Once upon a time, two femenist-socialists escaped Oregon’s nose-diving economy of the 80’s and moved north to Kodiak Island, Alaska. There, a baby girl was born. But winters were dark and summers were short, so the family hit the road, traveling the country in a VW Van fondly called “Hannah the Van-ah,” eventually coming back home to the great state of Oregon.
So began the adventurous life of Arbielle, a singer-songwriter with wide eyes, a beautiful voice, and plenty of stories to share. Music was her solace through divorce, physically crippling disease, and regular adolescent heartbreaks, as it was her joy through new friendships and discovery of wild places. Her mama taught her to sing rounds when she was two-years-old, and she never stopped singing since. She began learning piano at age 7, and picked up her first guitar at age 14. In middle school she began composing with Portland’s “Young Composer’s Project,” hosted by Fear No Music, and her compositions were played in concert every year until she graduated from high school, with her “Wind on the River” earning 2nd runner up in the Oregon Music Teacher’s Association Composition Contest in 2000. But truly she shone when she began to share her songs with lyrics as a student at Whitman College, in Walla Walla, Washington. Playing with fiddler Shawn Dean of Idaho and guitarist Caleb Kytonen of Washington, the trio played to exuberant audiences throughout Walla Walla. She also performed, toured, and recorded with the Whitman College Chamber Singers and Sirens of Swank (“A Day on the Farm,” 2005). After college, Arbielle was recruited to New York City by Teach for America, and lived three years in Brooklyn teaching high-school science, delighting in new people, and playing music in the hip and dirty Lower East Side. She performed at Googie’s Lounge and Rockwood Music Hall, and was a regular at Bar 4 in Brooklyn.
Now she has returned to her home state of Oregon, and dug in as a farmer, musician, and educator in the Tualatin Mountains, near Portland. She’s played Mississippi Pizza Pub in Portland, and can also be seen singing with the bluegrass worship band at Imago Dei Community and touring with the green reggae band “Sons of Soil.” This winter she recorded and digitally released her first album, “What I’m From,” (www.arbielle.com) a sweet chronicle of growing pains, bicycles, broken families, funny coincidence, friendships, and coming home. People who have experienced her come away admiring her honesty, marveling at her unique perspective, and humming her beautiful tunes. As an artist, she lifts up a universal human experience: what it is like to be Arbielle. Even if you are not a small person living a big life, a teacher and a farmer, a sister and a daughter, a lover of Oregon and every person you’ve known, you will know exactly what she means.
Rachel Byron-Law--piano, vocals, guitar
"What I'm From" released digitally January 9th, 2010.
I see your face
If I could run
Good-bye to the Ivory Tower
Older than my age
Heroine of the Chick Flick
What I'm From
Length of set is flexible, from 20 min to two hours.
Arbielle can also play covers, namely: Ben Folds, Joni Mitchell, George Winston, and classic folk tunes.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.