Christine Leakey
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Christine Leakey

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Band Folk Alternative




"Creative Profile: Christine Leakey, Hamilton Music Awards recipient for album art"

We’ve got music project collaborations on the brain lately as we wade through the amazing Band Together applications we received. While Band Together focuses on music videos, another music-art intersection happens in the form of album art. As LPs continue their hipster resurgence, could a new era of album art be upon us? We talked to Christine Leakey, a multi-disciplinary artist who counts graphic design, music, and visual art among her talents, and even has a shiny new Hamilton Music Award for Album Art, received just last month for her own album, Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure, to show for it. She chats with CoBALT about the many creative roles she fills.

You seem to take on a lot of creative roles. You wrote, produced, and did the artwork for your album Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure. Can you talk to us about your career trajectory?

And I've done conceptual and production work on some of my own music videos, too!

In life, I live by the simplicity of, If I can think it then I can do it. Sort of like how Forrest Gump went out into the world fearlessly because it can't hurt to try. When I was a baby, I began to whistle tunes at 10 months old, and then at 2, I was already drawing pictures and colouring in the lines, and so when asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up,” it was always an easy question to answer.

Being adaptable and living by my simple philosophy has enabled me to wear many hats in the arts - my late Grandmaman Desmarais, who was a French milliner in Quebec, would be proud! Some of my hats include:

The French Tam through designing visual solutions for web and print.

The Mucha Headpiece through writing, recording, live performance, and collaboration with the Hamilton Aerial Group.

The Adventurers Hat through media managing the First Circumnavigation of the Globe by Only Human Power in 2005 and '06

The Biltmore Hat by co-producing the 2002 Toronto Fringe Jazz Festival.

Finding a balance doing things I love – and one should love their work – can be compared to tightrope walking a fine line, enduring the bumps and kinks, perseverance and strong time management. Years ago, I graduated from Graphic Design with post-graduate studies in 3D animation, interactive media, sound and video editing, and children's book writing. Graphic and web design has been my bread and butter career, which I love doing.

My career interest is to find a stable job in graphic or web design with a firm or corporation fostering a positive, healthy outlook, and that embraces the rich diversity that I can bring based on years of success and adaptability. In the meantime, I am freelancing for a few clients on some small scope projects.

As for my music: design fuels music. I have an agent in California who has been trying to get my music in film and television, and in the spring, I plan to do a few shows in California with friends and family. [I’d also like to] perform some more shows around here. Music has definitely been my labour of love, though I wouldn't be adverse to financial reward, as I've certainly paid my dues! This week, I’m preparing for a private corporate function performance.

The artwork for Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure is very beautiful, subdued, and almost dreamlike. Tell us about the process of creating it.

Thank you, and you are correct in saying dreamlike since the trees growing from roses and floating in the sky and outer-space came to me in a dream!

When designing for clients, coming up with a strong vision happens with ease; however, to design artwork for my own creative project proved to be a much greater challenge.

My concept goes pretty deep and since my music is very personal and lush with a feel from an era lost somewhere in time, I wanted to create artwork which would convey and compliment the complexities and intricacies of the album. When I write a song, I hear arrangements for the music in my mind and I see many visuals and moods – much like a film – to accompany a piece. I tried to incorporate as many of my visions as possible so that the album could tell a story in itself. To not pigeonhole an idea was a challenge I overcame with great time invested in numerous concepts, dreams, ideas, and their implementation.

The final design developed over months of conceptualizing ideas digitally and painting concepts on wood. I collaborated only on the front panel of the album design with Maihyet Burton, whom I shared my vision with. She dressed me in gypsy-inspired garments and photographed me. Two Canadian geese approached me with their heads in a bowed position, so as a gift of thanks to appreciative ears, I curtsied beside them. I suggested the gypsy wagon in the background and created the bunting flags and I photographed the exotic animals while staying at a friend’s ranch in Texas. In choosing fonts, I wanted them to be classic, script-oriented fonts.

I then created the back panel as an extension of this design, again with the script font to give a feel of classic film. Imagine that I’m looking out at what you see on the back panel. There are tree sprouts growing from rose buds, and then mighty trees rooted in fully-bloomed roses lifting off and drifting out into the cosmos. I love nature and animals, and so the artwork is a performance to all creatures of the earth.

I really liked the inside left panel of me at my toy player piano. Of the several concepts I created, that was my runner-up album cover choice. Another photographer friend, Jason McConnie, took the photo of me with my toy piano against a white backdrop, and Friskey Brown did my hair and makeup. I chose my costume from Deja Vu Vintage in Hamilton, and the headdress is one I purchased for the shoot, which another friend in the U.S. handcrafted. I decided it would be my little gypsy wagon stage setting, so I created a little fantasy stage setting from the photo. My thought for the album art story was: this is my performance under the stars for the creatures, while the floating trees continue to resonate out into the far reaches of the universe.

On the CD itself, I designed a slice of tree to show time with a faint cosmos overlay. The lines on a slice of tree remind me of a record. One can only imagine what sounds a tree recording would play if it could share its history and wisdom. The booklet is created with my rose tree vision, and an image of my late Great Aunt Aurore, who soon after the photo was taken, passed away from TB. My thought was to dedicate the album to those little spirits on earth who never had the opportunity to grow old and experience all the beauty their particular life would have continued to offer.

How does having experience in one creative field inform your abilities in other creative fields?

Music can really be inspiring while designing, and so I listen to all sorts of music while working on any corporate or arts-based projects to keep the flow going. And when I have designed for recording artists, I listen to their music exclusively to draw from their musical vision and apply to any given design.

Since my skill set crosses over different abilities, I've been hired for positions where my different hats have been utilized. It was a fabulous opportunity to be part of the FringeJazz Festival, as it married my design skills with my musical interests. When I media-managed the First Circumnavigation of the Globe by Only Human Power, [a project of] Colin and Julie Angus, I obtained title sponsorship (from my employer at the time) for these National Geographic Adventurer of the Year winners. Amongst the many communication tasks for media, I also music supervised and wrote the original score for their award winning documentary based on a poem written by Julie's mother.

Having multiple abilities has saved me and my clients/employer's money at times. It also enabled me to barter with some of the people involved with my album.

What would you say are the biggest challenges facing you as a creative professional?

First, judgement: being pigeonholed based on previous design experience. I have never designed an annual report, but you can bet that I would design one very well. A good designer is adaptable to anything.

Fear: I've encountered some workplaces that are afraid to hire me because I've done too much, and [they think] I may get bored, when really I'm a survivor. I do the best I can with what I've got, and would love to build a healthy, solid working foundation in one company where there can be a mutual respect which will ultimately give even better results.

Globalization: when freelancing, I'm now competing for work with designers who charge unethically [compared to] the typical pay standards here. And on a larger scope, firms also have to compete now on a much more globalized level.

Credibility: companies who choose to cut paid design jobs and replace them with free interns with minimal-to-no experience versus [hiring] seasoned professionals. I find this incredibly underhanded.

Economy and capitalization: during these turbulent economic times, I've definitely felt the impact, and yet, show must go on in marketing, so I don't entirely believe this as a valid reason when I'm faced with it. I have endured pay freezes and watched job cuts occur in my field of work since 2008. There has been a shift in many places that have gone from hiring seniors to get quality, to hiring juniors or interns to make more profit. In the greater spectrum of things, a company will save in the end by hiring a faster, more efficient, talented seasoned professional.

Role shift: being a graphic designer is an artistic skill using the creative right brain. In recent years, I've seen more and more jobs expect graphic designers to also be program developers, [a task] which uses the mathematical left brain. Companies that realize the value in keeping these as two separate careers, which I feel they are meant to be, do so. Surely there are some out there who are great at both, but I feel and know that many are spread thin, and are not producing as great a result since they’re having to do both. I'd rather be great in the visuals rather than having to focus and worry about coding. I've done it before but I [prefer to] leave it to the genius coders of the world.

What are some of your all-time favourite albums in terms of artwork? What draws you to them?

Gosh, I don't really have a favourite. I'm the type of person who can't really pick favourites, as so many things offer their own particular value for whatever reason. I will say though that I love album art that lures me in where I can get lost in the artwork while listening to the music. I often find album art less appealing when it's just someone's portrait with a title; to me, it's not really putting thought into the music, and yet, a pretty face can also sell. I just hope the shot is unforgettable like Herb Alpert's Whipped Cream & Other Delights or Yma Sumac's Mambo.

Christine isn't picking favourites, but she does applaud iconic album covers like this one.

In the digital-download age, is album art still relevant? Why?

Yes, I believe album art will always be relevant for those who desire a tangible copy, and others who wish to seek out more information on a song they stumble on digitally. How many times have we purchased something based on the packaging and marketing? It happens daily. A strong visual statement brings the listening experience to a greater level of appreciation through the lyrics, the liner notes, and slipping into the imagination set by the artwork itself. Beautifully done artwork encourages a broader fanbase which generates more sales. Even still, the music and album art on a whole becomes an artistic statement for its release, so it's always important that any recording artist sets aside a budget to hire a professional designer to create an unforgettable visual brand for the album.

For the recording artist, having great album art is an important selling feature, as the packaging then becomes strong, and in some cases, as important as the music. Look at the strong album designs [such as] The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers, designed by Andy Warhol, The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with its cutout moustache, badges, and stand up display. In more recent years, I purchased an album without even hearing its entirety based on the artwork on Bandcamp: Sola Rosa, Get It Together. It comes with a translucent ice-blue vinyl, a silkscreened cover, and insert designed by Dan Stiles, signed and numbered. The music is fantastic, and I trusted it would be based on how they presented the music visually.

With my album, Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure, I carefully created beautiful packaging, and took it a passionate step further by handcrafting a limited edition of 100 hand-sewn wood grain fabric sleeves with bunting flag detailing that I stitched to handmade twine. I also created original paintings on balsa wood as an insert, signed and numbered on handmade tissue paper. They sold out within a few months with minimal promotional efforts to people around the globe, and my regular edition copies continue to sell weekly while only having performed three times since the album's early 2012 release.

Thanks, Christine!

To find out more about Christine's work, visit her website, and to hear her music, visit her on Bandcamp. - CoBALT Connects. the connecting element for creative communities

"2012 Hamilton Music Awards - Christine Leakey's Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure"

While it might be a couple of decades before she’d be up for a lifetime award, Christine Leakey has had a long history of making music in Hamilton and offers a special showcase this weekend.
Leakey came to Hamilton to study graphic design but the Gananoque, Ontario born artist would begin her musical journey in this city in the ‘90s with a '60s garage rock outfit known as the Double Feature Creatures. While the band would only last a few years, Leakey would continue making music and eventually write her own wealth of material. But everything came to a halt when an injury left Christine unable to
play guitar and the resultant road back to recovery would take many years. With years of physical recovery and meticulous recording, Leakey is finally back with her brand new solo debut, Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure and her first full solo show in Hamilton in fifteen years.
“I was doing solo shows back in 1995,” recalls Leakey. “I grew up in a family that played music around the fire so there was always music. Everything that they exposed me to as well as everything in life has inspired my music. It’s a blend of cinematic, dreamy, lush world, jazz and pop elements. It’s melancholic and moody. My new CD is more of a concept album.
“I wanted to release an album in the late ‘90s but after I had an injury it really through me off the track musically,” adds Leakey. “It took a while but I decided I have to do this or it’s never going to happen. These are great songs and I felt like now was the time to do it. I don’t want to live life with regrets. I started recording this album with Dan Achen in 2007 at Catherine North – I don’t know if this is the last thing that he worked on that will ever be released but I tried to preserve as much as possible out of respect for him. I chose strong, personal, and heartfelt songs. I wanted a bit of a mellow theme. I didn’t want to cut any corners – I wanted to really do what had been steeping in my head for so many years.”
Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure showcases Leakey’s fanciful and eclectic musical musings offering psychedelic folk pop in a beguiling fashion. So far, she’s reaching out to audiences with like-minded ears around the world but this weekend marks her live Hamilton debut for this collection of songs. And as part of an HMA showcase, she even brings out members of Hamilton Aerial Group to lend more of a circus vibe to the event.
“My goal was to reach appreciative ears and tap into the cosmos and I feel I’m accomplishing that,” smiles Leakey. “I’ve had people tell me they’ve listened to it a couple of times and it’s the kind of album that grows on them and they love it more and more. Albums that have done that for me in the past, I never get tired of. You live your dreams and if you have ideas, you act on them. I really wear my heart on my sleeve and because of all of those years – it was traumatic to stop playing music – I really wanted this to be special and I’m happy with the results.
“I eventually decided that I would do some live shows again but I wouldn’t put any pressure on myself given my situation,” she adds. “This Friday is my first full set live gig. This is my first official Christine Leakey show in Hamilton and it will be special. This is like a dream for me because in the ‘90s I was writing a lot of instrumental circus music so it’s like the cosmos has listened and I’m picking up the pieces. I feel a bit nervous but I’m hoping that’s endearing. I’m my own worst critic but I’m doing the best I can. I want people to watch me develop like they did back in the ‘90s, because I learned it all here. This is where it all started for me, so this show seems appropriate.”

Christine Leakey plays this Friday November 16 at the Baltimore House with Sarah Beatty and Ariana Gillis. Show starts at 7pm. Cover is $8, or free if you find yourself with a Hamilton Music Awards wristband ($19.12)., V - VIEW Magazine (Hamilton, ON)

"Settle into that red velvet booth, light up a Lucky and immerse yourself in the nostalgic, gorgeously cinematic indie art/pop of Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure"

"Settle into that red velvet booth, light up a Lucky and immerse yourself in the nostalgic, gorgeously cinematic indie art/pop of Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure, the forever-in-the-works debut album from Canadian songwriter chanteuse Christine Leakey. If Duffy is the chirpy Dusty Springfield of the modern retro pop movement and Amy Winehouse it's dark and bedeviled folk/blues sister, Leakey is its Julie London, trading ripped fishnets and streetwise charms for the cushy penthouse and patent leather pumps, offering purring sultry come ons, slow sambas and heavy eyelids. "Lovely" sounds lifted from some lost 60's soundtrack, a cool cocktail of Latin rhythms, fluttering flutes and perfectly cheesy piano runs. "Here I Stand" coos and entices, a 007 Bond-age theme caught in a slow, twisty dream." - Direct Current Music (Illinois, USA) (Jan 06, 2012)

"Christine Leakey, Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure"

It's been a heck of a long journey for Hamilton singer songwriter, Christine Leakey. She's waited for 14 years to finally unleash her debut album, Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure, which is set to be released in early 2012. - Yes, you’ve heard it right, 14 years. I was nostalgically remembering what I was doing back then this morning when I was reading the email from Leakey. I was most likely chasing after cool Japanese rock bands, including X Japan and L'arc~ En~Ciel with my best friend, while trying to learn how to play the guitar from her cool sister, who was in high school. It was around the time that my passion for music also blossomed and started listening to my dad's Beatles' CDs, too. 14 years certainly seem a long time ago.

I didn't think that I would end up in Toronto, Canada, writing about a lady who also started learning how to play the guitar in 1994 and pursued her dream by writing a copious amount of tunes and performing with a number of different artists, including Iggy Pop. However, she lost amazing opportunities to sign up with record companies tragically.

The happy moments of her growing music career were scattered by her injury, which made her unable to perform the guitar and forced her to walk away from record deals. Since then she didn't give up on her dream. -14 years later, she is now ready to release her debut album in 2012. Once said in my favourite movie, Shawshank Redemption, "Get busy living or get busy dying"-She chose the first and never gave up on her dream since with a strong hope to release her music someday.

With all her hard work over years, Leakey is counting down till the release date. She is currently offering a preview of the album via Bandcamp. You can enjoy three tracks from the album. My favorite tune is 'Lovely'. Starting with the intro of a soft guitar tune, her voice flows in smoothly, which reminisces 60's aesthetic folk pop melodies. - Music Psychos (indie Toronto blog) (Nov 08, 2011)

"Christine Leakey: Shine My Tarnished Sheen Video"

Christine Leakey has a new video for her track Shine My Tarnished Sheen. The track features an Indian tabla drum and appropriately, the video is built around and Indian dance troupe. - Floorshime Zipper Boots (Mar 14, 2012)

"Christine Leakey Lovely Free MP3"

Get your mitts on this wonderful dream-folk track from Canadian singer-songwriter Christine Leakey. The aptly titled 'Lovely' is taken from her debut solo album 'Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure'. - Sounds XP

"Christine Leakey"

Who: It took fourteen years for Christine Leakey’s album Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure to come to fruition. After struggling with an injury that left her unable to play any instruments she slowly worked her way back to performing and finishing the record she initially envisioned. The final result is a record that mutates over time, on first listen the dreamy beautiful overtures might grab you, the next a slightly disorientating, almost unsettling sense of wonder may wash over you. The album comes out in January, but Christine has put up three preview songs for free, plus an exquisite video. - Off the Dial

"Christine Leakey - Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure (preview)"

For Canadian singer-songwriter Christine Leakey it's been a long and winding road that has eventually led to this, her debut solo album. After years involved in various musical projects with support slots that range from chamber ensembles to Iggy Pop, she has accumulated a rich cauldron of musical influences and experiences to dip into in order to weave the intricate and ornate tapestry that is 'Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure'. By the sound of it, Christine is not only a perfectionist (some of the attention to detail here is incredible) but has a wonderfully vivid imagination.

An obvious parallel can be drawn to the striking individuality and invention of Kate Bush or PJ Harvey's 'White Chalk' album. These songs are remarkably delicate and well thought out; the overall experience is like being plunged into a fantasy world. This is psychedelic but not in an acid-fried way, 'Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure' is more akin to a Disney dream-sequence or a grown-up Alice returning to Wonderland. A plethora of instruments, conventional and obscure, are used to develop this effect and it seems no stone is left unturned in her mission to create the desired sensations.

If that all seems a bit heavy going, it should be pointed out that above all this album is playful and enchanting, not just clever and elaborate. Try listening to 'Lovely' or 'Miss Betty Grable' without being drawn into her ethereal universe. The very nature of these off-kilter but mature compositions will mean this record is unlikely to appeal to all, but anyone who has the time and the desire to investigate musical territories they'd normally avoid will be rewarded. Once you've opened and explored this entrancing box of treasure you'll surely be back for more. - The Sound of Confusion (UK, May 2012)

"Outsourcing 2.0: India May Now Become a Hub for Creative Work"

Last fall, Drew Smith, an independent Canadian musician was looking to break away from the regular cookie cutter ideas and create an “out-of-the-ordinary” video for his single. Seeking a novel product while balancing cost with creativity, he found the answer in a dance studio thousands of miles away in India.

This spring, Christine Leakey, another solo artist from Canada, was looking to create a video to compliment an east-west fusion concept piece from her newly released album and found the match in a multimedia studio in India.

Smith and Leakey are not alone. They are part of a burgeoning new crop of clients for the Indian outsourcing industry – only this time for creative work.

Smith was looking for online resources for his video when he connected with Asha Sarella, a Bangalore-based virtual assistant who also runs a dance school. After an initial exchange of ideas, Smith outsourced the creation of the video for his single “Smoke and Mirrors.” Sarella put a team together to work on the concept, choreography, filming and editing and delivered the project in three weeks.

With more than 200,000 views on YouTube (significantly greater than the 7,000 views for his other video “Love Teeth“) in less than three months and positive reviews from the audience, Smith got exactly what he wanted: a novel concept for his audience and attention in the music industry. For Smith, the arts outsourcing experiment paid off.

“Asha and her team completely surpassed my expectations,” he said. “I was thrilled at the end product.”

India is no stranger to outsourcing. In the past decade, it has established itself as a leading outsourcing hub with almost all major Western corporations opening back offices in Indian cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Most of the work outsourced to the country has, however, been technical, but artists like Smith and Leakey are now pushing the envelope by outsourcing arts, media and other creative work.

But much like the big corporations, the idea behind creative outsourcing is the same – a cost-effective solution.

At $2,000, Smith’s outsourced video cost him a fraction of the at least $40,0000 that would have taken to make a “real industry standard” video.

Despite the lowering of costs in video production as a result of inexpensive digital filmmaking technology, in current economic times, it is difficult for small artists to fund the production of a music video. With grant money and other funding drying up and labels shying away, most independent artists in the West find the production of professional music videos an unviable option.

Leakey, whose outsourced video is expected to be released by the end of April, said being able to afford the sort of video she hoped for, is definitely good.

She said the current economy and high living costs put a stress on artistic budgets. While she believes in a balance to support local services, she said outsourcing was the answer for this project.

“If this was a $10,000 thing, I would have not been able to do it,” she said.

The Cultural Factor
But Smith and Leakey both admit that cost is not the only determinant. Treating the audience to a novel idea and opening them to a new culture also played a role in their decision.

Smith, whose video (see below) features a kaleidoscopic blend of scenes from Indian culture and Bollywood-style dancing, said that though cost was important, he chose India because he wanted his video to have a Bollywood flavor.

“I am sure that businesses have always looked at India in that way,” he said. “For me it was simply about tapping into India’s culture.”

Leakey agreed. She said she was primarily drawn to India for cultural reasons and the affordable outsourcing costs sealed the deal for her.

“It is about balancing cost with a different perspective,” said Vishwas Avathi, a Bangalore-based filmmaker who worked with Sarella on filming and editing Smith’s video.

Avathi said he feels cost-effectiveness is just a part of the outsourcing process. He said the audience loves new flavors and Indian culture offers Western artists an opportunity to explore that.

“What people are talking about is how different the video [“Smoke and Mirrors”] is and the culture it shows.”

India is a land of myriad traditions and cultures with rich diversity and Sarella said she feels that it is the colorful and vibrant heritage of the country that makes it a potent arts outsourcing hub.

“India is truly on the edge of becoming a potential arts outsourcing hub,” she said. “This is mainly due to rich and diverse tradition that is yet to be captured for an international platform.”

But India is not the only culture that Western artists can explore. There are several other countries such as the Philippines and China that can offer cultural and creative options at reduced costs to small and upcoming artists.

Avathi said that while every country has its own distinct culture, India’s reputation as an outsourcing destination acts as an added advantage. He said India is the first name that comes to people’s mind when they think of outsourcing, giving it an edge over other countries.

And that advantage already seems to be kicking in. The successful response to Smith’s video has made other low-budget artists from Germany, Italy, US and other Western nations inquire at arts studios in India such as Avathi’s “Fstopro and Sarella’s “I Can Dance 2.”

Avathi, who is currently working with six different artists from the USA, UK and Canada said while most of his clients are independent, low-profile artists, he thinks that once the arts outsourcing phenomenon grows bigger and becomes more visible, bigger artists will most likely follow. - PRI's The World from the BBC, PRI and WGBH

"Christine Leakey – Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure"

"Christine Leakey’s long awaited debut solo album is a blooming bittersweet macabre, a gentle waltzing collection of soft pop songs inflected with delicate dissonance. The aesthetic achieved alternates between romantic and eerie, abandoned carnivals and haunted meadows, like some musical journey through the mind of Tim Burton. If you haven’t time for the full journey through this choose-your-own-adventure album, I would recommend jumping to page three for the swooning brilliance of ‘Here I Stand’ where you will find Christine Leakey seducing her lover into some sort of Balkan den for a fortune telling." - Argue Job (strictly Canadian music blog site) (Apr 05, 2012)

"Con Ustedes: Christine Leakey"

Constantemente en el mail del blog me han estado llegando algunas recomendaciones musicales bastante interesantes de las cuales con el paso del tiempo les ire hablando un poco mas ya que como han podido ver, a veces me doy a la tarea de seleccionar algunas de las que me hacen llegar algunos de ustedes asi como de venir a compartirles algunos proyectos de mi muy humilde baul musical. El dia de hoy, dejare un poco de lado toda la serie de experimentaciones y terrenos oscuros para presentarles a una chica que ha estado haciendo una musica bastante suave la cual recae dentro de los terrenos clasicos del folk pero a su vez, tambien decide incluir algunos elementos electronicos dentro de sus composiciones para darle unos toques mucho mas romanticos a sus melodias, su nombre es Christine Leakey. Para serles sinceros, hasta hace dos semanas no tenia ni la menor idea de su existencia hasta que directamente se acerco a mi para enviarme el dato de que su nuevo album titulado "Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure" habia salido a la venta hace un par de dias y si, desde la primera escuchada pude percibir que esta chica porta con un tono vocal bastante especial el cual se ve perfectamente respaldado por los arreglos musicales que ella misma se encarga de dirigir con la ayuda de algunos otros musicos bastante importantes los cuales incluso han llegado a tener una relacion directa con bandas iconicas de la musica como Pink Floyd hasta The Beatles. De hecho, se dice que para la grabacion de este material decidio utilizar algunos de los primeros sintetizadores que llegaron a crearse para la produccion de sampleos y aunque en realidad dentro de sus canciones las secuencias de este tipo de elementos no son tan notorios, sin duda respaldan de una manera sutil cada uno de los momentos en los que se ve rodeado este material como el caso de "Here I Stand". Una de las bases fundamentales que tiene Christine Leakey para la creacion de sus canciones, es toda esa dedicacion que le ha metido al mundo de la musica desde que era bastante pequeña y entonces, como suele pasar con muchos musicos, todas esas experiencias de vida por las que ha pasado hasta el momento le sirven de inspiracion para de alguna manera ponerle un poco mas de sentimiento a sus composiciones y aunque muchas veces esto pueda parecer un enorme cliché, la verdad es que no podriamos dirigirnos a ella de esta manera ya que el producto que esta entregando es uno brutalmente sincero y al menos en lo personal, creo que eso se puede percibir desde la primera cancion hasta la ultima de "Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure" pero ademas, hay pequeños segmentos de menos de 1 minuto donde ademas decide explorar un poco los terrenos de la musica experimental dentro de un estilo mucho mas cinematografico y cabaretesco como "Tipsy" asi como algunas otras ambientaciones mas envolventes como las que se presentan en "The Man With The Golden Heart". Esta chica proveniente de Canada siento que debe ser escuchada al menos en una ocasion para que se vaya conociendo su trabajo y es por eso, que dentro de la recomendacion de la semana he decidido traerles a Christine Leakey y si lo que escucharan aqui abajo es de su interes, pueden meterse a su bandcamp para escuchar por completo su mas reciente album de estudio. - My Blog Cliché ~ Old School (music blog in Mexico) (Mar 29, 2012)

"Christine Leakey: Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure"

"Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure is right up there in the longest album title awards bracket?. It is also up there in the this is a really good debut album awards bracket. Leakey weaves her dreampop vocals and beautiful songs through a myriad of influences from jazz to classical to retro torch singers. The album is also noteworthy for featuring a bunch of vintage keyboards such as a Mellotron and ARP 2600. There is just so much here to enjoy. This album is a must have debut from an artist that is destined to become a major indie force..." - Floorshime Zipper Boots (Mar 14, 2012)

"Christine Leakey"

"Christine is now back on her musical path and ready to release her debut solo album, Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure. Its lush cinematic, dreamy, pop elements put a fresh spin on fusion that beg a new definition with every listen. Her album features a variety of prominent musicians from classical, folk, pop, jazz and world music background's including Maurizio Guarini (Goblin), Linda Ronstadt's Artistic Director and Pianist Jon Gilutin, 60's EMI/Abbey Road Studios veteran Mark Wirtz, and many others. In addition to the album featuring a whole array of organic wind, reed, string and world instruments, this album also features a very rare collection of vintage and museum quality keyboards including the Chamberlin, Mellotron, Optigan, Orchestron and ARP 2600. "Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box is what would happen if Karen Carpenter went into outer space with Tom Waits and gave birth to Syd Barrett."" - Rogue Magazine (Toronto online mag) (Feb 07, 2012)

"Pheaturing Christine Leakey"

Me: Hello, Christine, welcome to the Phile. How are you? And today is your birthday I believe, so happy birthday! You are the first guest to be on their Phile on their birthday.

Christine: I'm feeling pretty mellow and refreshed, thanks! :)

Me: Did anyone ever pick on you about your last name? I asked Ron Sexsmith the same question. People used to, and some still do, pick on me about my last name Peverett, calling me Pervert.

Christine: Haha! Yes, actually, but not from where you would expect! It was not in school, rather it happened when the Brownie pack I was in travelled south of the border to appear on "The Danny Burgess Show" in Watertown, NY which was a children's cartoon show hosted by the late Danny Burgess who was also the network's weatherman. Each week Danny invited a different Boy Scout, Brownie, Girl Guide and Beaver packs. He would sit them in what I interpreted at the time as a Lawrence Welk Orchestra type big band box with 3 rows for the kiddies to sit upon. He would get each child to pass his Bob Barker looking mic to state their name. Then he would say a few words that would lead into various cartoon episodes which he featured. My sister and brother had already been on the show and were given no special attention. By the time I appeared on the show, the name must have been getting Danny's curiosity. When I got to hold the mic and stated my name, he asked me to step out front and beside him. Once there, he asked me what Leakey meant and my immediate response was, Leakey pants! This instantly sparked lots of Brownie giggles and ear wiggles! I was chuckling too! He frowned awkwardly and responded with some makeshift answer giving alternate definitions for Leakey like Leek onions and whales who leak water from their spouts and realized it was probably best to just cut to Snagglepuss! :) At the end of each episode the children got Tootsie Rolls and what appeared to be McDonalds chocolate milkshakes. Things I never ate so I was excited to get that.. We got no Tootsies that day and banana milkshakes. I got sick from my milkshake and had to lay down for the entire ride home back to Canada!

Me: You have written hundreds of songs, Christine, while I have written hundreds of blog entries. Your writing is much more impressive. How old were you when you first wrote your first song? Do you remember what it was called?

Christine: I was three and the song is called "Pink Pal", other than that, I also would regularly sing made up songs to my dog.

Me: I bet you write a song a day, right?

Christine: For sure, there was a time bracket where I did daily. They were just oozing out of me! That changed when I started to hang with people my age who played in various Orchestras around the city. By going to shows they invited me to, it caused me to subconsciously change the way I write tunes and since then it's been more challenging for me. There is something to be said for not thinking too much and just creating a song with simplistic notes. :)

Me: You said you have appeared on TV. Do you act? What shows have you been on if you don't mind me asking.

Christine: Well now you know the first time I was on TV. Then while singing back-up as a doo-wop girl in Cadillac Bill & the Creeping Bent during the mid 90's, I appeared on "MuchMusic" and "CityTV's Breakfast Television". I was also interviewed on a Cable Network's music show where they came out and filmed my band, The Double Feature Creatures. Then in the late 90's I did a bunch of movie extra work during a slow summer for a bunch of films including, Superstar, Dick, Detroit Rock City, Happy Face Murders, Rocky Marciano... They were all pretty minor and you would have a tough time finding me unless you knew the exact hair do I had or shape of my head!!! Except in Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams scene on the school bus and out front of the White House for Dick. I was also on TV promoting my friends who were the first to ever circumnavigate the globe by only human power.

Me: I also wrote down in my notes... "Award winning documentary", but I don't remember what I was gonna ask you about it. What was the doc about and did you write music for it?

Christine: My friends, Julie and her now husband, Colin Angus won National Geographic Adventurers of Year back in 2006 for becoming the first to ever circumnavigate the globe by only human power. I did various tasks to help them from home while they were doing the portion from Moscow to Portugal on bicycles, then rowing from Lisbon to Limon, Costa Rica in a tiny sea worthy row boat, and then cycling north north west to Vancouver from there. Julie's mother had written a poem and wished for it to become a song and so I adapted it to some music that I wrote and tweaked the lyrics ever so slightly to fit. The outcome was only demo quality because of time constraints and an unexpected foot injury where I had to keep it above my heart for a couple of months and right around the time when I needed to record the tune properly which is entitled, "Row (Your Ondine Boat)". Julie and Colin loved it nonetheless and it became the original score to their documentary, "Beyond the Horizon" which skims the surface in an hour of their great journey from Vancouver to Vancouver. I really want to record it again to the standard and arrangements that I have been hearing in my head.

Me: You have shared the stage with some interesting people, Christine, like Jim Kimbrough. You also shared a stage with Iggy Pop. He liked your performance, right? What did he say to you?

Christine: Haha! Well, it's a funny thing how I wound up opening that particular show. In spring 1996, my friend Annabelle and I were visiting friends in Detroit, The Demolition Doll Rods that I used to gig with in my garage/psych band, The Double Feature Creatures. We were watching old vaudeville silent burlesque films and I explained a funny story where my sister and I would watch old silver screen shows on Sunday afternoons on TV and imitate them. One of our imitations was with our bath robes and doing a tease... So the Doll Rods said, you must do that at our show we're doing in a couple of days with Iggy Pop! That day of the concert, I was visiting my Great Grandma in Ann Arbour, Michigan and just made it back to the Detroit State Theatre in the nick of time after Annabelle got us lost. That's a story in itself for another time. Margaret said to not worry about a costume that she would handle it for me. I was thinking okay, but just keep me covered up! Well, she handed me my costume in a wallet and said here ya' go! Along with some mary-jane extreme spike heals. We were on the third floor of the change room floors. I nervously opened this little wallet to greet a tiger dress from Victoria's Secret that burst from the wallet, hello!! It had slits to the upper hips and a tear drop opening in the front... I was nervous to put it on as I was one to sport being cute, rather than being some sexy vixen! hahaha!!! But I thought, what the hey, no one knows me here, I'm in Detroit! So I put the dress on, styled my hair in a bouffant, applied some lipstick and slipped on some long gloves just on time to hear the backstage manager shout, "you gotta get on stage now!"... I know I'm babbling and you asked me to say what he said so you can edit this out if you want but it's a cool and random story for me... So I stepped on stage in the pitch black after carefully descending the stairs in shoes like none other I had worn before. The crowd cheered, the lights went up, my jaw dropped at the sight, I took a deep breathe and began to scat the classic strip-tease song while doing a little shimmy, a little shake, and a round house karate kick!!! I bit my gloves off and arms grabbed at them while bouncers stood in between and Annabelle used a disposable camera to catch the moment in the special photo-pass section!!! There was also a little girl in a tiger suit and mask dancing behind me rattling some shakers. I guess she was a mini-me?? After the set, the order was Demolition Doll Rods, then Junior Kimbrough from Fat Possum Records and lastly, Iggy Pop. He hung with all of us backstage in a most dapper deep blue velvet suit which was a great contrast from his black patent pants on stage. He missed my set so the Doll Rods convinced me in front of him and our friends backstage to do a reenactment... So I did, he pulled a chair up and got all wide eyed saying "Wow, Wow, Wow! Baby, you can move!!!"... I blushed and everyone was laughing. The Fat Possum label did catch my act on stage and wanted to sign me. They sent me a shipment of everything that they had ever put out at the time.

Me: You were doing pretty good musically when you had an accident that stopped you from playing guitar, am I right? Did you still perform, but without the guitar?

Christine: Yes, and just before this pre-existing injury issue triggered, I had a second offer from my then employer who was ready to front a very substantial sum of money towards recording my debut full length album as well as a video. He had friends at a major label who he was keen to push the music through. Once the injury surfaced, I kept trying to play a few songs on my guitar for awhile with my friends accompanying me. That didn't last long though because the pain and discomfort would amplify and linger for days. Since I am a great fan of old torch songs, I began to focus more on performing live some classic jazz ballads like, "Lush Life", "Masquerade", "Black Coffee", "Autumn Leaves", "I Fall in Love so Easily", "Nature Boy", "Thought About You", "A Train"... and many more. That was under the name, Christine Leakey and her Extra Fancy Band which featured various friends, University of Toronto jazz students and members from various Orchestras. I didn't do too many of those shows though as I felt naked and frustrated without my guitar.

Me: If you don't mind me asking again, what was the accident? How are you doing now?

Christine: Sure and you are the first to ask. I don't like to give too much power to the story, nor do I let it define me, however it is the reason why I am here now sharing my music instead of 14 years ago. In 1990, I was attacked by 9 people. It happened on my way to buying film for my sister's wedding which was on the following day where I still was the Maid of Honour. I'm a survivor. I was also scheduled to go to a karate tournament in Baltimore 3 days after the wedding which I was unable to attend due to the circumstance. I didn't let those 9 troubled and torn bullies break me. Despite the shock of it all, I prayed my face would be presentable and so I rose above it all and held my head high throughout the beating that felt like 10 minutes. It made me a stronger person on the inside and I immediately realized that these troubled people are just that who lack love in their life so I forgave them not to their faces but in my own heart through meditation and prayer. I am also a believer in karma. My guitar playing and the guitar strap triggered and amplified various pre-existing injuries which caused a breakdown on the left side of my body where I endured years of numbing pain to no avail. With my left hand, I couldn't open a car door, or wear a watch. I couldn't raise my left arm fully. It basically caused an entire lifestyle change on so many levels. I was absolutely devastated at first but turned it around quickly after realizing that when I would get frustrated by it, the physical pain would get worse. So spent a great deal of money seeking proper help that wasn't covered by free health services in Canada. I tried several injury management specialists and healing methods. Eventually, the right combination of people helped to stabilize the injuries which range from ribs compressed against my right lung, a damaged upper C spine and base of the C spine at the T spine, 2 parts in my jaw are not where they should be and a problem with my rotator cuff on my shoulder. Our bodies are 3 dimensional jigsaw puzzles that need to be treated with respect like a well oiled machine.

Me: I am glad you are okay, because your new album "Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure"... whew! That's a long name. Is that the shortest name you can come up with? LOL. Have you had anybody say to you they had problems remembering the name of the album?

Christine: Thank you, I am happy to feel better too. I don't think the album name has been a problem so far. A radio show host proudly got it right on air last week (Adam Has Issues on Explore Music). If someone only remembered "Tapping Trees" though, I'd understand. :) Sometimes people don't spell my last name correctly. They forget the second "e" in Leakey.

Me: I just checked to see if I got it right. It'll take me a week to remember the name for me. LOL. But it is a clever name, and beats the Peverett Phile name. How did you come up with that name, Christine?

Christine: Haha!! Well, Leakey Peverett is definitely a name combo to cause some chuckles! :) The name started out as just "Tapping Trees". Then I got thinking, I really like album names like "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" or "A Saucer full of Secrets"... I tend to also enjoy making a play on words. The name has so many personal meanings for me as well which pertains directly to elements within the album. For example, tapping trees identifies with me being a sappy romantic at times, plus there are plenty of wooden instruments being tapped on the album, and most importantly, my late Uncle John passed away after visiting a maple sugar bush during tapping season. There is a song which I wrote for him on the album. The trinket box of treasure part triggered from a thought I had pertaining to how long I've been keeping the music tucked away for so many years, steeping arrangements and instrumentations within my mind, my heart, my body. Our bodies (trinket box) are sacred temples filled with so many memories (treasures).

Me: How long did it take you to record the album?

Christine: I recorded "The Marching Song" at home using a tape to tape method on my ghetto blaster in 1999. Then "I Tipsy" in 2006 using Garageband. In mid 2007, I began laying rough bed tracks at a studio in a church entitled, Catherine North. The chemistry with the engineer didn't feel quite right as he was more accustomed to straight up rock n' roll and I needed someone who could help me to implement with a high level of quality the very dynamic and orchestrated ideas that I had brewing in my mind. At the birth of 2009, "Miss Betty Grable". For that tune, I play all the intruments, it's self produced and co-engineered with my friend Danny Z at his studio, Blue Tilt. I spent only two days recording that song. Between 2008 and 2009 I had also been practicing the tunes occasionally with various musicians who played instruments I had in mind for the album. As well, I as scoping out a few quality studios in Hamilton. Then in September 2009 when I was about to book Canterbury in Toronto, I was approached by Chris Gartner whom I knew indirectly through the band, Tasa. After hearing some recordings he had been involved with, I agreed to go with his offer and record my album at his home studio. Into the process of working with Chris, I realized what a very busy musician he is! And rightly so, he happens to be one of Canada's top bassists performing with known acts like Barenaked Ladies member, Kevin Hearn and Thin Buckle, along with countless other music projects and bands in Toronto. I adopted some patience and voila mid spring 2011 was the final recording session and the mastering was complete by summer. :) Whew! Now I'm more than ready to finally cast out into the cosmos the music to reach appreciative ears which I've steeped for 14 years!

Me: I noticed by the look of it and or the video for the song "Lovely" there's clips from old movies. You must like old black and white movies, Christine. What is your favorite movie of all time?

Christine: That's the toughest question so far!!! I don't have a favourite colour, or song, or film, or band, or vegetarian food. And so tastes tend to be quite eclectic spanning different eras and parts of the globe. I remember my Great Grandpa telling me that he stopped going to the movie theatre when it became colour. He said it just wasn't the same. There is definitely a magic to old film. Everything was made from scratch and done so creatively. I say going to the Drive-In just isn't the same without that heavy clunkish mono speaker that sits on the window.

Me: You even have a song called "Miss Betty Grable" which you just mentioned. Is she your favorite actress? I wonder if anybody from her estate has heard the song. You should send them a copy.

Christine: Perhaps I should! Would they mind? Well, she isn't my favourite actress but I did grow up singing a silly song about her and other golden era actress's with my cousins! I had written the music years before for that and then just started singing the first line to the melody and it made sense.. then I created the rest of the lyrics. I thought when I finished, I wonder what her real story is and there were some abstract parallels.

Me: I interviewed musicians and singers who do 60's type music, 70's and even the 80's, but you are the first I think that does music that could be from the 40's. Am I right?

Christine: I don't purposely do music from any particular era. I just write from what comes from within. I grew up in a family where my mother sang to us daily in English and French... old time songs mostly. She would also rent every old Rodgers and Hammerstein film for us to watch and somehow she had every single song in every single film memorized. I would also make mixed tapes from her collection of music from the 30s to the 80s. I currently own two Victrola's for my collection of old 78s. My turntable, tape deck and CDs all play through my computer set-up to give me the options to listen to my entire music collection that I should not have to buy more than once because technology changes. I do buy music digitally as well now but it's no fun without the packaging and liner notes. My tastes once again are quite varied so if I were to start giving examples, it would take forever, so I'll list a few: The Soft Machine, Spacemen 3, Simon and Garfunkel, Devo, The Ramones, early Pink Floyd, The Clash, Stark Reality, Combustible Edison, United Future Organization, Jobim, Stan Getz... in the past 5 years I've gotten into Leonard Cohen, Linda Perhacs, Aphrodite's Child, Kristian Hoffman, Mark Wirtz and I wonder what took me so long to catch on! I love going to see music from various countries and cultures. Some of it really puts me in a trance like state. There are many more that I love equally but that's a start. And I must give credit to a few of my pre-teen music interests, Henry Mancini's "Pink Panther", "Jesus Christ Superstar" 1970 recording, Kiddie Au Go Go on Happy Time Records, Duane Eddy Whiskey Au Go Go. I would go to jazz gigs and sit at the front during college. The band of mostly American draft dodgers with great stories and musical taste saw my appreciation for jazz music and would make me mixed tapes of torch and blues singers that were not already in my collection.

Me: I was gonna ask you who played on your CD but there's a lot of people. How many musicians played on the album, Christine?

Christine: Myself plus 14 phenomenally talented people accompanying me: Maurizio Guarini from Goblin and former Abbey Road/EMI Composer/Producer, Mark Wirtz, Jon Gilutin, Great Bob Scott, Chris Gartner, Sahra Featherstone, Maryem Tollar, Ernie Tollar, Roy Clarke, Leah Salomaa, Hailey Rutherford, Jay Burr, Abe Deleon, Ravi Naimpally

Me: Where are you from, Christine?

Christine: I grew up in the heart of the 1000 Islands, Gananoque. I have lived in Oakville, Toronto and Hamilton since moving away to college.

Me: I ask every musician from Canada I interview if they are fans of one of my favorite bands from Canada, the Barenaked Ladies. Are you a fan of that band?

Christine: Hahaha!!! Well, I don't have any of their music but I used to be neighbours with the drummer up until 2004! And as said in an earlier question, Chris who was quite involved with the album is in a band with Kevin Hearn. He went on that Barenaked Ladies cruise last summer to perform in Thin Buckle as all affiliated bands with the members were invited. I have gone to a couple Thin Buckle shows and they're great! Kevin gets his dad on stage to do spoken word versions of tunes like "Monster Mash"! He makes me think of William Burroughs.

Me: Maybe you can get Chris on the Phile. Christine, I have to talk about your artwork, as your work is pheatured in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery. What came first, your art or music?

Christine: I began to whistle when I was 10 months old. Then I began to draw people with belly buttons when I was 2 years old.. So I guess the music?

Me: When you stopped doing music, is that when you started to paint a lot more?

Christine: When I had to stop doing music, I heavily got back into what I had gone to college for, Graphic Design. I have also been painting and drawing.. I filled about 7 sketchbooks between 1997 and 1998 and would bring a sketchbook anywhere I went. Got into clay and throwing on the wheel too... any art medium that sparks my interest, I like to do and not just dream about. Though, I still haven't taken glass blowing and silver smithing but would like to.

Me: Your artwork is very French looking to me. I have no idea why. Anyway, who is your inspiration art wise?

Christine: Probably my mom the most if we want to think of this from a Montessori philosophical perspective... I would ask her constantly to draw me things, mostly people and I still have sketchbooks of a ton of fashions that she designed during her teen years which are beautiful enough to be made. She's very good with colour too. I inspired her to get into doodling from all of my sketchbooks. She keeps a craft room in her home that is wall to wall art, jewellery, and sewing supplies. I also used to watch those PBS painting shows when I was little so that dude that always said, "Love you!" at the end of the episodes had me... then there are the countless other examples in fine art that I dig... including my cousin-in-law, Peter McGough. (McDermott & McGough)... I am inspired by Peter as a person and I do love what he's been doing in recent years artistically.

Me: Christine, thanks so much for being here on the Phile. Please go ahead and plug your website and everything. I wish you lots of luck, and I hope this interview was fun.

Christine: this currently points to my Facebook page but I will make a website once I get a chance and oh, I need a new programmer that is reliable! Any takers? : ) You can download a free preview and order and advance special edition copy here:

Me: Thanks again, and please come back soon when the album comes out.

Christine: :) Thank you to the Peverett Phile!!! (: - The Peverett Phile

"Review: Christine Leakey – Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure"

If it takes fourteen years to record an album, then one would normally assume some kind of Axl Rose-related story has been attached. Not so with Canada’s Christine Leakey who suffered an injury rendering her unable to play guitar; just as she was on the verge of securing recording deals. However, undeterred, her debut solo album is here and alerts us that a true individual walks amongst us.

‘Lovely’ is a very light pleasant slice of optimism to get us started but ‘Here I Stand’ is a greater showcase for the Leakey vocal. Her insouciant tones perfectly compliment the smoky jazz backing, producing the effect of a modern day Sade. Thereafter real songs merge with odd interludes which occasionally build up an atmosphere of a theatrical performance rather than an album. In fairness, that may be the point.

‘Tap Dancers’ is an undoubted highlight as Leakey trills her way against a charming guitar melody and the same can be said for the haunting ‘Miss Betty Grable’ and ‘The Day My Flower Died’. She even turns her hand to Bond theme confidence for ‘Shine My Tarnished Sheen’. Frustratingly, she loses her way slightly towards the end of the album courtesy of ‘Gloom Chime’s cabaret and the French-sung ‘Quand Tu Dors’ but on an hour long album, the odd slip is certainly excusable.

Bearing in mind the obstacles she has had to overcome, no one can deny Leakey deserves another shot at the big time. ‘Tapping Trees…’ is by turns brilliant, childlike, confusing and chilling but the invention and talent she demonstrates ensures that this is a wholly worthwhile and admirable comeback. - Leonard's Lair Music Reviews (United Kingdom) (Jan 04, 2012)

"Christine Leakey - Lovely video preview of the week."

"Christine Leakey - Lovely video preview of the week." - Serba Music (Czech Republic) (Nov 12, 2011)

"Christine Leakey"

"Christine’s musically journey has seen many of its fair share of ups and downs. She has formed bands, written hundreds of songs, appeared on radio and TV, collaborated with artists like 60s EMI/Abbey Road Studios Mark Wirtz, and released music on indie labels and in an award winning Documentary. “I have shared the stage with many acts from classical chamber music and indie bands, to prominent artists like Ween, Junior Kimbrough, and Iggy Pop. Iggy’s reaction to my performance at the Detroit State Theatre in ’96 was, “Wow, wow, wow!” Back then, things looked great musically until everything came to a halt when an injury left me unable to play guitar. It was really tough to walk away from some recording offers. Despite the obstacles, I never gave up hope. With years of great determination and a need to accomplish my goals, I am pleased to say I got back on my music path and I’m ready to present my debut solo album, Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure”. " - Lyfstyl (Toronto and Vancouver blog) (Nov 03, 2011)

"Christine Leakey "Lovely" Video"

"Christine Leakey has released a video for “Lovely” from her debut album, Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure, which will be released on January 10, 2012. Leakey’s album is 14 years in-the-making after a promising musical career was derailed by an injury that left her unable to play guitar in the late-’90's. Prior her untimely misfortune, she had performed with acts like Ween, Junior Kimbrough and Iggy Pop. Leakey didn’t give on her musical dream. She has made three tracks from the upcoming album available via BandCamp. You can follow her on Twitter." - Dead Journalist (Atlanta, Georgia) (Nov 05, 2011)

"Local Treasure, Gananoque native releasing debut album in January... A 'Treasure'"

"Local Treasure, Gananoque native releasing debut album in January... A 'Treasure' 14 years in the making...Gananoque native Christine Leakey thinks that if you believe in your dreams, they can come true.... 'I believe everything influences us when we create something. Whatever environment we grew up in or whatever music we would listen to.. all that impacts us.'..." - The Whig Standard (Kingston newspaper, print edition) (Dec 10, 2011)

"Christine Leakey on Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure"

"For your Saturday special also take in a couple of other tracks from Christine Leakey’s debut solo album, Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure." - Parasites & Sycophants (Nov 05, 2011)

"Christine Leakey's dream taking shape"

"Christine Leakey's dream taking shape ... Her mother's family was from Brockville and spent every summer at a private campground. Nights were spent around the campfire singing with accompaniment by her Uncle John and family friends with guitars, drums, a banjo and even a washtub bass. "I used to make up songs from a young age," said Leakey. "I would sing to my dog or alone in my room. I was shy to sing." Leakey outgrew her meekness, and in high school auditioned for the school plays, though she was never cast. This didn't dissuade her though, and Leakey pursue music after college when she taught herself guitar at 22 years old. "I would play obsessively for five to nine hours a day," she said. ... "I believe everything influences us when we create something," Leakey said. "Whatever environment we grew up in or whatever music we would listen to...all of that impacts us." ..." - The Recorder and Times (Brockville, Ontario newspaper print and web) (Dec 09, 2011)

"Local Musician set to debut album"

"Gananoque native Christine Leakey thinks that if you believe in your dreams, they can come true. They have for her – it took 14 years, but Leakey is releasing her debut album in January 2012. "It's exactly and more than I hoped it would be," she said of her upcoming album, Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure. "I can't tell you how exciting it is." Leakey, who currently lives in Hamilton and works as a graphic designer, has always been surrounded by music. Her mother's family were from Brockville and they spent every summer at their private campground. Nights were spent around the campfire singing with accompaniment by her Uncle John and family friends with guitars, drums, a banjo and even a washtub bass. "I used to make up songs from a young age," said Leakey. "I would sing to my dog or alone in my room. I was shy to sing." ... " - The Gananoque Reporter (Gananoque, Ontario newspaper print and web) (Dec 08, 2011)

"Christine Leakey - Lovely"

"Como el recuerdo borroso de una melodía vieja, envuélvanse con la nostalgia musical de Christine Leakey." which translates to: "Like the blurred memory of an old melody, they become involved with musical nostalgia of Christine Leakey." - Hoppipolla (Dec 02, 2011)

"Christine Leakey - Lovely"

"Como el recuerdo borroso de una melodía vieja, envuélvanse con la nostalgia musical de Christine Leakey." which translates to: "Like the blurred memory of an old melody, they become involved with musical nostalgia of Christine Leakey." - Hoppipolla (Dec 02, 2011)

"Canadian singer-songwriter Christine Leakey"

"Canadian singer-songwriter Christine Leakey is set to release her debut album Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure. The album (released January 10th, 2012) has been described as "if Karen Carpenter went into outer space with Tom Waits and gave birth to Syd Barret." Her album features: Chris Gartner and Great Bob Scott (Thinbuckle), Maurizio Guarini (Goblin), Maryem Tollar, Ernie Tollar, Ravi Naimpally, Linda Ronstadt's Artistic Director and Pianist Jon Gilutin, 60's EMI/Abbey Road Studios veteran Mark Wirtz, and many others." - (NYC/Los Angeles/New Zealand) (Nov 23, 2011)

"Christine Leakey"

"Ik kreeg een e-mailtje van Christine Leakey. Een muzikante. Zoals ik zoveel e-mails krijg van muzikanten uit binnen- en buitenland. Je begint haast te denken dat je belangrijk bent. Of nog erger: de afzender denkt dat je belangrijk bent. Hoe dan ook, ik lees wel alles en zo dus ook deze van Christine. Ze komt met een nieuwe plaat. En er staat een liedje online. Of ASP daar aandacht aan wil geven. Het bekende verhaal. Maar er was dit keer meer. Een groter verhaal. Het album waarmee Christine namelijk komt, Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure, is een debuutalbum waar ze 14 jaar aan gewerkt heeft. Niet omdat ze lui is, maar omdat een ongeluk het gitaarspelen lange tijd onmogelijk maakte. Een vreselijke wending in de veelbelovende carriere van de in Canada wonende muzikante. Want talent heeft ze. “Since teaching myself guitar in 1994, I have formed bands, written hundreds of songs, appeared on radio and TV, collaborated with artists like 60's EMI/Abbey Road Studios Mark Wirtz..." - Apply Some Pressure (Netherlands) (Nov 10, 2011)

"Sweet Canadian Pop! - Christine Leakey & Drew Smith"

"The following video is for the song Lovely which was taken from the upcoming debut album, 'Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure', which is set to drop in January 2012. Christine recorded the new record in Ontario and LA. It is a labour of love that has taken over 14 years to become a reality, due to the fact that she had an accident that prevented her from playing guitar for quite a while. Christine's music is dreamy and mysterious, without being too whimsical or kitschy. Of special note is her voice, she is refreshingly experimental and her range is killer. Right now you can order an advanced Special Edition version of the record which comes with 3 extra mp3 downloads , a physical 15 track full length in the mail, plus an original piece of artwork created by Christine herself. If you are a fan of My Brightest Diamond, St.Vincent, Babel Gilberto or Leonard Cohen you definitely should check her out! Christine also produced and directed this pretty little video. " - bloggertronix (Toronto music blog) (Nov 10, 2011)

"Christine Leakey, Lovely"

"Had to listen to this one a couple of times to pinpoint what it is that makes it so enjoyable - and I think I’ve figured it out. It is a song that sounds of promise. As the lyrics reveal, this is a tune all about giving in to love and who doesn’t adore that heady sensation when it blooms? Dig it." - Vinyl confessions & her friends - you turn me on, i'm a radio

"Not gonna lie - this Toronto-based singer’s sultry vocals and cinematic orchestration are pulling me in like an Odyssean siren."

"Not gonna lie - this Toronto-based singer’s sultry vocals and cinematic orchestration are pulling me in like an Odyssean siren. And the hints of psychedelic bossanova that Os Mutantes would be proud of keep the seduction honey sweet. She’s got her album Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure, “an album I have been steeping for 14 years,” coming out in January. Catch a preview of a few tracks on her Bandcamp." - yvynyl ('why-vinyl') (Nov 09, 2011)

"Christine Leakey - Lovely"

"The video for Lovely shows a different approach to matching visuals to music. This one has images that are recognizable, people, flowers, and such, but there is no attempt to tell a story. Instead, what you get is a perfect matching of visual and musical mood. Christine Leakey’s songs have a breezy feel and a Brazilian lilt. The gauzy and sometimes abstract look of the video works perfectly." - Oliver di Place (New Jersey music blog) (Nov 09, 2011)

"Christine Leakey Has Lovely Dreams"

"Christine Leakey’s tunes are part orchestrated noir, part dark forest and yet very much a real dream..... a smooth decoupage straight from the heart that have been a long time in the making since her earlier days in bands called..... Hailing originally from the heart of the 1000 Islands, Gananoque Ontario (sounds so magical), Canada she is our familiar neighbor whom brings us fairy-esque soundscapes sculpted from many fem-fatale influences and life experiences. This preview of teasers we hear the dark sexy light of Nico washed in Bongwater like reverb and the pillow talk of pink floyd. She’s created something pretty focused and telling here with lots of layers like those you in might find when digging in the sand. A castle of music has been created with subtle and solid colors of sound which will give you a fuzzy feeling. Give it a go – the authentic grit will draw you in and surprise you. Your imagination will conjure the rest of the story. " - Review Stalker (New Jersey music blog) (Nov 08, 2011)

"Christine Leakey - Lovely"

"After 14 years in the works, the forthcoming album by Hamilton's Miss. Leakey will be released in January 2012. Free 3 song preview available at Bandcamp. Sounds like: Picturesque 60s nostalgia. A dreamy kinda love song with a simplistic indie sensibility. Leakey's light, floaty voice leaves an uplifting impression. " - Alan Cross: professional music geek (Nov 07, 2011)

"Discover: Christine Leakey"

"In January, Christine Leakey will release the LP, Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure. Tapping Trees… is, as Ms. Leakey puts it, “an album I’ve been steeping for 14 years.” She’s made three tracks available through Bandcamp, where you can pre-order the full release. Labeled as cinematic, jazz, and dreamy, the music remarkably fits these boundaries of sound. The artwork and outtakes from the album’s promo shoot add to this aura. This is one of those releases where you’ll find yourself fascinated by the music, as well as what surrounds it. It’s truly original." - The DaDaDa (Nov 06, 2011)

"There's something about Christine Leakey's sound that reminds me of 1920s Shanghai."

"There's something about Christine Leakey's sound that reminds me of 1920s Shanghai. She will be releasing Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure in January 2012, an album that took 14 years in the making. Years ago, the self-taught guitarist suffered an injury that left her unable to play and put a spanner in the works. Despite the unfortunate incident, she managed to bounce back. Here's "Lovely", a song with a snazzy old vibe." - I Know That I'm Right: Daily Randomness (Singapore, Nov 06, 2011)

"There's something about Christine Leakey's sound that reminds me of 1920s Shanghai."

"There's something about Christine Leakey's sound that reminds me of 1920s Shanghai. She will be releasing Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure in January 2012, an album that took 14 years in the making. Years ago, the self-taught guitarist suffered an injury that left her unable to play and put a spanner in the works. Despite the unfortunate incident, she managed to bounce back. Here's "Lovely", a song with a snazzy old vibe." - I Know That I'm Right: Daily Randomness (Singapore, Nov 06, 2011)

"Christine Leakey : un clip et trois titres en attendant l’album pour 2012"

"Rêche et savoureux, le son de Christine Leakey a un grain gros et salé qui semble aussi spontané que complexe. La voix, capable de grands écarts classieux, partant de basses profondes pour finir en petites touches de caresses diaphanes, nous laisse rêveurs et transportés, comme caressés pendant une longue torpeur qu’on ne veut pas voir finir. Les violons débordent d’envolées aussi vintages que saisissantes, venant souligner des guitares aux couleurs échappées des blues les plus rauques… Christine Leakey développe ainsi un univers assez singulier, atemporel et à la poésie envoûtante. Le trois extraits se révèlent à l’écoute suffisamment riches pour qu’on se mette à les écouter en boucle, en découvrant de nouvelles choses à chaque écoute… Une très belle découverte, donc, à faire dès maintenant en attendant pour 2012 l’album »Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure " - Green Cats, Babies!, Paris France (Oct 28, 2011)

"Christine Leakey"

"New pleasant surprise entered the inbox this week; Christine Leakey - why, she just leaked a few songs into my inbox, har har ugh - is a darling Canadian lady in her upper 30s who not only enjoys making cashew cheese and blogging, but is coming out with a record this January. The loungy, mildly jazzy teaser for her debut solo album (Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure) is available for free on her Bandcamp page (as is everybody's music, it seems). These songs are soft and sweet, her aesthetic more retro than the music itself, and if you tend to crave artists like Eleni Mandell, the Real Tuesday Weld, or - by a slight stretch - Azure Ray, Leakey may be the lady for you." - The Choir Croaks, Los Angeles (Oct 25, 2011)

"Christine Leakey Lovely"

"... lovely voice lovely songs lovely nostalgia" - Rocks De Milo, Greece

"Christine Leakey - Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure (preview)"

"I love teasers, especially if they are so promising that they leave you wanting more. These 3 tracks get several spins a day here @pluginbabynl; they are different, exciting and contain a certain thrill. It sounds vague, but that's how it is. All 3 tracks make me more curious about the entire record, a little more everytime i hear 'em. Is it December yet!?"
- Plug In Baby, Netherlands (Oct 19, 2011)

"Pre-release review by Michael Cudahy of Christine Leakey, Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure."

“Christine Leakey's Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure is a luscious jewel-colored phantasmagoria with the depth and complexity of fine old bourbon or a Caravaggio.

Spending an hour with the narcotic splendor of Ms. Leakey's sultry sounds is like taking a stroll underwater through limpid, star-spangled honey...on Ecstasy.

All this, and she has a voice that will make you swoon.” - The Millionaire, Combustible Edison (AKA Michael Cudahy)

"Christine Leakey album pre-release review by Cinzia Cavalieri, Music Consultant, Editor for film and television"

"Listening to Christine's album is like opening a treasure chest filled with pure gems! Her style and sound are unique. The richness of the colors that each and every instrument brings to this album is rare to find. With this labor of love, Christine leads the listeners on a path that touches many chords and moods. The lyrics are true to the heart and Christine's beautiful and pristine voice delivers them with much grace and fun. "

- Cinzia Cavalieri Music Consultant, Editor and Performer for film and television

"Pre-release Review by Linda Perhacs of Christine Leakey, Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure."

14 wonderful songs, total play time, 57 Minutes

Review by Linda Perhacs.

First off, I want to offer my deepest apologies to Christine for not getting back to her sooner.

This is a totally delightful set of 14 songs by Christine (who had asked me to review them for her a few months ago). I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say, the last few months have lent themselves to me as rather difficult. Thank you so much for your patience, Christine!

“Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure” is a true treasure. It is a wonderful departure from some of the music that is put out these days and well worth the time to listen to. And listen to very carefully I might add. Christine’s lyrics are both playful and moody and like true music, also has a message to deliver, but leaves the listener to draw upon their own life’s experience for a conclusion. Her singing voice has no weaknesses as she has found her own style of music, which is quite varied! These songs delight the listener from what I perceive are Celtic undertones to Pop and swing to a cabaret to an almost bossa nova beat and R&B.

Kudos to Christine also for how well the selection of songs were mixed and finally recorded. Nothing rough or left out, very smoothly integrated and seamless. The only exception would be song #14 “Trinket” (plus bonus track)- I really loved the song, but there seems to be a lot of space between it and the very playful and interesting bonus track. I was wondering for a time if the bonus track was really there when it finally started to play!

Each song is just wonderful and shows that much love and thought was put forth. The orchestration and composition work on these songs were masterfully done.

“The Marching Song” .47 – Christine has shown in this wonderful blend of electronic harmonies that truly one can get a great deal for 47 seconds!
“Lovely” 3:46- This is a very happy and lovely song. Lyrics are just fantastic, and is coupled with the really catchy beat and rhythm, this is a true jewel!
“Here I Stand” 4:09- Moody. But not completely dark, very nicely done with a surprisingly wonderful blend of orchestration that really compliments this song. Rhythm and vocals are just a delight!
“Be You” 3:39- Very lovely lyrics and harmony! I was delighted with how the percussion came in past mid point in this song! For me, it uplifted me more towards the Highlands! I hope others can feel this as well! “Travel with me to my world” Beautiful! Powerful!
“Tipsy”- .48 – Cute melody with great blending of background words. Just enough to leave you to wonder! Sort of a carnival atmosphere!
“The Man With The Golden Heart” 3:51- Rather ethereal! This has to be a tribute to anyone’s uncle, father or grandfather who, even in his later years, still has much to offer with a “Golden Heart”. Sadly beautiful, angelic melody and voicing, done with so much love! “With every end, a new life begins” “Tell me sir How do you do?” “I do fine!” How wonderful, Christine!
“Tap Dancers” 3:56- Really a cute song! “A million tap dancers on my roof” Waiting for the sun to shine again!
“Miss Betty Grable” 5:06- Beautifully intense and tragic tale (I believe taken from Betty’s real life)- Melodies and lyrics are very nicely done!
“Shine My Tarnished Sheen” 6:25- Great ballad of searching for love, or perhaps for yourself. “So, love yourself within- find an end, then begin” Truly words to live by!
“Lullabies and Apple Pies” 3:31- Really great rock and roll song! Has it all! But still so 21st century!
“The Day My Flower Died” 4:18- A moody, dark, blues-ish ballad. The balance of electric guitar and synth is amazing! Beautiful lyrics and voice!
“Gloom Chime” 2:55- Trippy use of special sound effects! Song goes into a R&B and cabaret style and back again in a very nice way, great voicing and melody!
“Quand Tu Dors” 2:30- Ok, I have no idea what she is singing in this song, but it’s done with such a nice “breathy” melody and beat, you can make up your own words! Wonderful song!
“Trinket” (Plus bonus) 11:41- Dreamy little song, nicely done! The only problem is the real long space between the song and the wonderfully playful bonus track! I think the idea for the pause between the songs is great, it just needs to be limited to perhaps 10 to 15 seconds.

Christine, dear Christine, this is quite a show of talent! You also managed to pick your musicians and all your back up voicing very wisely! This set of 14 beautiful songs are such great examples of just how you and everyone behind you paid such great, loving attention to detail. Very refreshing to listen to as your lyrics, combined to absolutely such fantastic vocals and music and instrumentals is really incredible.

Again, I apologize for being so late on getting all this back to you- but after what I have been through lately, perhaps this was the time for me to do this, as surely your music with its kindness and so much love in it has really helped me! What a blessing!

Thank you so much, Christine. We’ll stay in touch!

Much love and light!
Linda Perhacs - Linda Perhacs (Parallelograms)

"Album pre-release review by Mark Wirtz"

"Christine Leakey's new solo album ("Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure") is a such-like challenge. Delicious, seductive, enigmatic, hauntingly captivating, mysterious, ecclectic, cerebral, moody, obscure yet laced with reminiscent undertones, genre-defying yet at once embraceable and undeniably commercial, even seasoned with catchy hooks, marvelous arrangements, and melodies delivered by Christine's sensual, mesmerizing vocal renditions that slyly get under your skin and stay there..." - Mark Wirtz, Ivor Novello Award-winning 60's EMI/Abbey Road producer/composer


Christine Leakey - Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure (2012, CD)
Christine Leakey - Lovely Lullabies & Apple Pies (2011, CD)
Beyond the Horizon – Award winning Documentary by National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2006 winners, featuring an original score by Christine Leakey (2006, DVD)

Other albums including Christine:
The Double Feature Creatures - Return! (2005, Teen Sound Records, Italy
The Pin-Ups! - B Movie Drive-In (1999, Fun Records)
Cadillac Bill and the Creeping Bent - Eating Out (1996, Bhurr Records)
The Double Feature Creatures - Stranded at the Drive-In (1996, Fun Records)
"Greatest Love of All" vinyl compilation featuring The Double Feature Creatures (1995, Dead Bum Records)
"Hamilton Music Scene '95" CD compilation featuring The Double Feature Creatures (1995, Golden Shower Records)
"Ruby Karma" CD compilation featuring The Double Feature Creatures (1995, Rob Hoff Records)



Once upon a music time, a 10 month baby named Christine began to whistle. Then at 3, she sang made up songs to her dog. She took piano from a belching nun at 9, and taught herself guitar at 22.

Since then, Christine has formed bands, written hundreds of songs, appeared on radio and TV, toured, recorded and produced her own music, collaborated with other recording artists, released her music on a label in Europe and in an award winning documentary.

After the dissolution of her bands, Christine began to focus on her solo work with a goal to record a full length album. She had shared the stage with a variety of acts ranging from chamber music to mainstream like Ween, Junior Kimbrough and Iggy Pop. Iggy’s reaction to her performance at the Detroit State Theatre was, “Wow, wow, wow!” While things were looking promising musically along with some recording offers, everything came to a halt when an injury left Christine unable to play guitar.

Christine is now back on her musical path and has just released her debut solo album, Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure. Its lush cinematic, dreamy, pop elements put a fresh spin on fusion that beg a new definition with every listen.

Her album features: Chris Gartner and Great Bob Scott (Kevin Hearn & Thinbuckle), Maurizio Guarini (Goblin), Maryem Tollar, Ernie Tollar, Ravi Naimpally, Linda Ronstadt's Artistic Director and Pianist Jon Gilutin, 60's EMI/Abbey Road Studios veteran Mark Wirtz, and many others.

In addition to the album featuring a whole array of organic wind, reed, string and world instruments, this album also features a very rare collection of vintage and museum quality keyboards including the Chamberlin, Mellotron, Optigan, Orchestron and ARP 2600.

Depending on the scope of the gig budget will determine band accompaniment.

"Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box is what would happen if Karen Carpenter went into outer space with Tom Waits and gave birth to Syd Barrett."

Christine Leakey began by teaching herself how to play guitar back in 1994. She has formed a few bands such as The Double Feature Creatures and the Tijuana Knievel. Although they are not representative of Christine’s music of today, it was a pivotal time in her life where she absorbed many different flavors of music. During her early days on guitar, Christine also began to write some of the music heard on the album, where she would assemble various musicians to perform with her on quiet nights from the garage rock scene in small pubs or cafés and sometimes just for practice. In 1996, she opened as a solo act and a’capella for Iggy Pop and Junior Kimbrough at the Detroit State Theatre by coincidence while visiting her friends band The Demolition Doll Rods who also performed on the bill in Detroit. As part of a different band that she joined, a psychobilly inspired band, they were able to get on MuchMusic, City TV Breakfast Television and had toured quite a bit in Ontario and the Quebec areas. With this band they opened for artists such as Ween and Ray Condo & his Ricochets. Meanwhile she missed working on her own music and playing guitar. Her music took a different road while dating a cellist in 1997 when she was requested to join musicians from various orchestras including the Canadian Opera Company to perform a cabaret style set with them at a theatre. Some of these members along with Jazz students from the University of Toronto accompanied Christine at her various solo gigs in a band she entitled, Christine Leakey and her Extra Fancy Band.

Christine had written 100’s of songs and had recorded enough music to release a full length Double Feature Creatures album. She released a few singles for that band on CD and vinyl. She also would go into the studio and record solo music where she played all the instruments, but never released these tunes. This focus on recording happened between 1994 and 1997. Back then, things looked great musically for Christine until everything came to a halt when an injury left her unable to play guitar. This caused Christine to walk away from some recording offers.
Fast tracking forward, She believes that when a song is written that it needs to be recorded and released and “cast out into the cosmos to reach those appreciative ears”, states Christine. Despite the obstacles, Christine never gave up hope. With years of great determination and a need to accomplish her musical goals, Christine set forth taking all steps necessary to reach her goal.

Christine Leakey is happy to announce her 2012 solo album debut, “Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure”. “Lullabies & Apple Pies” is one single that has a personal heartfelt aspect to it. This song is like a lullaby. Its vocals along with the arrangements of this song might have a cathartic feel to it. Its dream state experience that one feels is truly out of the ordinary. “Lovely” is another heartfelt song which is about a new relationship and allowing th

Band Members