1. Arrival consists of two long format sound pieces for deep listening: “Guided Memory / Residue” and “Arrival.” This past Winter I temporarily lost some of my hearing, and these pieces reflect my journey in and then out of that transformational experience. As my auditory reality became more and more limited, my dream world and inner connection to mystery became rich. It felt like I was witnessing a dark, star-filled sky, with the earth and physicality fading, floating, no bearings. In this state, I had dream upon dream where I was listening to the voices and songs of my ancestors. Their voices spoke to me, supported me and told me stories I didn’t remember forgetting. My experience with those patient, outside-of-time voices inspired these sound pieces that, with their subtle energy and vibration, dismantled and dissolved the hardness between this (out)side and the other (inside), and allowed me to return home. 

    You can get the album here via Phinery in Denmark

     


  2. I still exist. I’ve just been quiet. Quietly exploring. Returning and assimilating. Leaving the ocean, and finding my place on land. New music is coming. The seed has left the tree. 

    I’ll be DJ-ing at OBEY Convention VII in Halifax this year, between performances by the Halifax Rumi Ensemble and Julianna Barwick at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts. My DJ set will be loop-based, combining analogue and digital technologies to map a sonic transformation. Stemming from my shamanic drumming research, I’ve been really into repetition in sound and music these days, and making patient alterations so the sounds gradually inhabit new environments, and parallel universes. 

    In other news, I recently came across a really kind review of Polaraura by Forestpunk:

    "Lindsay Dobbin goes the other direction, and has made something vibrant, living, powerful; the opposite of Exotica, she has actually transmitted an atom of the Great White North, which she clearly loves so dear. Wolf calls and frozen rivers meet degraded chamber pianos and Victrola vocals. Rather than dressing in a headband and purchasing some rattle & shaker, she has performed a feat of real shamanism, that is, getting into the heart and dreamtime of a place, and we all care just a little bit more for it. My inner world has been lit up with wolves silhouette on snowy hilltops, and gray spraying whales cracking through ice, even as Portland breaks into a flowery spring."

    I’ll be updating my personal artist website pretty often as I have non-Broken Deer projects on the go, including some new music: lindsaydobbin.com

    Thanks for visiting. Here’s something to leave you with:

    image

    from Knot and Vortex by Hugh Kenner

     

  3. To celebrate the solstice, here’s “Isolation” from Polaraura set to hazy video footage of the Yukon River.

    The piano in the song was recorded on the solstice in 2010, and the video was recorded near the solstice in 2012. The footage is blurry because the air was filled with ice fog — a phenomenon where it’s so cold that there is ice floating through the air. 

    And, yes, those are boreal owls in the song as well. I recorded them one night in the Spring near the Takhihi River, a tributary of the Yukon River.

    Tomorrow, hazy winter river will give birth to light. But, for now, welcome to the longest night.

     

     


  4. YEAR IN REVIEW

    Thanks to Chart Attack for giving me space to reflect upon the past year. It’s been a memorable one, and I have lots to be grateful for including all the support. Thank you to anyone who’s been listening and tuning in.

    Surrounded by the sharp quiet of the South Shore in Nova Scotia, Broken Deer's Lindsay Dobbin articulated on Unseen World the magical and imperceptible changes that happen within both the natural world and our own bodies, a churning and ever-changing ambience that’s only partially within our knowable realms. Our conversation was enlightening, and her plans for the new year promised further deep connections with herself and the world around her.

    What was your most memorable musical moment of 2013?

    I can’t narrow it down to one thing, as it was a very memorable and productive year, so here’s a list of 13 for 2013 in (sort of) chronological order:

    1) Receiving a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to study shamanic drumming.

    2) Improvising music with Double Vision Quest (Evan Cardwell) and JFM for a group of improvising dancers at Halifax’s DANspace in March, and then improvising music with them for a group of plants at Halifax’s Common Roots Urban Farm in June.

    3) Self-releasing Polaraura on cassette wrapped in birch bark, and Heather Rappard's sublime video for “My Heart is in the Highlands.”

    4) Building a traditional frame drum out of deer hide.

    5) OBEY Convention IV. Performing in it and witnessing it.

    6) Spending a lot of time listening to and swimming in the ocean.

    7) Getting swimmer’s ear for the first time as a result, but composing a deep listening song that healed it.

    8) Self-releasing the album Unseen World as a zine of dreams, and Cheryl Hann’s out-there video for “Saddest Song in Outer Space.”

    9) Sharing the stage with friend and collaborator Evan Cardwell (Double Vision Quest) at Saint Matthew’s Church for my performance in the Halifax Pop Explosion, and James Gauvreau's whale projections in that space.

    10) Being surrounded by and collaborating with kindred spirits, and seeing my friends grow in their creative work.

    11) Becoming more and more comfortable performing.

    12) Discovering new sonic directions (see 7).

    13) Developing a strong, clear, creative vision.

    Can you sum up your year in 10 words or less?

    Grounding, moving, dreaming, healing, listening, connecting, creating, swimming, exploring.

    What do you have planned for 2014?

    I have a new video coming out early in the new year for a song from my latest album, Unseen World. It features a lot of whales, and is made by the incredibly talented James Gauvreau. I will also be playing a select few, special shows while I work on writing and recording a new album and continuing my drumming studies. I also have some collaborations with like-minded souls (musicians, dancers, visual artists) and a Yukon expedition planned. The rest is open!

     

  5. Here’s a demo of a new song set to video to take you into the Winter.

    Over the coming dark months, I will be working on writing and recording new material. I look forward to sharing more come Spring.

     

  6. Brennan McCracken of Ocean of Antics posted a review of my show at the Halifax Pop Explosion: “The surprise of the festival for me… Broken Deer’s music soared into one of the most transformative live shows I’ve seen. Not everyone in the audience was initially taken by their ambient sound, but by the time the forty-minute set had ended, the duo’s patient layering and gentle vocals had convinced almost all of the skeptics.” Read more here. Thanks again to Evan Cardwell for joining me for a special performance, and James Gauvreau for the whale projections.

    Speaking of James, he is working away on a video for a song from Unseen World. It will be out soon. 

    Transitioning into winter, dreaming new worlds, and working slowly on new songs and sounds. I have no shows planned for the immediate future, but I am working on something special for the new year that involves a beautiful space, snow, and the dark winter. 

     


  7. I spoke on the phone with Chart Attack’s engaging Jordan Darville about my new album, dreams, shamanism, inner truths, nature and process. 

    To fully appreciate Unseen World, the new record from Broken Deer (a.k.a. Lindsay Dobbin), you need to be able to escape the din of your mind. The good news is that she makes it easy. It’s an album where the nature of Nova Scotia’s South Shore is an instrument, creating ambient music true to the world’s ever-shifting cacophony. Rich flutters of birdsong, laughing streams, and ancient howls older than human civilization all live in her massive (and growing) collection of field recordings. Her more traditional instruments mirror the natural world’s unpredictability, alternating calm and violent with no warning, and come together for the same function, to help cast light on one of the few areas that isn’t illuminated: our own selves.

     


  8. Beautiful review of Unseen World from Josh Robinson at Weird Canada:

    "Unseen World, in both its written and musical forms, is the map of the soul stenciled as its most personal: dreams cast as water-coloured worlds."

     

  9. Thank you Halifax Pop Explosion. Opening for BRAIDS at Saint Matthew’s Church was a true highlight-of life-for me. Grateful to have my talented friends involved in the performance. Mr. Evan Cardwell provided the magic touch and northern lights feel on synth and James Gauvreau made and projected the whale video. Thanks to Shannon W-C for the photo.

     


  10. I answered five questions and made a playlist for a new website based in Denmark called Five Questions.

     

  11. Unseen World is now out, and there is a zine featuring writings about all thirteen dreams that are featured as songs on the album. 4.25” x 5.5”, full colour featuring cover artwork by James Gauvreau and water(colour)worlds by Lindsay Dobbin. Zine comes with a digital download of album. Order here: https://brokendeer.bandcamp.com/album/unseen-world-2

     

  12. Halifax comedian, artist and sci-fi fan Cheryl Hann created a video for “Saddest Song in Outer Space” from Unseen World. The video features two phasing moons, soupy space travel and quiet ocean-scapes. The Unseen World Dream Zine - featuring 13 dreams that inspired the album - will be available this Friday, September 19, Full Moon. But you can pre-order it now. 

    Silent Shout wrote about Broken Deer, Unseen World, and the new video today: 

    Lindsay Dobbin has been on a roll as of late. Under the moniker Broken Deer, she recently issued the highly anticipated album Polar Aura, which fans have been eagerly awaiting since 2010. Dobbin returns with yet another album entitled Unseen World. This haunting set showcases Dobbin’s affinity for synthesizers and drum machines, while preserving the wonder, mystique, and soft focus sheen of her exceptional previous output. Check out the video “Saddest Song in Outer Space” (directed by Cheryl Hann) from Unseen World, and download the album now via Bandcamp.

     

  13. I have a new album coming out on September 19, 2013 called Unseen World. The record is a document of my dreams after I returned to the East Coast of Canada from the Yukon. I was living oceanside in Chester, Nova Scotia, and would spend an hour or two each day recording sounds that captured my dream from the night before — an exercise I came up with to place the emphasis on improvisation and discovery of new sounds. Many of my dreams were about whales, shamanic initiation and outer space. There will be a zine available, which features all the dreams and includes a digital download of the album, or you’ll be able to purchase the album digitally from Bandcamp.

    'Unseen World' is a whole new (sonic) world for Broken Deer. The album is comprised of songs and sound journeys inspired by night dreams Lindsay Dobbin (Broken Deer) had during the summer of 2012. Most were about whales. Living oceanside on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, she'd spend a few hours each day creating a new song based on the dream from the night before — relying heavily on improvisation and shamanic methods to capture its space and feeling. What results is an album that sounds like a radio station receiving transmissions from typically unseen places: the ocean, the underworld, inside your body, and outer space.

     


  14. HALIFAX POP EXPLOSION

    I was invited to play at the Halifax Pop Explosion this year! The show takes place on October 25, 8 p.m. at Saint Matthew’s Church! I’ll be opening for BRAIDS!

    Here’s the write-up about Broken Deer from the HPX website:

    Imagine digging through a snowdrift. Down further, into the crusted clay and earth. For what? Imagine diving deep into a dark blue wellspring. Deeper, until your heart and head feel swelled. For what? See the ruby glowing red down there. Listen to the empty space around it.

    And here’s a link for info about the show.

     

  15. Last night was amazing. Thanks to Aaron Mangle for putting the show together, as well as the Khyber, James Gauvreau for doing whale projections, Megan for the lighting, Milk Bag for starting the evening off right with their bag o’ sounds, and old friends Tasseomancy for playing the most spellbinding set I’ve ever seen them play. I didn’t want them to stop. Also, thank you to everyone who came out — you we’re all so receptive and open. Photo by Shannon Webb-Campbell.