Monday, March 27, 2017

Review in Two Spirits Journal

“Gone to the Spirits” – a music review

Image provide by Norine Braum
Image provide by Norine Braum
(Vancouver, BC) Norine Braun’s, a Vancouver based , singer-songwriter and award-winning artist, latest project is titled, Gone to the Spirits. This album is named after the Ktunaxa (Kootenay)
warrior woman, whose name was Gone-To-The-Spirits.
Early this year, Norine and I were panelists on “Two Spirits Many Songs” at Emus, an Aboriginal Electronic Music Festival, hosted by Native Education College(NEC). After our community conversation on intersection of Two-Spirit and electronic dance music, Norine gave me a copy of Gone to the Spirits, and was billed as a “chill out” and reflective album.
Photo of and provided by Norine Braun
Photo of and provided by Norine Braun
On my drive from Victoria to Nanaimo, British Columbia, where I was doing some Two-Spirit community engagement events that are laying the foundation for the Canada’s first-ever province-wide Two-Spirit needs assessment, I popped in Gone to the Spirits for my hour and half drive. 
Gone to the Spirits not only meets the baseline expectation of how Norine billed it, but it exceeds those expectations and is music for our Two-Spirit souls!
To preview and listen this Gone to the Spirits click HERE. 
This album is available in US at and Norine will also ship to anywhere in Canada and the United State if ordered from, and this album is also available on iTunes at It is also available at most digital stores like amazon, spotify etc. and at bandcamp
The writing and recording of Gone to the Spirits is a culmination of 20 years of work. “The idea for this album first came to me when a friend of mine Eldon was in graduate school doing a master’s in archaeology,” said Norine. “Eldon was studying the journals of explorers in western Canada and kept coming across Gone-To-The-Spirits and told me of her story. He thought I should write a song about her, and I was so amazed by her life I thought her worthy of a whole album at least and was not yet ready to write that album. I have matured and grown as a person and a songwriter and felt ready to write her story in song. Upon completion of the recording I wanted to deepen the understanding for the listener and decided to write a short story to further explain my vision of Gone-To-The-Spirits’ incredible life journey. Interestingly too, the album came full circle as Eldon is now Dr. Eldon Yellowhorn and acted as advisor on the project.”
In addition to her beautiful vocals and rich orchestration, this album is so special because so few people know of the Ktunaxa warrior woman, Gone-To-The-Spirits, from the early 1800s. Very few women of the fur trade era, or First Nations women in general, are written about or known of in the mainstream. The fact that Gone-To-The-Spirits is Two- Spirit is also very timely and is interesting to see how the First Peoples embraced, celebrated and honored these special people.
The album begins with spoken word, a poem, rather than a song to remind the listener that words, narrative or the story of this person is important. The rest of the album masterfully weaves and shares through song the live experience of the Ktunaxa warrior woman, Gone-To-The-Spirits. By the time we get to the last song, track 15, of album, we are not only introduced but we get to know and are invited to stand in relationship with Gone-To-The-Spirits. This album ends with yet another spoken word piece that uses words to paint a beautiful picture of who Gone-To-The-Spirits was and is. My CD player is set for auto replay and took me right back to track 1, the opening poem, thus joining the two pieces together, each separate and at the same time each inter-connected, thereby, making one continuous circle, where the begining is end and end is the beginning.
The 15th track is titled, “Transformed.” I asked Norine if she was transformed by the writing and making of this album. “Was I transformed? Yes!,” exclaimed Norine, “I think I am still in that process. I learned I love to research and to explore. I am at my best when following my intuition. I realized in this process how dedicated I am to my craft and vision, and I am thankful to so many people who were willing to help me, and give me insight into Gone to the Spirits. I originally applied for the award five years ago but was not given the grant. I persisted, and it paid off! I knew it was an important story and deserved to be heard, and I never gave up.”
Our communities are richer and so grateful that Norine did not give up! 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Transform (Take Me Away)

Hi there!

Transform is the grand finale for my videos! I hope you enjoy this one! I am running a contest to win a copy of the new cd. Like and share this video this week and you will be entered. Draw is next Sunday. I ran this contest last week on Facebook and Mal Frietag won a copy today. Congrats Mal and thanks to everyone for liking and sharing! Love Norine

Friday, January 27, 2017


Hi Friends
This week's new video is Victory and like the song is never quite what it seems. Enjoy my latest creation!
Love Norine

Friday, January 20, 2017

26 Horses

Hi there!

This week's new music video is 26 Horses from Gone to The Spirits. If you love horses this one is for 
you! I discovered some amazing aerial footage of horses for this creation. I so love Malcolm Aiken's 
trumpet on this song and Alice's Stevie Wonder influenced riff, Elliot's hypnotic groove and Adam 
Popowitz's power guitar at the end. Enjoy my song and video. Have a great weekend!

Love, Norine

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Music Videos!

Hi there
I am working ever diligently on these music videos and truly astounded how much free available footage is online. I love finding beauty and then editing and building the feel for the songs and music that I wrote for this album.

I hope you are enjoying watching my do it yourself music videos! Let me know your favourite!


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

Dear Friends
Happy New Year! Thankful for the love, friendships, kindness, music and joy of being alive in this moment in time. Wishing you a magnificent 2017 filled with all that you dream of. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Morning Prayer Video

Interesting synchronicity my Facebook feed showed this old memory of writing Morning Prayer as I was uploading the new music video to youtube. "Finished the first song for my new album this morning. The words and melody seemed to flow effortlessly however that doesn't mean it was easy. Emotionally I am feeling kind of drained its a tender song of what I thought was joy or gratitude but now seems more one of reverence or perhaps acknowledgement of a difficult path. I seem to be digging deeper within even though I am writing about someone else." For me this feeling was captured in recording with the amazing Adam Popowitz on lead ambient guitar, heartfelt Alice on synth for cello, sublime Malcolm Aiken on flugelhorn and I played the 12 string guitar and sang it. I hope you are transported by it.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

November Skies

"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." Jack Layton

Hello Friends 
With the recent US election, Brexit and DAPL Stand at Standing Rock, the unexpected is happening all around the world and causing us to take notice in these changing times. I am an idealist and believe humanity is best served united rather than divided. I remain hopeful that we can become the change we want to see in this world as Gandhi once said. I am also pragmatic and know this evolution takes awareness, vision and working for the common good of all. I will work for peace and love in the best way I know how, with art and music.

I have been hard at work the past months writing grants for some upcoming projects for film.  I have some wonderful artists on board and hope to bring you exciting news in the coming months!

Gone To The Spirits continues to do well. Charting at #6 on the Top 30 at CITR 90.1 FM in Vancouver last week. Gunargie on Kla How Ya Coop Radio 100.5 fm had an in depth interview with me last week on her show too. 

Alice and I have are doing lots of Christmas duo gigs around the lower mainland and we hope to see you there!  Dec. 4 Sunday 10 am to noon The Gulf of Georgia Cannery Historic Museum Steveston
Dec. 11 Sunday Port Moody Rec Centre Christmas Market 10 am to 2 pm
Dec. 17 Saturday RCFM 10 am to 2 pm New Westminster Belmont
Dec. 18 Sunday 10 am to noon The Gulf of Georgia Cannery Historic Museum Steveston
Dec. 21 Red Jam Slam Celebration Winter Solstice Caveman CafĂ© Tinsletown Vancouver 5pm to 10 pm 

Christmas is coming and CDs make a most excellent gift. Now is a great time to order the new Gone To The Spirits for your friends or any of my 10 releases to get them shipped in time. Or you can email me and order direct at $15 each and this includes shipping! Thank you so much for supporting original independent music.

Thanks for reading this letter, do stay warm and dry. Vancouver had the rainiest October on record, 28 days out of 31 were wet ones! The November skies have been just as grey. That's life in a rain forest, all that green beauty needs moisture.
Stream the whole album and download at bandcamp

 Gone To The Spirits "It’s her best album, incorporating rock, blues, latin, ambience and aboriginal song lore. If it rings true, though, it’s because it tells Braun’s story." Tom Harrison - The Vancouver Sun