In Events, Lifestyle, Random Thoughts on
February 15, 2019

Alberta Mamas SkirtsAFire Festival Focus Artist – Renee McLachlan{+Giveaway}

I remember my Mom picking me up from school and on the way home she would sing her heart out to Whitney Houston, Bonnie Rait, or Etta James.

I remember listening to her practicing for gigs in the basement, her voice would fill the house. I remember watching her play shows and perform in musicals, she was and is captivating.

I was simultaneously drawn to singing and annoyed by it. I was in absolute awe of her but a part of me wanted to rebel which I imagine a lot of people can relate to. You look up to your parents but you want to find your own path in the world.

My Mom gave me a guitar when I was a teenager. She started playing when she was 12 years old – it was everything to her and she wanted the same for me. I opened the gift and was disappointed. That was not what I wanted so I ended up selling it to my little cousin. Most likely I spent the money on clothes at the mall. Ugh. I cringe at this memory.

I threw myself into dance and spent half of my waking hours everyday at the dance studio. I found my creative expression through my body and it was intoxicating.

Despite my creative nature, I went to university with the intention of getting my degree in biology. I thought that the only way I would ’succeed’ in life was to get a left brain dominated degree. It never even crossed my mind that it could be any other way. It took me 4 years to realize that science wasn’t my path.

It wasn’t until I dropped out of university that I felt this ache in my chest finally identify itself, a longing to sing and play music. My Mom, bless her, bought me another guitar. This time I welcomed it with open arms and started playing. Being out of school meant that my free time was actually mine to curate. I started writing music as a way to process all of the pain and joy that I was feeling at the time.

I ended up performing at open mics and eventually forming a duo with a friend. I found a new level of freedom in my voice and guitar and it was so necessary that I did it on my own terms.

When I was 25, I had a bad breakup, got aggressive skin cancer, and ended up moving back in with my Mom. At the time, she was in a band with my aunty and they would get together every week to practice at our house. Contrary to my experience as a kid, I felt this absolute yearning to sing with them. One day they casually asked me to sing the third harmony on a song they were writing. From there, I was hooked.

It makes me cry to reflect on this journey. I am grateful that I forged my own creative path and made the choices I did. It feels like an absolute miracle to be performing, touring, writing music, and collaborating with my Mom in this way.

Sometimes, when I tell people that I play music with my Mom, they say, ‘Aww! that’s cute,’ but the rebel in me says that it’s fucking powerful and miraculous, and it’s such a gift that we both love something so much and get to do it together as Mother and Daughter.

With Love,

Renee McLachlan

www.wendyandreneemusic.com
wendy.renee.music@gmail.com

Renee will perform with her Mom, Wendy, at SkirtsAfire Festival’s Opening Ceremonies on Thursday, March 7, 5-7pm. Tickets by donation at the door.

Win 2 tickets to Her Night Out on Thursday, March 14th at 9pm: SkirtsAfire Festival’s MainStage performance of Deep Fried Curried Perogies by Michelle Todd. Every ticket will get a complimentary glass of wine and popcorn to enjoy during the show! We draw the tickets on February 18th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SkirtsAfire Festival is Edmonton’s only theatre and multidisciplinary arts festival featuring women, happening March 7-17 at various venues on Alberta Avenue and downtown. Visit skirtsafire.com for a full schedule of events.

This post was sponsored by the SkirtsAfire Society. 

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