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Economy of Silence

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This week on the X, we have a quiet and loving meditation on brotherhood and silence from Regina writer Bruce Rice, plus gentle and kind meditations in music from Julia and Her Piano, Andy Shauf (both launching new releases in concert Nov 11 at the Artful Dodger) and Karl Roth.











Bruce Rice is normally a poet, and today's creative non-fiction piece, which he wrote and reads, about his deaf sister's battle for her life, is the first prose piece he has done for Soundxchange, though we have featured him as a poet several times.

Bruce Rice has published four books of poetry. His latest collection, Life in the Canopy (Hagios), was been shortlisted for the 2009 Saskatchewan Book of the Year and an excerpt was shortlisted for the 2008 CBC Literary Awards. His other poetry collections include Descent Into Lima and The Illustrated Statue of Liberty (both from Coteau), and Daniel, which recieved the Canadian Authors Association Award for poetry.

His work has been broadcast on CBC Radio and has appeared in several magazines and anthologies. He was one of five writers commissioned to create works in response to the 2007 opening of the Joe Fafard retrospective exhibition. He lives in Regina.


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"Karl Roth has been performing for audiences for 30 years, entertaining with his distinctive jazz violin playing and singing voice. Dave Hamilton, another Calgary product, music producer and three times Alberta Instrumentalist of the Year has been playing guitar professionally for 30 years. He and Roth were joined by veteran Saskatoon jazz bassist Skip Kutz.Adding local flavour were Don Tatchell, often described as Saskatchewan's top jazz drummer, and Ross Nykiforuk, multi-talented film and TV composer, producer, engineer, arranger and recording studio co-owner, who wowed the crowd with his keyboard." (The Battlefords - News-Optimist --11/04/11)

Karl Roth's easy going, playful manner and vast song book of old jazz, blues and swing favorites endeared to him all. He performed with his band on his recent Saskatchewan tour visiting North Battleford's Jazz Society and today's show recorded at the Bassment Club sponsored by the Saskatoon Jazz Society in April of 2011.


Julia McDougall has been performing in and around Western Canada since the age of fifteen. Growing up in a small town in Southern Saskatchewan, Julia developed and honed her musical talent from a young age. After highschool, Julia moved to Vancouver and completed a degree in music from Simon Fraser University. Since the release of her debut album "Who is This?," Julia's music has been met with enthusiasm and esteem and has been featured on several blogs inculding SoundCloud, Vancouver is Awesome and Beyond Robson. Not only this, Julia has been featured on CBC radio one, in SFU's news publication "The Peak", was invited to play last year's NXNE music festival and continues to tour across western Canada. Julia's music can only be described as her own: her lyrics are honest and true to her prairie heritage while her live performances combine intimate songwriting with a comedic quirkiness that captures the hearts of her audiences. Currently, Julia is living in Regina, Saskatchewan and will release her album with Andy Shauf at the Creative City Centre in Regina on Remembrance day. Listen to her here. 

Andy doesn't make a web writer's job easy. He doesn't brag. His "public relations" is pretty much beautifully singing and playing his own haunting, complex songs, and telling his friends on Facebook that he's singing. When he remembers.

And it's not because he's new to this--or hasn't got the stuff to put himself out there. Even though he's in his mid-twenties, he's been recording for years, and his release "Darker Days" gets reviewed like this:

"Despite the varied nature of the album, the whole thing sounds cohesive and expertly orchestrated. It's an album for any occasion, whether it's a warm, spring day and I'm feeling jubilant, or a cold night, feeling the day's absence, Darker Days fits the mood. There hasn't been a moment yet that this album hasn't fit in one way or another. Through each listen, I'm enchanted again and again; there's not a moment of the album that deserves skipping, and as hyperbolic as my language may seem, I assure you it's not."



 Andy Shauf has been building a cult following that hangs on his every word. The dark storytelling and bold gift of melody he displays in his recordings and intimate live show, have drawn comparisons to the early work of Paul Simon, Elliott Smith, and Neil Young. His most recent work,  launching with Julia this weekend at the Artful Dodger  is  The Bearer of Bad News, and is his first full length record in over four years, a journey of long winter nights spent writing and hot summer days spent on the road with friends..


Recorded alone in the basement, Bearer is 11 songs built on a weathered piano, a warm guitar, a clarinet, and the melody of a broken heart. At the heart is Andy's one-of-a-kind voice and dark knack for story. It eventually found its way to producer and engineer, Jonathan Anderson (Julie Doiron, Aidan Knight, Jordan Klassen) who gave the songs a humble trademark polish, and helped them find a way to speak for themselves.