When Raine Hamilton steps onto the stage at Bowen Park later this week, she will have travelled over 2,500 kilometres. “I’ve visited B.C. and Vancouver Island before, but I have not spent a lot of time there,” Hamilton told the News Bulletin. “I am looking forward to sharing music and art as I go and also just experiencing that feeling of being at home in a different part of the world, especially with the ocean. We just don’t have that here.”
On Wednesday (July 30) the Manitoba native will be tunes from her new EP, Small Packages, at Bowen Park Amphitheatre as part of the City of Nanaimo’s Concerts in the Park series.
“I am excited,” Hamilton said about her upcoming performance. Prior to her performance on July 30, Hamilton performed at the Bathtub Days Street Fair.
Hamilton grew up in Manitoba a and was exposed to music at an early age, thanks in large part to her parents.
“I was born into it,” she said. “My parents met in a band .. and they played actively for many many years in Winnipeg.” The Prairie songstress, who’s been described as a cross between a musical Tina Fey and a more humourous Joni Mitchell, began playing the violin when she was seven years old.
“It’s really vulnerable,” Hamilton said about her music. “It’s really honest and healing music.” Following high school, Hamilton attended the University of Manitoba, where she graduated in 2008 with a degree in music.
“It helped me in a few ways. One is … that I could dedicate really fully a lot of time and energy to that,” Hamilton said about her time at university. “The other thing is community. The community that I was a part of that and that I built, are still a part of my musical community today.”
Hamilton eventually became interested in medieval-renaissance music and eventually studied it at the University of Ottawa, where she received a masters in musicology.
“I chose at university to specialize in medieval and renaissance music,” Hamilton explained. “I played in those medieval-renaissance ensembles and I studied it really in-depth. I am really drawn to the sound quality and also the way that the sound is organized … I wanted to learn more about medieval music, so I did a program in Ottawa.”
Although Hamilton did not receive any formal education on the business side of the music industry, she did take a course from Juno Award winning musician, Heather Bishop, who also is a recipient of the Order of Canada.
“I was really fortunate that I took a course from this really phenomenal Manitoba musician, Heather Bishop. She teaches this course that is about managing your career,” Hamilton said. “From her I learned how to get a start doing all those business things.”
While her parents are both musicians, Hamilton said she never felt pressure to pursue music and that it was on her own terms.
“They definitely let me discover it [music] and I ran straight there,” Hamilton said.“I never felt pressured to do that. I was always an enthusiastic music maker.”
Following her performance in Nanaimo, Hamilton will head to Queen Charlotte, B.C., where she will take part in the Edge of the World Festival.
Raine Hamilton performs at Bowen Park Amphitheatre on July 30 at 6:00 p.m. For more information please visit www.rainehamilton.com.