This March for the first time Gabriola Island vocalists Trio Sayso holed up for three straight days of songwriting and nurturing their creative kinship.
The retreat was held at the Bethlehem Centre, where the musicians – cellist Allannah Dow, banjoist Tina Jones and keyboardist Leah Hokanson – are serving as artists in residence for 2018.
“Of course we didn’t know what that was going to look like. We just sat down and there were a few seeds for one or two songs, but all of a sudden we went into this process as though we were just one person,” Dow said.
“One of the things that I personally enjoy about writing with both Leah and Allannah as a trio and also performing is the sense of playfulness that we have,” Jones added.
“We’re all different ages and we all sort of nurture each other in different ways and it’s almost like we nurture the childlike innocence in one another. And we laugh a lot.”
The idea of nurturing is important to the group and comes up in the title of their upcoming Mother’s Day concert at the Bethlehem Centre, Nurturing Connection. The concert is also a fundraiser for the centre.
The the trio will perform new songs written during the retreat, and while they are not explicitly about motherhood in particular, Hokanson says they ponder “the qualities of nurturing … within all of us,” not mothers alone.
“It’s a Mothers Day show in the sense that it’s on Mothers Day and we’re celebrating mothers, but it’s also celebrating the nurturer in all of us and how we connect through how we nurture one another,” she said. She added that Trio Sayso’s music reflects those themes.
“I think our music is very life-affirming and we have a very strong empathetic connection with one another, so I think that is reflected both in the music that we do and how we do our music,” Hokanson said.
Jones added that those are important and timely thoughts to explore in their songwriting.
“We need to really focus on taking care of one another, taking care of the planet and just really coming into a place of empathy, compassion and nurturing,” she said.
WHAT’S ON … Trio Sayso performs at the Bethlehem Centre on Sunday, May 13 at 2:30 p.m. Admission is $20 in advance, $25 at the door.