Theda Phoenix, who was interestingly enough named after the famous 1920s silent movie actress Theda Bara, gave a hauntingly-intimate musical performance that lasted for an hour and a half straight during the final stop of her Vancouver Island tour at the A-Frame Church in Port McNeill on July 14.
To quote the classic Sonic Youth album ‘Goo’, “it was all whirlwind, heat, and flash”.
Phoenix started off the show by thanking the crowd who came out to watch and then sat down on the floor to play her collection of crystal singing bowls, which was the most fascinatingly holistic part of the night by far.
Crystal singing bowls create vibrations and tones that are not just heard by the ear, but that people can actually feel inside their body, with certain tones affecting energy centres (chakras) for healing, balancing and meditation.
The crystal bowls definitely made an impact on the audience members, who were all either laid out on yoga mats or relaxing in chairs with their eyes closed, soaking in the ethereal and powerfully-melodic sounds Phoenix was creating. She sang random notes as her hands spun rubber mallets in circles around the bowls.
Phoenix brought out her guitar next and played an original singer-songwriter style tune that she literally made up right there on the spot, her voice rising and crashing like ocean waves, stylistically reminiscent of Jewel circa 1995s ‘Foolish Games’, but with healing, socially eco-conscious themes rather than heartbreak.
She switched things up midway through the set by picking the tempo up with a lively, fast paced cut about the danger of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) that featured tricky wordplay and a catchy chorus, before going back to a couple of her more slower numbers that showcased her dynamic vocal range.
At one point near the end of the set, she asked the audience to pick out four random words for her to use. She then turned those words into a two-minute song right before the audience members’ eyes, creating something beautiful through her intricate spontaneity.
Due to audience demand, Phoenix finished off the performance with more healing music from the crystal singing bowls, bringing vibrations and tones to life that were so rich they almost ached inside of you.
Phoenix currently resides in Vancouver, performs at music festivals, weddings, and a variety of special events. She has four musical releases available, with her newest CD ‘Legacy’ the first to have been composed in a traditional sense.
Visit her website at www.thedaphoenix.com.