Dead Red Pine
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Dead Red Pine


Band Folk Alternative




"A Wake"

There are no eulogies, no drunken rendition of Danny Boy, no sorrowful notes of Amazing Grace at this wake. A Wake uses movement, music and voice to explore the rituals, facts and counterpoint of life and death.

Voice is used sparingly throughout the show, allowing each member of the audience to easily connect their own personal experience of death and dying to the production.

In its first year as a Fringe venue, the Southside Memorial Chapel was more than just a fitting setting or backdrop for this production about death, the show filled every bit of space in the small chapel.

Music is another essential piece of this production. A Wake is a multidisciplinary collaboration with local indie folk rock band Dead Red Pine who transfixed the audience with a melodic and emotionally-charged musical score. The five-piece band includes local École Secondaire Sainte Marguerite d'Youville graduate Stephen Tchir.

Violins, mandolins, guitars, banjos and bass expertly move the audience through the experience, explanations and emotions around death and grieving.

With subject matter and a setting that could easily lend itself to overwrought emotion, the players skilfully convey the emotions and experiences of death with depth and meaning free of clichéd wailing and tears.

Though the show seems to lose some of its momentum towards the close, the production's varied perspectives on death outshine this subtle lag.

Edmonton's Mindhive Collective offers views of death from those who are dying, from those who are left behind, and most striking, from the body.

A Wake offers an original and thoughtful take on a subject that has been done to death. - St. Albert Gazette

"A Wake"

A Wake is a beautiful exploration of the emotional, physical, and biological realities of death and grief through words and dance. This play inventively takes full advantage of its funeral chapel space and the support of an excellent string sextet to thoughtfully consider this sensitive subject. Although a performer or two could use some more oratorical skill, this does not compromise the effectiveness of the play’s journeys through the end of life. Also of note are the funeral home directors, who opened up their space to support such a kind and compassionate creative consideration of death. - Vue Weekly

"Edmonton Fringe Review: A Wake"

A Wake

4 stars

BYOV 36, Southside Memorial Chapel

There’s a creepy novelty factor about a Fringe play in a funeral parlour. But A Wake couldn’t be further from gimmicky. A thoughtful exploration of human mortality, this succinct show combines physical theatre with gorgeous instrumental music by local indie folk band Dead Red Pine. (I’d have happily paid 10 bucks just to listen to these five string players jam for an hour.) Four black-clad women work as moving sculpture in A Wake, climbing over pews, even using the plinth as a stage, transforming themselves from mourners to corpses to embalmers to talking body organs.

“What is love?” the lungs ask the heart. “Love is ... breathing,” the heart answers. The lungs aren’t satisfied with this reply. “Love is needing someone because they have the part of you that’s missing,” the heart offers.

Director Brooke Leifso has created something clever and simple with this site-specific work, addressing the inevitable end to all of us with imagination and respect. She plays the narrator, offering wisdom from the podium as if she were the preacher or eulogizer.

A Wake is a little slow-moving at times and didn’t really push me to an uncomfortable place, as I had hoped it might. By necessity, it is subdued, but this made noise from outside the venue – motorbikes on 104th Street, buskers yelling into microphones from the Fringe site – rather distracting. I found it difficult to completely immerse myself, but I give credit to the cast and musicians for keeping their focus.

Rather brave of this group to stage such an experimental work in the sort of venue most people would rather not frequent except when utterly necessary. A Wake is inventive and, with Dead Red Pine’s haunting contemporary melodies, very much alive.

Elizabeth Withey - The Edmonton Journal

"Dead Red Pine"

Dead Red Pine are an Edmonton ensemble constituted from well educated musicians with excellent taste and sensibility and the skill to pull it off. Their debut self titled release is replete with mandolin, viola, violin, up right bass, guitar, banjo, and layers of gentle voice work. The progressions are a joy unto themselves. The live performances of these songs are even more staggering. If you would like to catch it live, the album release is on July 28th at Elevation Room. More information - Argue Job

"Dead Red Pine"

Nature takes centre stage in the lyrical imagery of Dead Red Pine, one of the city's newest additions to the indie folk scene.

The band's simplistic, yet sophisticated sound is crafted through tranquil melodies that weave together elegant string arrangements with soft guitar, mandolin, upright bass, banjo and layered vocals.

The five-piece formed a year ago and is comprised of an eclectic group of local musicians and transplants from Montréal, including guitarist and vocalist Marco Taucer, who relocated to work on his master's degree in physics.

Taucer is the principal songwriter for the group, and says while the band's name doesn't have any specific meaning, he draws heavily on the influence of nature for inspiration, as well as a contrasting urban and human element.

"I guess I'm interested mainly in the interface between human interactions and sort of misguided human ambitions with a more basic, natural state of humanity," Taucer notes. "I'm interested in the nature that we lose track of in our busy lives."

Despite Taucer penning the majority of the lyrics, the spirit of the band remains collaborative and brings something new to the Edmonton folk scene through its intricate, orchestrated melodies. The band also has no drummer, which viola player and vocalist Sophie Heppell, who also plays in the reggae-folk group Third Branch, says has been a whole new experience.

"Dead Red Pine caters more to my musical roots, which are in the Celtic and folk idioms. It gives me a chance to play for a super attentive audience who are there to really listen to the intricacies of our music," she says, adding she enjoys both bands equally.

The band's debut EP was recorded at the Theatre Arts Community Outreach Society in collaboration with Bramwell Park.

"He's a great musician. He performs with the Provincial Archives and he's also a terrific performer songwriter in his own right," Taucer says, adding Park helped with the performance aspect of the disc as well.

The collaborations will continue for Dead Red Pine this summer when they take the stage for a whole new kind of performance at this year's Fringe Festival. The Mindhive Collective recruited the band to provide the musical score for Awake, which will run throughout the festival at the Southside Memorial Chapel. - Vue Weekly


Dead Red Pine - Self Titled EP (2012)



The birth of alt-folk band, Dead Red Pine was an interesting one. Before this five piece ensemble even met, the music that would unite them was already dancing across sheets of staff paper, waiting to be heard. After guitarist/singer/songwriter Marco Taucer had composed and scored a handful of songs, he set about looking for musicians who would be interested in playing his music. Through a series of events, Steve Badach and upright bass, Stephen Tchir armed with mandolin and banjo, Sophie Heppell on viola for a change, and Rebekah Sherman with violin converged in Marco's living room for the first time in March 2011. Taucer's music arrested them at once and it was agreed that more needed to be made, played, and heard.
Dead Red Pine made it's debut in the Edmonton music scene in June 2011 and has been performing at local venues and festivals ever since. Their self-titled EP was released in July 2012. Collaboration with the Mindhive Collective on the interdisciplinary piece A Wake in the 2012 Edmonton Fringe Festival further exposed this emerging ensemble. Meaghan Baxter (VUE Weekly) commented, "The band's simplistic, yet sophisticated sound is crafted through tranquil melodies that weave together elegant string arrangements with soft guitar, mandolin, upright bass, banjo, and layered vocals"
With a new collaboration with local radio darling Colleen Brown in the works, and a full length album and festival tour on the horizon, there is lots of new music to look forward to in the coming year.