As Broken Deer, Lindsay Dobbin spent last winter in an off-the-grid cabin outside of Whitehorse recording Polaraura on two cassette recorders with built-in mics. Sharing the valley with wolves, who started to visit her in dreams, Dobbin began incorporating the sound and feel of the isolated landscape into five improvised tracks. "It was so quiet there. When I did hear something, like wolves, it didn't seem like there was any barrier between the source of the sound and my ear experience of it, even miles away," she says. "The spaciousness and depth of the album is my emotional response to that."
Recently awarded a Canada Council grant to learn shamanic drumming, Dobbin's relationship to nature has shaped her practice. She captured animal sounds, like a dialogue between boreal owls, for the record.
"Making music is very natural for me and I need to do it," she says. "It's a way for me to recover memory and understand myself, it's a communication and it's hard to explain what the experience is like but music captures it. I think that's what music is for."
At The Khyber on Friday for OBEY, Dobbin will add more field recordings to her live performance (her first in a year), which will also include earlier work. Dobbin's intention is to change the listener's relationship to natural energy. "Certain animal noises are iconic and we automatically adopt the cultural connotations passed onto us," she says. "But I like incorporating the sounds through the lens of analogue recording and placing it in a new context to dissolve those surface associations so we can connect with something deeper within us. Otherwise, we can miss the potential for relationship and communion. And I really value connection." --Adria Young