Bardic Form
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Bardic Form

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Band World Progressive




"Acoustic duo Bardic Form feature added instrumentation on latest tracks"

Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects in creating instrumental music is composing something original that is engaging from start to finish. With local acoustic guitar duo Bardic Form, there’s never a dull moment. Each one of the duo’s songs is so meticulously crafted—it stands alone as its own entity leaving no room for filler.

“We take a lot of time with our compositions,” says Bardic Form’s Justin Song.

“Each song needs to be exciting and engaging for the audience, but it has to be that way for us too. We gotta enjoy what we play and because they’re instrumental we get to recreate them every time we play.”

Co-bandmate Reece Runco adds, “I think a majority of our tunes are fairly progressive. Sometimes we find our comfort zones, but we are always trying to push each other and ourselves to break out of those.”

The origins of Bardic Form began close to nine years ago when Song jammed with Runco before practicing with his “heroic” folk metal band Emblem—who Runco’s older brother had drummed for.

“Justin [Song] was kind of this mythical metal guitarist, friend of my brother,” Runco explains. “One day I saw him sitting on the couch playing a riff on his acoustic and I had just picked up guitar, so we started jamming a tune we still play today called “‘Rendezvous.”’

So far, Bardic Form has released two EPs, In the Water and Lethe, which blend an abundance of genres and guitar styles ranging from traditional folk, Celtic, medieval, Latin, metal, and flamenco.

Every now and then, Song adds the traditional Celtic whistle to Bardic Form’s remarkable sound—something they call “a mélange of organic influences.”

Since the duo’s inception, Runco and Song have been able to play large crowds at Edmonton Folk Fest, Kaleido Arts Festival, and Edmonton Pride.

Recently, Bardic Form has begun rehearsing with a full rhythm section backing them. The duo recorded an unreleased song with Jesse Northey of Jesse and the Dandelions at Edmontone studios.

“It was a good first stab at this because we haven’t recorded anything with a full band,” Runco says of the sessions. “We got some cool stuff out of it. We have also been experimenting with some electronic sounds as well.”

“We’re not putting any limits to what the music calls for, so there will be a lot of new sounds,” explains Song.

For a taste of Bardic Form’s new full-band sound, you can check out one of the groups newest songs “Resolution,” on the duo’s Soundcloud page. With the addition of drums and violin the song takes the listener on an arcane instrumental journey, beginning with a gradual melodic acoustic build that explodes into a crescendo.

Bardic Form need to be seen live in order to fully experience the unique musical pleasure they create. The group essentially forges a new community of strangers from all walks of life at each show.

“It’s certainly an unreal phenomenon that we have seen in a lot of our shows,” says Song. “It’s kind of the traditional folk way. A live show like an outdoor festival can be a pretty magical place and it’s the music that brings the people together. Whenever Reece [Runco] and I do perform we always try to create a community with the audience. That’s a real human connection and it’s cool that people take the time to listen and appreciate that.”

Tue., Mar. 21 (8 pm)

Big Dreamer Jam featuring Bardic Form

The Needle, No cover

Stephan Boissonneault - Vue Weekly

"Marley keeps the groove"


Ziggy Marley

With: Bardic Form

When: Tuesday night

Where: Winspear Centre..."

"...Openers Bardic Form were a fine choice to take the slot, providing upbeat acoustic numbers that reflected some of Marley’s values while providing something different for listeners. The duo kept up a light atmosphere while alternating between Spanish and Celtic guitar, summoning leprechauns to the stage one moment and slamming power chords on their acoustic next." - Edmonton Journal

"Bardic Form appeals to all ages"

Bardic Form journeyed through dark and disparate sounds to arrive at a style that’s drawing serious music lovers of all stripes.

The Edmonton duo applies classical training to traditional folk music with the intricacy of heavy metal and the live energy of punk.

Bardic Form will play what might be its biggest gig yet on Tuesday night, opening for six-time Grammy Award winner Ziggy Marley at the Winspear Centre.

“Our fan base surprises me in the diversity all the time,” says band member Justin Song. “We’ve got kids that are dancing and having a great time, we’ve got senior citizens that come up with this look of great appreciation, we’ve got everything in between – a huge, really wide demographic that we’re really lucky we can tap into.”

The band’s roots go back four years, when Song played in metal band Emblem. Runco, the other half of Bardic Form, was a classical violin player at the time who had recently picked up on acoustic guitar.

Emblem jammed at Runco’s house – his older brother was the drummer - and Runco swooped in when he found Song playing his acoustic alone one day.

The two started jamming and had instant chemistry.

“I saw my opportunity. Justin was sitting on my living room couch,” Runco recalls. “I started jamming a tune with him that we still play now, actually.”

Runco was also a metal head, ever since his brother introduced him to Metallica as a kid.

“It was in Grade 3 that my brother played me Metallica’s ‘Black Album’ and that killed it. I was obsessed,” he says.

After delving into more extreme forms of metal, his tastes diversified in high school. He started to take interest in Spanish guitar and traditional European folk music, intrigued by his grandparents’ involvement in a Ukrainian string orchestra.

Song followed a similar path, starting out playing in punk bands “because it was easy” and then moving on to metal before settling into something more mellow.

“When I was young, my mom used to listen to a lot of Baroque music, and she would also play a lot of Loreena McKennit,” he says.

“That probably broadened my horizons to things like Celtic music and more Middle Eastern sounds and Eastern European sounds.”

Bardic Form is racking up high-profile gigs with its worldly, mostly-instrumental duets.

In the past few months the band has brought its beautiful, often haunting sounds to A Taste of Edmonton, the Kaleido Family Arts Festival and the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. It was folk fest producer Terry Wickham who, after hearing praise from local folkies, hooked them up with the Winspear gig.

Although Bardic Form’s 2012 E.P. In the Water was recorded in one take with no outside musicians, the band’s live show can take many forms. Song might break out a Celtic whistle, and audience members might join them on stage.

“It kind of goes with the folk tradition and it’s definitely fun. There’s plenty of room for so many other textures,” says Runco.

“To date, we’ve had a cajon, we’ve had singers, we’ve had fiddle players, we’ve had harmonica players with us as well. It’s endless.”

Fans are still holding out for Bardic Form’s first full-length album, but Song says it will be worth the wait.

“This is something that we’re not going to throw together in a really quick way,” he says. “Everything in nature that’s really beautiful takes a lot of time. A tree takes a long time to grow, a flower takes a long time to bloom.”

Tickets for Tuesday’s show are $54 through ​ - The Edmonton Sun

"Bardic Form: a worthy opening act"

It seems like fate that Justin Song and Reece Runco once played a Ziggy Marley song for their final music exam at MacEwan University.

Neither one of the musicians realized that just a few years later their band, Bardic Form, would be opening for the praised artist. For a dual guitar act that has its roots in Edmonton, this is a tremendous feat.

The band name was inspired by the medieval word “bardic”, used to describe travellers who shared art and music with the villages they visited.

This is an accurate description for two men who are trying to share their passion of music with the world.

The duo have known each other for quite some time. About four years ago, while Song was a part of another musical act, Runco joined in on a jam session and the two fit together seamlessly.

This began what is now known as Bardic Form. Over this time, the band has played over 100 gigs in Alberta and have become very com- fortable playing with each other.

“It feels strange to play with anyone else” says Runco. This is re- inforced by Song, who says, “Most people don’t know that there is a 10-year gap between us ... but age doesn’t mean you can’t have musical chemistry.”This was obvious when Runco and Song sat next to each other during the interview.

There was a strong sense of support coming from both, not just for the band, but for each other as musicians.
Bardic Form’s style has been described as a mix between folk and power metal. Although they recognize that aspects of both genres are present in their music, specifically the melodic sound, they’re “still experimenting.”

Therefore they don’t stick to any specific genre. Instead, they use influences from all over the world. The passion they have for music is irrefutable and understandably a huge aspect of their lives.
The duo takes up to fifteen hours or more of practice time per week. “If an instrument is lying around ... you pick it up. Whether you call that practice or just fiddling around,” says Runco.

The ever-modest performers put a large emphasis on gratitude for their supporters and explain that they would not be opening for Ziggy Marley without some key figures.

Rhea March, from the artist development program March Music Inc., has been a key supporter of Bardic Form for the past two years. She sought after the band to play the opening act for the upcoming show, much to the band’s surprise.

Both members describe the opportunity as “incredible.” Bardic Form knows that it has taken four years of consistent practice and playing gigs to build up the momentum to get to this point.
This will be a huge step forward in their musical careers and they are both excited and nervous.

Although they feel the pressure that comes from playing such a significant concert with a world- renowned artist, they “try to make every show the best.”

For both musicians, being able to hear their own music in such a sacred music venue as the Winspear is a dream come true.
In the future, they just “want to keep playing for as many people as possible,” says Runco.

Due to their determination and musical prowess, they’re not going to have a hard time finding an audience.

The dynamics of this band are undeniable and captivating to anyone who listens to them.

Music lovers will be drawn to the unique performances of Bardic Form and can look forward to seeing them onstage as the opener for Ziggy Marley. - The Griff

"Bardic Form Wow's The Nick"

"Bardic Form, features two young artists, Reece Runco and Justin Song, who performed an opening set at the Nick, wowing our crowd with a diverse and eclectic repertoire featuring great picking and musicianship." - Vic Bell, Artistic Director - Nickelodeon Music Club - Vic Bell, Artistic Director - Nickelodeon Music Club

"Bardic Form set for Shell Theatre"

Bardic Form had City Hall rocking last Friday, as they performed a free show to help celebrate International Day of the Child.

“We couldn’t help but leap at the opportunity and help out, especially with it being (International Day of the Child),” said all-around musician Justin Song after the concert. “To provide music is one of the best ways I can think to celebrate it.”

The globally-inspired tandem wasn’t sure what to expect from the crowd, especially when they arrived and saw most of it was made up of children. But they were blown away by the response and engagement they received from the audience.

“Having all these children come out, dance and participate, there’s no better way to end a Friday,” Bardic Form member Reece Runco said.

And the duo isn’t done there. The pair will perform at the Shell Theatre on Nov. 29 as part of a West Meets East Coast performance.

The performance will also feature Celtic icons Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac. The members of Bardic Form say the collaboration will make for quite the eclectic and stage-filling experience.

“You can expect a high energy performance, and some guest musicians, so we will be taking up some space,” Song said.

“We have a tendency to roam about the stage, we try to interact with the audience as much as we can, not just the front row. Sonically there will not be a place to hide.”

The two groups of performers aim to give the Shell Theatre crowd a show they won’t soon forget by blending styles from all over the world.

“We’ve drawn many influences from celtic, flamenco, metal and we’re both classically trained as well, so there’s a big mix,” Song said. “It’s pretty cool to see.” - Fort Saskatchewan Record

"Bardic Form Nurturing Arts Community's Future"

"The future of the Edmonton music scene has always seemed to be going in a healthy direction, but with Bardic Form the future is boundless with the way they bring the music community together."- Mark Harrison Rodgers, CJSR 88.5 Edmonton. - Mark Harrison Rogers, Host - CJSR 88.5 Edmonton

"Bardic Form Welcomed By Shell Theatre"

"Justin and Reece have a magical ability to captivate, mesmerise, and transport their audience from the moment their fingers first make contact with the frets on their guitars to the last snippet of low whistle left lingering in the air. Instrumental music can sometimes get lost in the background, but there is nothing about Bardic Form that would allow them to become wallflowers. They are as distinct as they are timeless, their dynamic and passionate performance style draws an audience in and cradles them indefinitely in Bardic Form's extraordinary musical world." - Elizabeth Wilkie, Shell Theatre Supervisor - Elizabeth Wilkie, Supervisor - Shell Theatre

"March Music & The School Of Song Loves Bardic Form"

Long time friends Justin Song and Reece Runco share a passion for every note they play. The captivating sights and sounds of an evening with Bardic Form is like taking a musical journey around the globe. - Rhea March


•       2017, Cambio 

•       2017, Resolution (single)

•       2014, Alberta Music Livestock Online Episode 2

•       2013, CJSR FunDrive Compilation

•       2012, Lethe (EP)

•       2011, In The Water (EP)



Bardic Form is an acoustic Progressive World Folk instrumental group from Edmonton, Alberta, who blend folk, Latin, dance and classical music into a high-energy and unparalleled performance. Rising from an impromptu living room jam in 2010, Justin and Reece have been performing together as a dynamic and high-energy acoustic guitar duo, and captivating audiences ever since. Weaving together intricate melodies with a sophisticated grace, Bardic Form performs painstakingly crafted original compositions that are as dynamic and varied as their influences. Audiences find themselves quickly captivated by their musicality, on-stage chemistry and humour, and the sheer joy that they exude doing what they do. Following the release their latest EP “Cambio” and after receiving standing ovations at the Edmonton Folk Music and Canmore Folk Music Festivals in 2017, Bardic Form have expanded their roster with the addition of renown percussionist Allyson Macivor of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and are gearing up to unleash their sonic experience on the world.

Band Members