Friday, June 13, 2008

humanity unfolding: Holly Sienty

When Holly sat down at the grand piano her lithe figure and beamy mango-coloured dress set a contrast to the bulky black instrument dominating stage left. In a single convulsive wave of breath and motion, though, she managed forge a connection that held the room enthralled at her surprisingly boozy voice and personal sound.

She played two songs she's recently written, "My Dinah" and "Jubilee." I admit to preferring the former at first, it was in response to an assignment to create a song from a newspaper article. Holly saw this article about camel breeding in Saudi Arabia and wrote a song about it. Something about that in itself strikes me as incredibly lovely and poignantly quirky. I love the point of view she takes, the intensity with which she treats her subject, the wonderful images (deserts in bloom, camels with long neck and lashes, solitary trails...), and not least the sultry tone the whole song takes.

However, upon further listening I think the long-term favorite of the evening will be "Jubilee." I am already eyeing this song for my Lent09 CD to point to God's faithfulness when despair seems inevitable. I love this song on its own merits, not just because I like Holly's sensibilities; the hopelessness transformed into a vision of freedom. Again Holly's strength as a writer shines through with the strong internal rhymes while still painting a vivid picture of withering fruit trees and dusty forlorn faces. "Jubilee" manages to be soulful, mournful, soothing, and redemptive all at once.


I wish you could know Holly so that her unassuming and impish personality could cause you to wonder at her versatility and genuine artistry as a songwriter. Proud to call her a friend. :)


Jon Farmer said...

May I just say I am super stoked to have found this page. I was at that concert thing and was blown away by 'My Dinah' too and have been trying to track it or any information about it/her/her music down but have had no such luck, until now, of doing so. I guess I had a hard time cause I thought her name was Holly Williams, I don't know how I got that in my head, but that may explain the trouble. I did a brief browse through some other posts and I was stoked to see some of the artists you mentioned. I love Alli Rogers she's awesome too. good stuff good stuff. So do you have any other info for Holly, like her music or stuff?

Lindsay Rae said...

Hi Jon, glad you like the info. Holly is great, we used to work together in CO but she's a wonderful singer/songwriter. The reason for your troubles is that when she was married partway through college she didn't change her name for school. Also, she is pretty much the opposite of self-promoting so she doesn't have a website or myspace or anything, whenever we have talked about music, she is more interested in writing and letting someone else perform (although I think she is great on her own). Anyway, if you email me lindsayraemyers[at] I can just send you the songs of hers that I have.

Plus this is a good reason to catch up with Holly, so I'll see is he has anything new as well. :)