Tanya Brody is a Harper/Singer/Songwriter (meaning she plays the harp as well as the guitar and writes songs) from Colorado. Tanya can't remember a time she wasn't singing. From a very early age music was a great love passed on to her by her parents. To keep her and her sister occupied on long car trips, her parents first taught them to sing, then to carry their own parts by singing rounds.
Growing up in Minneapolis, MN, Tanya was in a great many theatrical productions, some professional, some amateur, most all involving music. She played the piano for many years, then took up the guitar in Junior High School. A school music teacher taught her her first few chords and she took off on her own from there, playing her father's old Regal Blues guitar, which she continues to play to this day. At the age of 12 Tanya joined the Bel Canto Voices, a professional girl's choir which sang with many famous conductors and toured all over the world. She sang with them through High School. At 14 Tanya joined the cast of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, where she acquired a singing partner. They sang together for 2 years, after which Tanya went solo.
Having seen many wonderful Harpers at the Festival, Tanya decided that she wanted the Harp to be her next instrument. At 16 Tanya made a deal with her parents, if she got good grades for a trimester they would buy her a harp. She got good grades for two trimesters and they purchased a Woodsong 27 string Fleurette for her. (Made in Colorado. Foreshadowing abounds.)
Tanya started playing the harp at the Renaissance Festival the next year. As her confidence and repetoire grew so did her playing ability. She made her first solo recording, She Moved Thro' The Faire, at the age of 23 at her uncle, Walter Brody's, studio Sound !deas in Chicago. A couple years after that she played at her first "away game" Renaissance Festival. The Carolina Renaissance Festival was brand new at the time and hired her in as one of their first musicians. Having always played "on the street" as a busker at Minnesota, Tanya was startled to discover that she had a stage show. Her boss, Terry Foy said, "Well, you can just sit there and play, or you can talk to them." And talk to them she did. By the end of the run, she had a successful one woman stage show.
Renaissance Festivals seemed like a good idea at the time, so in the following years Tanya went on the road, one or two shows at first, until gradually she was a full time road rennie. Tanya has played at the Minnesota, Carolina, Colorado, Arizona, Fargo and Georgia Renaissance Festivals, as well as King Richard's Faire in Carver, MA. During this time Tanya also helped found Entertaining Company, an entertainer's booking co-operative in Minnesota. Through them she played many corporate functions, including the Chicago Dental Convention (A Dental Renaissance) and the opening of the Science Museum of Minnesota's out door park area (Da Vinci theme). Trading studio time for performance in Davidson, North Carolina, Tanya had her first real "solo concert" experience at Davidson College's Lunch Time Concert Series. Discovering that she liked playing indoors, in a controlled environment, where people came to hear her, she decided to persue more venues along this line.
In 2001, Tanya met Matthew Gurnsey, a handsome fellow who had been one of her "pet patrons" at the Colorado Renaissance Festival for a few years. He asked her to dinner and shortly there after they became inseperable. Tanya and Matt now play together as "The Muses", an Irish/Scottish music band, as well as Matt being Tanya's "back up band" when she plays harper/singer/songwriter gigs. Matt is also the sound engineer and graphic designer for Tanya as well as The Muses. Married on August 22nd, 2003 They live in Colorado part of the year and spend the rest of it touring in their purple tour bus with their cats, Sephir and Athena and their dog, Bejorn.
Although her style tends toward traditional folk music, Tanya's newest album “Not Your Average…Anything” includes six original songs that expand beyond her normal horizons. Ranging from a bluesy feel to an alternative bent these new pieces open new avenues for Tanya, which she continues to explore.
Tanya has been compared to Loreena McKennitt in vocal style, among others. Many people claim that she has “The voice of an angel”. Music is Tanya’s first love and it comes across in her passionate playing.
Tanya Brody - Harp and Guitar
Tanya Brody performs with her husband Matt Gurnsey. The band line up includes harp, acoustic guitar, concertina, pennywhistle, bowed psaltery, drums and back up vocals.
She Moved Thro' the Faire - 1993
Lady Rowan - 1996
Sirens and Lovers - 2003
Not Your Average...Anything - 2004
Sailor's Prayer (As part of Sailor's Dream) 2002
Both Ends of the Day (As part of the Southwind Ceilidh Collective) 1998
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Back to America for the final two talents on show. Tanya Brody loves bathing herself in semi-gothic ...Back to America for the final two talents on show. Tanya Brody loves bathing herself in semi-gothic trappings. Her CD is titled Sirens & Lovers, and on the CD sleeve she appears submerged within a pre-Raphaelite painting. Likewise, her choice of material leans heavily on the epic ballad with gothic overtones -- 'Maid in Bedlam', 'Thyme', 'Barbara Allen', and 'One I love' included -- so high drama is often the order of the day. Her own material has titles like 'Sailor's Curse' and 'Siren's Defeat', and it fits into the concept of heavy story songs with a gothic slant, complete with all the dramatic trappings.
One would expect a modicum of theatricality to seep through in the application and approach, but thankfully that is not the case. Tanya Brody is a singer and harpist -- the sensibilities of Loreena McKennit also float around occasionally -- and has a voice that is operatic in tone, with exquisite clarity and breath control. One assumes she has had training at some point. Chamber music style arrangements highlight the gothic element, and occasionally she strains to reach notes, although this is more a technical shortcoming than a performance glitch. The album as a whole has a strange beguiling charm that begs one to continue listening, and with its highly ornate arrangements and settings on the right side of ethereal, Sirens & Lovers will definitely appeal to listeners who like their folk music with a pre-Raphaelite tinge.
Tanya Brody's Press Paragraph
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Tanya Brody – Harper and Songstress Tanya Brody is a Harper/Singer/Songwriter (meaning she plays th...Tanya Brody – Harper and Songstress
Tanya Brody is a Harper/Singer/Songwriter (meaning she plays the harp as well as the guitar and writes songs) from Colorado. Tanya grew up singing in professional choirs and performing in professional theaters in Minneapolis, MN. Music being her first love and writing her second, she started writing songs when she was 15 years old. She got her first harp at 16 and has been playing ever since. She has played at Renaissance Festivals across the country as well as coffee shops and concert halls. Her music ranges from traditional folk songs to original folk/country and acoustic ballads. Tanya's voice has been compared to Loreena McKennit among others and many people claim she has the "voice of an angel". Her love of music and performance come across in her passionate playing and writing.
Tanya Brody is a singer and a harpist…(she) has a voice that is operatic in tone, with exquisite clarity and has a strange beguiling charm that begs one to continue listening -John O’Regan Green Man Review
Sirens and Lovers Review
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Tanya Brody's latest album, Sirens & Lovers, is a lovely collection of original and traditional song...Tanya Brody's latest album, Sirens & Lovers, is a lovely collection of original and traditional songs in a style resembling that of Loreena McKennitt. Her arrangements and her original compositions are both inspired and fun to listen to. The traditional songs have a definite Renaissance flavour to them, which is not surprising since she began singing and continues to sing at various fairs throughout the United States.
Starting with "Maid in Bedlam," a tragic tune about a woman put in an asylum by the parents of her lover, Brody's voice does justice to the pain of the young woman. Following this are three original tunes that together make up a larger story. "Siren's Lament" begins the trilogy with the tale of a spurned siren who sings her false lover to his death. Brody's talented writing gives this song the air of a much older tune. Following this is "Sailor's Curse," which tells the tale from the sailor's point of view, providing an interesting counterpoint, especially since he gets turned into a dolphin. The final installment, "Siren's Defeat," describes the vocal battle over the fate of a ship between the siren and the girlfriend of one of the sailors, who eventually saves the ship. The trilogy is well written and tells a wonderful story. One can hope that it will enter into the repertoire of many singers.
Heading back to the traditional music, Brody provides a lovely rendition of "One I Love," sung simply with minimal backing vocals and a beautiful harp accompaniment. "Barbara Allen" and "Thyme" are both also quite well arranged and performed.
The final track, "Gypsy Hawk," is performed as a duet with Matthew Gurnsey, who is also the writer and now Brody's husband. The song of impossible love made possible is well written and nicely arranged. Gurnsey and Brody sing well together and the creative instrumentation gives the song a nice original note on which to close the album.
The overall tone of this recording is energetic and otherworldly. Brody is a gifted writer, singer and harper. Her backing musicians are equally talented and the arrangements of the songs show this. Brody's voice is lovely...and (this album) would be a wise investment for people who enjoy voice and harp.
Jean Emma Price - May 2005
Tanya Brody's performance of original and traditional folk music is sure to please all audiences. Her original songs are both fun and dramatic. The traditional pieces include things that most people will recognise as well as several pleasant new discoveries. Suitable for all venues, indoors or outside the show runs from 1-3 hours. Tanya Brody performs solo on acoustic harp and guitar or as part of up to a six piece band. Rates are negotiable depending on venue, occasion and budget.
Henry and Susie
Falling Into Something
Any Child's Lullaby (Tune Trad.)
The Man I Never Knew
Gypsy Hawk (Matthew Gurnsey)
Most Popular Traditional Songs:
Wild Mountain Thyme
She Moved Thro' the Faire
Red is the Rose
My Love is Like a Red Red Rose
Health to the Company
There are no upcoming dates at this time.