Glenn Nuotio
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Glenn Nuotio

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Comedy Singer/Songwriter


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"Video footage of Glenn Nuotio - The Monster Song - YouTube -"

Coverage of Glenn Nuotio singing
at Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest July 9, 2011 .

Musicians for the event included:
Glenn Nuotio
Laura Barrett
Fiona Rutherford
Raphael Weinroth-Browne
Phillip Victor Bova
David Pontello
Jose Palacios
Curtis Perry
- Uploaded by karmafi on YOUTUBE - live performance July 9, 2011 - Barney Danson Theatre - Cisco Ott

""Like Tom T. Hall on acid": local musicians talk about playing Bluesfest"

At least 50 local bands or solo musicians will play at Bluesfest this year, which is a testament not only of the festival’s commitment to local music, but also to the strength and diversity of the national capital region’s music scene.

That’s what I intended for this entire column to be about — the relationship between Bluesfest and local musicians — but I got distracted by those musicians describing their music in their own words. The little phrases they use illuminate not only the style of their music, but also their very musical intent.

"...Glenn Nuotio sums up his music in one rich line: “Lyric-driven acoustic cabaret-tinged improv piano folk-pop, reaching for beauty and fragility through tantrum and gossip.”

".. Nuotio sees benefits for performers and audiences. “This encouragement makes you realize you might just be on to something,” he says of scoring a festival spot. “Because Bluesfest has such diverse programming, people are more likely to experiment in checking out acts than if they were choosing a one-off show. It shakes up comfort levels in a great way.” - OTTAWA CITIZEN > Blogs > Peter Simpson - THE BIG BEAT- Arts July 6, 2011

"INSPIRING EVEN IN DEATH - Ottawa musician will pay tribute to late friend with song at Bluesfest"

Inspiring even in death
Ottawa musician will pay tribute to late friend with song at Bluesfest

Peter Simpson, Ottawa Citizen
Published: Friday, July 08, 2011

Glenn Nuotio realized too late what John Lavery meant when he said, "One day at a time."

Nuotio, an Ottawa musician who plays Bluesfest on Saturday, was on the phone with Lavery, an acclaimed poet and novelist, late last year. Lavery was recording an album, a first for then 60-year-old Ottawa man, and he wanted Nuotio to create piano parts for the songs.

Lavery had e-mailed rough tracks, and when Nuotio asked about a timeline, Lavery said, "I'm just taking it one day at a time."
Glenn Nuotio says he didn't realize how close John Lavery was to dying when he took on Lavery's request to write piano parts for his songs.

Nuotio, who had only recently met and been inspired by Lavery, interpreted the older man's statement as a laid-back "no rush." What Nuotio didn't know was that Lavery, despite seeming fit and energetic, had terminal cancer. He died May 8.

"He said he was just kind of going one day at a time and I thought, 'Oh, OK, that's cool, I respect your process," Nuotio says. "I didn't realize that he had cancer, and that he was battling that."

That could have been the end of the story for Nuotio, except in the back of his mind, and on his computer, were those rough tracks that Lavery had e-mailed during his final weeks. Then, a week or so ago, Nuotio decided to learn one of the songs and perform it live, as a tribute, at Bluesfest.

The song is Beauregard, and you need only read the lyrics to know the man was no middling songwriter: "no we'd never seen you like that, man/eating straight from the jam jar of your pain/between your belt of empties and your shot eyes/ and the mindfield of your spiel/ christ, you might have been less visible/had a few more secrets to conceal."

That last line may be a shout-out to Bob Dylan ("You're invisible now/ you've got no secrets to conceal"), and it's no stretch to suggest Lavery came closer to Dylan's exalted lyricism than do most songwriters.

That lyricism, and Lavery's determination in the face of death, had a powerful effect on those who saw him perform his songs - he played classical guitar in a unique and contemporary style - or those who performed with him.

"Here's this man who obviously is not in perfect shape doing mind-bogglingly well playing guitar. It was quite humbling, actually," says Phillip Victor Bova, an Ottawa musician and producer whom Lavery approached last year to collaborate on the album. "He just walked out of a chemo treatment and came over to the studio, and he's 60, and he sits down and basically does a perfect recording of his tunes," Bova says. "It was humbling and inspiring at the same time. He was a really fascinating person. I'm so glad he came into my life."

Lavery was already widely respected in the Ottawa literary community when his first novel, Sandra Beck, earned rave reviews last year. When he began chemotherapy he told friend and fellow Ottawa poet rob mclennan that he would focus on writing songs for what would be his first album. "I have to admit that I'm kind of enthusiastic about the CD," Lavery said in an interview posted on mclennan's blog, "because it's something I've only wanted to do since I was 12 years old."

Lavery had a poet's keen sense of mortality - "I'm travelling last class/ to Betelgeuse, Deneb, Altair/ and points beyond," he wrote in a poem excerpted on mclennan's blog - so perhaps he knew that sharing the rough tracks with the musicians he had approached as collaborators would lead to the songs' resurrection after he was gone.

Whatever his intent, a CD is expected in the fall, and Nuotio has teamed up with Bova and other musicians, including local classical composer Curtis Perry, for the Bluesfest show on Saturday.

"I've wanted to do the song for a long time," Nuotio says, "but I haven't had it in me to just try and really put myself out there and take the challenge of something that's this personal and, you know, just make an honest performance of it."

Beauregard is one of the more nostalgic songs, Nuotio says, and it's about looking back on a friendship that, it seems, has ended.

Friendships end for many reasons, none more final than death, yet Lavery's talent and resolve lives on, moving and inspiring those he left behind.


When & where: He plays the Barney Danson Theatre at Bluesfest at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 9

Bluesfest basics: The festival runs through July 17. For schedules, reviews, artist profiles, video, blogs, and our twitter feed, check out

© Ottawa Citizen 2011 - Peter Simpson, Ottawa Citizen Published: Friday, July 08, 2011

"VIDEO FOOTAGE of Glenn Nuotio "City Lights" - Live at Elmdale Tavern June 29, 2011"

Uploaded by tenvolt on Jul 2, 2011

Glenn Nuotio - vocals/keys
Erin Saoirse Adair - ukulele
David Pontello - drums

Ottawa live original music
- ten volt productions . - Ottawa

"Quote by Amanda Putz - Host and CBC Radio Producer - OTTAWA"

"...beautiful, poetic songs for piano sprinkled with drama, irony, comedy, cynicism, joy, and overflowing with originality and musicality.... he spent years fine-tuning his songs and working his storytelling into well-crafted pieces fit to grace the stage and piano bench alongside a Rufus Wainwright or a Sarah Slean." - CBC Radio 1, 2 & 3

"2010 televised performances on YOUTUBE"

check the following links for televised performances in St. John's , Newfoundland:

"SAY THAT AGAIN" January 2010


- St. John's Newfoundland ROGERS CABLE / YOUTUBE

"short clip of Glenn Nuotio singing PROUD MICHAELS at Ottawa BLUESFEST 2011"

Short Clip - Barney Danson Theatre - Canadian War Museum July 9, 2011 - Wildfire Mike on Youtube

"And the Music Goes Round"

Fateema Sayani, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Thursday, July 24, 2008

Glenn Nuotio hosts a summer version of Lucky Songs, an occasional songwriter series held at the Black Sheep Inn.

Anyone who has witnessed Nuotio holding court knows he's hammy and witty enough to make a night of folk songs in the round seem like a rousing disco. The piano player, who rounds out his own compositions with a handful of roving musicians (he's performed with accordion player Marie-Josée Houle, among others), is at once slightly campy, sharp-witted, and full of artful asides. His pacing keeps a night flowing smoothly.

You might have seen him at work in recent months at the Queer Spelling Bee fundraisers at Shanghai Restaurant or, most recently, at Swizzle's on Queen Street for the Get Naked benefit, where amateur strippers got down to their underwear to raise funds for the Ottawa Hospital Regional Cancer Centre's expansion plans.

Like a good host, Nuotio got right into the spirit of the night performing in his underwear. "Well, it was a cancer benefit," he says matter-of-factly, as if performing almost naked was the most natural thing in the world.

Though as far as hosting types go, it is David Letterman's longtime sidekick and musical director that Nuotio admires. "I see myself as a Paul Shaffer type, rather than being front and centre," he says, describing Canadian-born Shaffer as a wisecracking, musically diverse smart mouth.

Nuotio is a St. John's-reared, classical-music-school dropout who came to Ottawa to chase love. He settled in well, playing his first show at the Black Sheep in the summer of 2006, then opening for Glaswegian super-band Camera Obscura just six months later. At his live show, Nuotio would spin out songs he described as "homo-emo-cabaret," and they brought to mind shades of Owen Pallett and Rufus Wainwright. The tag stuck, but these days he's trying to retire the cute quip in favour of, well, whatever comes out.

"Now that I'm happy, all those miserable songs about distance and fragile things I used to write ... they're still there, but I want to move forward. Through no fault of the band members I've had, I'm trying to figure out a way to perform solo," he says, not only to make money from shows and have the ease of playing out-of-town gigs at the drop of a hat, "but to get back to just a piano and hope that my vocal performance can carry the songs."

A songwriters' circle is just the chance to hash out those ideas and make the gradual adjustment to performing solo once again

"We're all sitting around having this blind date," Nuotio says of the song-circle format. He'll share the stage with Dave Norris and Tara Holloway of Ottawa and Ian Foster from St. John's. The four will try to riff off one another, sharing the stories behind the songs, while getting feedback from their audience.

Next up, Nuotio is organizing a songwriters' night to take place in October during the Ottawa International Writers Festival.

Glenn Nuotio hosts the Summer Lucky Songs evening at the Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr., Wakefield, Wednesday, 8:30 p.m., $7. - 72k - Ottawa Citizen - Fateema Sayani

"Thrills and Pills and Bellyaches"


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Two things surprised me upon my arrival at Club SAW for the i(heart)music promoted show May 25. The first was the big turnout (about 100, says head dancer about architecture Matthew). The second was that I was actually early enough to catch all of Glenn Nuotio's set. Must have been a blue moon or something. I took a break from my usual flash-happy practices to better capture Ryan Stec's video display.

Glenn, the band, his biggest fan, etc.

Labels: Club SAW, Glenn Nuotio

posted by A.C. at 11:03 AM - National Capital Rock June 2007

"Glenn Nuotio and Jeff Straker set to rock Prairie Scene"

Ottawa indie pop artist Glenn Nuotio is thrilled to be part of the Prairie Scene Festival celebrating all forms of cultural arts from Central Canada, but he isn't about to split a milkshake with Randy Bachman at a Winnipeg diner anytime soon.

"No. I'd take his industry contacts, but I think with his beard and him slurping on a milkshake [it] would be unattractive."

Opening for Saskatchewan's Jeffery Straker on May 5 at the National Arts Centre, Nuotio says that out of the events, "this is the gayest show," and he is eager to hear Straker's songs about "lust and love" as a queer singer/songwriter hailing from the Prairies.

"The Prairie Festival is dispelling stereotypes and offering a chance to see artists you wouldn't normally see," Nuotio explains.

After spending the winter writing and making ambient noise, Nuotio says that this is an amazing opportunity.

"I'm still at the level where if I don't put up posters, I feel like no one will come. They have people for that, though!" he laughs.

With such a wide audience demographic, Nuotio feels some pressure.

"It keeps raising the bar for the type of songwriter I am and the things I sing about that aren't trendy. In some way I'm moving away from accessible pop audiences," he says.

While the Newfoundland native's early life experiences with Central Canada were limited to a high school band trip to a small town in Manitoba with a penchant for pro-life billboards, he has a true appreciation for the music that has emerged from the region.

"Obviously Joni Mitchell is a huge influence," he explains. "But if I could follow the career arc of anyone, it would be Christine Fellows. She has an amazing approach to storytelling in songs and has been an inspiration."

The set list for the gig has not yet been finalized.

"As an opening act I can get a few new small songs in," says Nuotio.

Unlike his performances in smaller Ottawa venues like Raw Sugar or the Manx, Nuotio will be performing solo at Prairie Scene.

"I think it's going to be a piano show for me," he says. "I might have to curb some of my political songs. Maybe I'll write a pro-choice, tomato-eating crop-dusting song before the show?" He rethinks the thought: "I think I'll have to [play them]. [They're] my better songs lately and set me apart."

As for sitting at a grand piano to play, Nuotio says he hasn't put much thought into what he's going to wear yet, but it won't be a tuxedo. "I'm definitely getting a haircut. I'll probably just borrow clothes from my boyfriend."

The Prairie Scene Festival continues until May 8 at various venues across the city, with more than 500 Saskatchewan and Manitoba musicians, actors, choreographers, visual and media artists, filmmakers, writers and master chefs taking over the capital to showcase their talent.

"I always thought of Winnipeg as a cultural capital of North America," says Nuotio.

Glenn Nuotio and Jeff Straker: National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St, 7:30pm.

Tags: glenn nuotio, jeff straker, prairie scene
- Xtra - Samantha Everts / Ottawa / Thursday, May 05, 2011

"COVER STORY - SEXY SAD and ANGRY - Glenn Nuotio's musical personas"

Marcus McCann / Capital Xtra / Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lusty yes, but complex too- Ottawa transplant Glenn Nuotio rocks Barrymore's

"Glenn Nuotio's songs are lusty, as you'd expect from a young gay man, but he channels his energy through an indie musician's paper heart. "

Glenn Nuotio's returning home to Ottawa after a week in Newfoundland. He just finished arranging a TV interview when I get through to him, and he's still recovering from his sold-out St John's show, which he wryly describes as a "James Brown tribute" — it wasn't — in December.

"I crowned myself the new Godfather of Soul because no else has the balls to do it yet. Not really. Well, yes. But no." He laughs.

His unnervingly complex pop songs have won him a huge fan base in his native Newfoundland (well, huge for Newfoundland, anyway). Crowds at his show danced and sang along as Nuotio was reunited with his former band mates. Now he's courting producers to turn his five-track demo into a full-length album.

He moved to Ottawa last year with his boyfriend of eight years, an Oxford PhD who was offered a juicy government job. Nuotio had to "say goodbye to small-pond fame" when he left, he says.

"And now it's like, can I go home without sending a press release first? I try to do it without supposing that it's the second coming." He laughs again.

Listening to him speak from the rock, it's impossible to ignore that the Newfoundland accent — is that twang? — has somehow crept back into his voice.

Nuotio enjoys his accent. People in Ontario often congratulate him for losing his East Coast inflections. "As if the training has been successful," he says ruefully.

If he sounds a bit catty, that's because he is. And you can chalk it up to a queer aesthetic that makes him, in some ways, Ottawa's newest diva. But that's only part of the story, he admits.

"I'd rather not sing a song than candy coat it," he says. "Either my heart's on my sleeve or I'm singing bratty songs about getting away with things."

Nuotio's shows are sexy and sad and angry in turns. He throws little musical tantrums, walking the tightrope between studied and spontaneous. He has all the lust of a typical gay man but he channels it through an indie musician's paper heart. The results are invariably stirring. But — and this might be the strangest part — overall he's cheerful and his songs are tinged with — could it be? — humour.

"Every time I play these songs, I'm still trying to figure them out," he says.

The transition from St John's to Ottawa last year was uneasy, he says, and no wonder — they moved in February, and there's nothing less inviting than Ottawa in the winter.

"On the one hand, it's great. I'm in love. But it's like, 'Oh shit, I don't know anyone,'" he says.

Warming up to the city came with the spring thaw. Unable to count on the gigs he'd become accustomed to in St John's — as a TV extra and a choir accompanist, for instance — he spent the first couple of months just stewing. But then he took some part-time work as a waiter on Sparks St.

"I'm kind of not a great waiter, but they like me." Again, the devilish laugh.

He began performing at the odd event: a show at Ottawa Pride (through the big boomy PA system), then opening for Kelly and the Kellygirls at Dekcuf in September.

Now, as he prepares for his show with Glasgow's Camera Obscura at Barrymore's, it seems he's finally arrived in Ottawa.

"Yeah, it's growing on me," he says.

Like the restless musician, Nuotio's music is also in two places at once. His St John's gig was a big sweaty rock'n'roll endeavor, typical of his shows before he left. But in Ottawa, he's given up on performing with a guitarist, and, at his last show, the band consisted of him on piano and vocals, Marie-Josee Houle on accordion and Patrick Dedauw on the cello. The show's taken on a bit of French flavour, he admits (as opposed to previous work, which he describes as the Muppets meets 1930s German cabaret).

At the end of our conversation, just as we're wrapping up, without any provocation, he says, "The other thing is that I'm half Finnish."

And then he's back into storytelling mode, having done a conversational left turn.

Since moving to Ottawa, Nuotio's hooked up with the Embassy of Finland. He's in the preliminary stages of arranging some contact between Canadian and Finnish indie musicians. He also took in a concert by a Finnish men and boys choir that his grandfather in Finland had founded in the 1950s. The choir was, by some strange turn of luck, touring through Ottawa.

"A lot of my musical roots, if they're genetic, are Finnish," he says.

If his musical roots are genetic?

"I think they are. Yeah, why not?" - Capital Xtra! (Ottawa)

"SOUND SEEKERS: Glenn Nuotio offers to set your complaints to music"

"Do you know Glenn Nuotio? He’s a charmer when put in front of a mic or behind a keyboard to sing songs that add a flair to the daily mundane. All to say that the Ottawa musician doesn’t come across as a guy with a chip on his shoulder. So you’ll know that his new project, The Ottawa Capital Complaints Choir, will be more than just your run-of-the-mill whingefest." - OTTAWA MAGAZINE - Fateema Sayani - June 16, 2011

"Let's Get Out of This Country and into The Cannibal Sea"

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

"Since tonight's Essex Green/Camera Obscura show at Barrymore's is sold out, there's really not much point to talking about why people should go (most overlooked reason: because Glenn Nuotio is opening, and he's excellent)." -

"Camera Obscura Jan. 30 - Scotland’s finest plays the capital with Glenn Nuotio and The Essex Green"

MAKING THEIR FIRST-ever appearance in Ottawa, Camera Obscura arrived at Barrymore’s on Jan. 30, touring to support Let’s Get Out of this Country, their latest studio effort.

Sent out early to ease the crowd into the night, Ottawa local Glenn Nuotio ran through the gamut of piano-centric music, playing to a slowly filling Barrymore’s Music Hall. From a Weimar Republic cabaret song about Charlie Chaplin, to an austere and cathartic ballad, to a Rufus Wainwright-like pop epic, Nuotio’s literate and nostalgic songs covered an impressive range (and made a perfect counterpart to Barrymore’s grand chandeliers and patterned plaster). The only accompanying instruments, a cello and an accordion, grounded the songs and gave them a sense of gravitas..."
- The Fulcrum (Ottawa) - Andrew Faulkner

"Going Emosexual! Nuotio brings doo-wop-cabaret-punk to the Sound Symposium"

“Blending seriousness and cheekiness is central to Nuotio’s songs… he tries to break the boundary between the performer and the audience, both by encouraging participation and by being honest about the personal content of his songs… Though he sings about serious issues – relationships, distance and social dynamics– (Nuotio) is a charismatic performer and engages superbly with the audience…

Whatever the style, he shows a finely tuned sensibility for melodies, hooks, and damned good songs…” Tom Mrozewksi, THE MUSE Sept /05
- The Muse (St. John's) 2005

"EVANGELICALS /GLENN NUOTIO Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ottawa ON September 29"

“… The audience (mostly guys in their mid-20s) was treated to a set courtesy of Ottawa LGBT hero Glenn Nuotio. Nuotio ebbed his way through a set of gentle and bombastic songs drawing comparisons to Deserter’s Songs-era Mercury Rev. Calming pacing through his songs, Nuotio gives every word and note a cinematic sheen, virtually drawing a shield between audience and performer.” - EXCLAIM! MAGAZINE - Daniel Sylvester


Off the Gallery Floor EP

Airplay on CBC radio 1 and 3 in Ontario and Newfoundland, also on Ottawa campus radio.

1. Drape me
2. Psychology Showers
3. Proud Michaels
4. Crazy in Biloxi
5. Bay Street Fire Escapes



GLENN NUOTIO is a queer half-Finnish Newfoundlander who arrived in Ottawa via St. John's , Oxford, and Montreal.

As a soloist or with accompanying bandmates, Glenn's recent festival and larger stage appearances include invitations from the 2011 Ottawa International Writers Festival, 2011 National Arts Centre Prairie Scene, 2011 Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest, the 2010 Magnetic North Theatre Festival, 2010 Halifax Pride Songwriting Circle and
WESTFEST in 2009.

Funded in the past by MusicNL, the Arts Council of Newfoundland and Labrador and by the City of Ottawa, he has released one EP in 2009 "Off the Gallery Floor" with Dean Watson on Gallery Studios. Glenn is now spending the winter of 2012 in pre-production and development to record a debut full-length with the guidance of Mike Dubue (Hiltotrons) and the production expertise of Philip Victor Bova and Philip Shaw Bova of BovaSound studios in Ottawa.

Glenn Nuotio's style of performance and songwriting has led to opening slots for such diverse acts as John Southworth, The Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir, Tanya Davis, Bob Wiseman, Diamond Rings, The Hidden Words, Brasstronaut, Sarah Slean, Laura Barrett, Sarah Mangle, Justin Rutledge, Kyrie Kristmanson, WOODHANDS, Josh Reichmann Camera Obscura, Evangelicals, and other interdisciplinary artists.

Called "gentle and bombastic" by Exclaim Magazine and "unnervingly complex pop" by Xtra!, his songs and shows have gathered a strong local following and regional attention between Ottawa and Newfoundland, taking him from the Black Sheep Inn to the Ottawa International Writers Festival, or from Halifax Pride to being named as one the "Heroes of Ottawa's Indie Universe" by Capital Xtra! for their anniversary playlist.

Influenced by such sources as Chopin, Brecht, Christine Fellows, The Muppet Show, Contemporary Canadian novelists, Sonic Youth, Martin Tielli, John Lavery, Patti Smith, Stephen Foster, 80's New Wave Romanticism, Randy Newman, Tom Waits, and Kate Bush, Glenn shows up to each show still vulnerable but armed with his chops. Each performance mixes fragility and tantrum, chamber music with rock, "walking the tightrope between studied and spontaneous".

Starting with the classical piano training of Glenn's youth, "I grew fond, quite quickly, of Glenn's having his way with the keyboard," remarks performance artist and one time collaborator Mikiki. "Glenn responds to it like an unwilling accomplice, battering 'round it, forcing the tones forward. This feeling also resonates in his voice, almost swallowing words as they are spoken and all of this married to his song. His stories' Xanax is just kicking in, they're one drink shy of making an ass of themselves, they still hold us in when we may know we have fallen outside ourselves as well."

Glenn's lyrics mix with storytelling, tackling ancient myth, small fragile places, and the politics of modern love. A love song to a tortured Omar Khadr, channeling Charlie Chaplin through insomnia, covering up lust within medical scandal, unmasking the evangelical face of Hurricane Katrina despite his hangover, or questioning the honesty of open relationships. As Marcus McCann of Xtra wrote, " he channels it through an indie musician's paper heart. The results are invariably stirring."

Glenn Nuotio splits his time and his heart between St. John's and Ottawa. He often performs solo, prefers at least duo or trio with him, but has also arranged and performed his original songs for as large an 8 piece band for Ottawa Bluesfest in July 2011.

His politics often live on his sleeve as an outspoken member of the community, writing original songs for annual Wrecking Ball events in Ottawa, addressing local electoral and larger political issues or performing at an event saluting the 2010 Capital Xtra! Community Hero awards. As a performer, he's been involved in the local music and artistic community, volunteering for music benefits for the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, the Ottawa Food Bank, Sierra Club /Eco-Echo, and Project Acorn/Camp Ten Oaks. In July 2010 Glenn co-facilitated a songwriting workshop for queer youth and youth from queer families as part of Project Acorn's Summer Camp leadership training program.

By organizing songwriting circles for The Ottawa International Writers Festival or working within sound poetry and choral groups, he continues to work on bridging music with a literary scene and remains most inspired by interdisciplinary artists.