a­peu­tic prac­tice, and then she be­gan to re­al­ize peo­ple were lis­ten­ing to her mu­sic. She started ask­ing her­self: What needs to be said ver­sus what needs to be heard?

Cygne says she loved play­ing in an orches­tra, and she thinks her clas­si­cal back­ground has in­flu­enced her song­writ­ing. She’s also stil­laTom Petty fan.

“I love all forms of mu­sic, but I likeTom Petty best,” says Cygne. Asked why, she re­sponded, “It’s just such pure rock and roll. His fe­male char­ac­ters are all ac­tual peo­ple – strong char­ac­ters, in­de­pen­dent or on a jour­ney. I al­ways felt that they were re­spect­fully pre­sented … I felt there was some sort of recog­ni­tion there of be­ing seen as a woman. All of his songs, too, tome are re­ally up­lift­ing, even if he’s singing about some­thing kind of dark, it’s still this ethos of love that comes through.” While she mostly plays her own orig­i­nal songs, Cygne was in­volved with a project re­cently for which she recorded, and posted on YouTube, one cover song each week for a one-year pe­riod.

Af­ter liv­ing on the road for 10 years, Cygne is get­ting ready to take a year­long break. She is work­ing on­a­mul­ti­me­dia book and al­bum project that fo­cuses on what makes a home, both for an in­di­vid­ual and a na­tion.

For­more in­for­ma­tion, visit cygne­mu­sic.com.

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