Love Lies & Skye
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Love Lies & Skye

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Music in her Roots"

The sky may indeed be the limit for a 28-year-old Lake Oswego folksinger and songwriter who is a rising star at pubs and parties throughout the Portland area.

Skye Pixton, who grew up with six siblings in a musical West Linn family often called the “von Pixton Family Singers,” raked in a first place award this month from the Portland Songwriters Association.

Pixton was a finalist in three songwriting categories, but her mesmerizing single, “Away From You,” clinched the best song award in the folk/acoustic category. This was the second time that Pixton has been given an award by the trade association.

“Portland is a huge town for music, and people enter this contest every year from all over,” said Pixton. “So I feel really honored because there are a lot of great songwriters in Portland.”

The Portland Songwriters Association, which was formed to improve and showcase the skills of local songwriters, received dozens of entries in eight categories for the annual contest in September. Entries were judged by three qualified judges, all established regional artists, who looked at songs on the elements of melody, lyrics and structure.

Even though songwriting is obviously her musical forte, Pixton recently released a recording of the traditional Christmas carol, “Angels We Have Heard on High.” The song features her voice and acoustical guitar skills on this limited-edition CD.

Pixton is generously giving away CDs of the holiday single, which may be freely downloaded from her Internet site www.skyepixton.com.

“It’s a Christmas song, and it’s something I’d like to have in everyone’s hands. It’s a very joyous song,” she said. “I’m just giving it away as a gift.”

Although just 485 copies of the holiday CD were printed, hand-decorated and numbered, “Angels We Have Heard on High” will be handed out to audience members at Pixton’s upcoming holiday concert. Performing this Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at the White Eagle, a McMenamin’s pub in Northeast Portland, Pixton will be followed by the Christine Young Band and Steve Marie & Jackson Road.

“These are all women, folk rock artists,” said Pixton. “We are really going to make a Christmas celebration out of it.”

Music as a way of life

To understand Pixton’s musical upbringing, a picture of her parent’s West Linn living room, cluttered with musical instruments and paraphernalia, is shown on her Web site.

“It’s looked like that pretty much my whole life. My dad had this theory that if we tripped over instruments enough, eventually we’d pick them up and play them,” she says on the Web site.

Pixton’s father, Thomas Pixton, an attorney who is now the director of the West Linn Community Choir, and her mother, Kaaren Pixton, an artist, nurtured their seven children’s musical talents by forming a family chorus, “The Pixton Family Singers.”
Pixton thinks she began harmonizing with her brothers and sisters in about the first grade as the talented family grew to perform at local receptions, retirement homes and holiday gatherings.

“That’s heavily influenced my career now, as we did a lot of rich harmony,” said Pixton, who still harmonizes with her siblings in some songs. “I’ve carried that into my songs now.”

Trained in classical piano and viola, Pixton first picked up the guitar when she was 16 and a student at West Linn High School. As a theater buff in high school, she was always performing in school plays. She even began as a theater major at University of Oregon.
Pixton continued singing with her brother Clayton and sister Courtney during college in a band called Sibling Rivalry. Clayton ultimately became her CD producer and Courtney became her voice instructor.

“I attribute a lot of my success to them,” she said. “And ultimately, my brother was the one who said, ‘You know, Skye, I think you should go solo.’ ”

She seriously considered becoming an actress, but instead Pixton transferred to BYU, where she majored in humanities. She eventually began singing as a solo artist at college pubs and other places like the Sundance Resort.

But upon graduating from college and needing to make ends meet, Pixton moved back to Oregon several years ago and landed a job as a paralegal. She took a yearlong break from her music, but relaunched her career when she began landing gigs this year at the Crystal Ballroom, Buffalo Gap and Kennedy School in Portland and Owen’s Place in Lake Oswego.
She’s had three television appearances on talk shows, and once sang the national anthem at a Trailblazers game. A number of gigs are scheduled this winter, including a performance at the upcoming federal appointment of Oregon’s U.S. attorney.

“Things are going really well so far and things will grow from here,” she said. “Eventually maybe I’ll be nationally known.”

An authentic musical style

Nevertheless, it’s hard for emerging female singers to compete in a society that values rock divas like Madonna and Britney Spears. So Pixton’s goal is to launch an independent music career, rather than to play on an established record label.

“I think people in Portland are after something authentic,” she said. “My music appeals to people interested in something authentic and real life.”

Recognizing that mainstream rock fans are not her target audience, Pixton often writes songs about finding a place in society and culture. In doing so, she expresses how people are often searching for where they belong and where they naturally fall.

“Mostly the basis of my songs come from my passion and emotion, and music is an outlet for that,” she said. “Lyrics come later.”

For Pixton, songwriting first involves the composition of music on her guitar. She plunks out the guitar music and writes down words long after the music is fixed in her mind. Putting notes on paper are not a necessary part of the equation.

A sampling of her original songs will be available this spring on her first short CD that features five compositions, including the award winning, “Away From You.”

Calling her developing musical style “folkrock,” Pixton hopes to gain continued recognition, or even fame, here in the Pacific Northwest.

“A lot of people have said I should move to places like L.A. or New York,” she said. “But I’ve decided to stay here … For what I want to do, Portland is the perfect place for it.” - Lake Oswego Review


"Portland-based folk singer celebrates award with new single for the holidays"

Skye Pixton Releases Holiday Single: Portland-based folk singer celebrates award with new single for the holidays

Portland - Skye Pixton will hold a concert comprised of original music and the release of her new holiday single, a unique arrangement of "Angels We Have Heard on High" on Saturday, December 20th at 8:30 p.m. at the White Eagle, located at 836 N Russell St in Portland. Cover charge at the door is $6. Pixton will be followed by the Christine Young Band and Steve Marie & Jackson Road.

Pixton recently won the Portland Songwriter Association's 'Best Song' in the category of Folk Music in their annual songwriting contest. Pixton will perform her winning single, "Away From You", among other artists at the PDX Songwriters' Showcase at the Buffalo Gap, located at 6835 SW Macadam Ave on December 2nd from 7-10 p.m. There is no cover charge. The Best Overall Song will also be announced at the Showcase.

The new holiday single is a rhythmic and fun arrangement of "Angels We Have Heard On High" with a creative and driving acoustic guitar accompaniment. The rendition originates with an arrangement by her brother and follows a family tradition of singing together and collaborating in music. Pixton's parents along with her six brothers and sisters, known fondly as "The [Von]-Pixton Family Singers", have long performed a capella performances during the holidays, at Doernbecher Children's Hospital and other charities. Most often seen playing an acoustic guitar and accompanied by backup vocalists, a bassist and light percussion, Pixton has an acoustic folk/rock sound that appeals to young and old alike. Her credits include three television appearances, multi-state radio play, the National Anthem at Portland Trail Blazers games, and various clubs among other venues.

"Away From You" and "Angels We Have Heard on High" are available to download in mp3 format at www.skyepixton.com. The holiday single will also be available at live performances and certain local retail outlets. For more information and schedule of performances, visit www.skyepixton.com. - Roehm Public Relations


Discography

Love, Lies & Skye (E.P. 2005)
Angels We Have Heard on High (Christmas Single, 2004)
"Mosaic" and "Sibling Revelry" released with previous project. Skye's songs on these albums have had radio play in Portland and Idaho.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Skye Pixton is a fresh, young singer/guitarist who is quickly rising in the ranks of Portland’s favorite chanteuses. Somewhere between Ani Difranco and the Samples in style, her songs always reach a depth of feeling with her audience as she travels with them from happy and elated to sorrow and desperation – and everything inbetween. Her commanding yet sensitive voice, incredible original songs, and magnetic personality have earned her a growing list of loyal fans.

Skye’s most recent musical project, Love Lies & Skye, is a venture into performance art, implementing more audience-engagement, weaving the music into a whole “piece” or show, rather than the typical list-of-songs style performance you usually see from live bands.

Regardless of whether you catch her solo or with her ensemble, she’ll carry your heart away. Most often seen playing an acoustic guitar and accompanied by backup vocalists with rich harmonies, a cello, and light drums/percussion, she has an acoustic folk/pop sound that appeals to young and old alike, especially as modern tastes are moving in that direction.

In 2005 she won the Portland Songwriter’s Association’s “best overall song” award , a competition she’s won twice before in the category of folk. Her credits also include three television appearances, multi-state radio play, placement in the State Talent competition, singing of the national anthem at a Portland Trailblazers game, and a long list of popular venues where she has performed.

Her never-ending stream of new songs, each seemingly better than the last, make her not only promising for the near future but also a definite mainstay in the music scene for many years to come.