Artist Story

The global orchestra of sound happens all around us all the time – it is really about whether you hear this as noise or music. Growing up in the North I have a deep appreciation for my immediate surroundings; something I feel I share with most other northerners. My compositions allow me to take this to another level by using the inspiration of natural sounds that may otherwise go unnoticed.

A big part of the work that I do as a musician and composer is field recordings of sounds in nature. One of my favorite things to record is the ice. By dropping a hydrophone though an augured hole, I can capture the slightest crack or shift under the ice. I’ve developed the idea that ice is an instrument that exists in nature; it is just a different listening space. Back in my studio, I manipulate these sounds – by adding music, other recording, or different sequences – so they are heard in a new way.

I frequently collaborate with other northern musicians to write, record and perform original works of art. I love to share all types of music with anyone who wants to lend their ears and listen.

Artist Bio: 

Award-winning contemporary composer and singer/songwriter Carmen Braden is a dynamic force in the world of new music, hailing proudly from Yellowknife NWT. Carmen is a “multi-talented artist” (BK on the Scene) recognized as an “acoustic ambassador of the Canadian Subarctic” (Musicworks). She has played intimate theatres and main stage folk festivals, and smoothly jumps between genres of songwriting and composing. Her contemporary classical compositions are nationally recognized, with commissions and performances by world class ensembles and performers including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, James Ehnes and the Canadian Chamber Choir. Carmen has released three studio albums: Seed Songs (2021), Songs of the Invisible Summer Stars (2019) and Ravens (2017). Carmen has been nationally recognized, winning the Western Canadian Music Award for Classical Composer of the Year in both 2020 and 2019. Additional nominations include Classical Album of the Year 2020 (East Coast Music Award - Songs of the Invisible Summer Stars), Classical Artist of the Year (WCMA 2019), and Classical Composition of the Year (WCMA 2017).

Carmen has been called “a talented, bold musician” (Up Here Magazine). About her music:

a spacious and rich journey into how we as humans internalize and connect to our environment (The Sound Cafe - for Seed Songs); 

Braden’s music is clear, and it is bright…this recording is captured psychogeography.” (Whole Note - for Songs of the Invisible Summer Stars);

and her songwriting is “quirky and clever…à la Joni Mitchell” (The WholeNote - for Ravens).

As an educator, Carmen regularly gives workshops, individual instruction, guest lectures and collaboration facilitation ranging from elementary-level to university graduate level, both online and in-person. Carmen has most recently begun to work as a producer in Yellowknife, and a presenter of unusual music concerts including the Longshadow Music Festival.

Last Updated: September 1, 2022

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