For Port Townsend’s Simon Lynge, the act of performing music brings with it a tangible joy, and he hopes that his music can enlighten his audiences’ minds and elevate their moods at the …
For Port Townsend’s Simon Lynge, the act of performing music brings with it a tangible joy, and he hopes that his music can enlighten his audiences’ minds and elevate their moods at the same time.
Lynge has performed for Northwind Arts Center twice before, once a year, and for this third annual concert, Northwind is bringing Lynge to the Rainshadow Recording Studio for the New Year.
Matt Miner, music performance manager for Northwind, described Lynge’s music as “captivating one’s soul, at once melodic and beautiful, yet powerful in its presence and boldness,” with lyrics that he praised as “poetic” and “speak(ing) candidly from personal experience, sometimes of inner darknesses and existential challenges.”
Lynge’s work has earned him no shortage of fans in critical circles, with his last album, “The Map of Your Life,” receiving nominations from the Independent Music Awards in New York, and the Sunday Times of London describing his debut album, “The Future,” as “a breath of fresh island air.”
“Astute observations of our world and humanity weave their way into his songs, and a real perception of the beauty of life lends to buoy the listener into a joyful space, even in the midst of deep sorrows,” Miner added.
Although he now lives in Port Townsend, Lynge grew up in both Denmark and Greenland. He recorded his latest album, “Deep Snow,” in a secluded cottage in Wales, as well as at Narcissus Studios in London, in collaboration with his longtime friend and musical partner, Richard Lobb of Bristol.
Lynge’s affinity for music began in Denmark, where he began singing as a boy in a church choir, and was inspired to write songs during his teen years by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Simon and Garfunkel, and Crosby, Stills and Nash.
“Making music makes me feel good,” Lynge said. “The act of creating sound feels good physically. When I feel the vibration of the guitar as I play, it’s one of my favorite sensations. I fell in love with it for the tactile sensations, but as I got older, I realized how music could help me express my feelings, thoughts and ideas.”
While Lynge’s familial roots tie back to Greenland — where his father is an acclaimed accordion player, and his grandfather was a composer, conductor and namesake of a church choir in Qaqortoq that exists to this day — he’s also felt a lifelong connection to his arctic homelands and their unspoiled wilderness.
“As a Native person, I can communicate that perspective,” said Lynge, whose views of the planet and the life that inhabits it are more “holistic” than what he sees as the “fallacies” of Western culture’s collective mindset toward nature. “I don’t see humanity as separate from the rest of the Earth’s creatures. Our civilization is an increasingly brutal, emotional suppression of our humanity. To function in this insanity, we’re adjusting our natures to meet the needs of the system, rather than the other way around.”
Lynge’s view of humanity is essentially optimistic, as he sees “kindness, generosity and benevolence” as part of our natural character, while “self-centered competitiveness” is, to his mind, a symptom of the unnatural system we now find ourselves in.
“I want the people who hear my music to acknowledge the grief of our lost connections to our humanity and nature, and the hope of regaining those connections,” Lynge said.
Although Lynge has never performed at Rainshadow before, he’s taken in enough shows there to know that he can expect “fantastic sound,” thanks to Everett Moran.
“Everett has superb equipment, and he handles it well,” Lynge said. “I’m going into this like a painter knowing he’s getting the best possible canvas and colors. It’s a beautiful setting. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Another aspect of the show Lynge is looking forward to is being reunited with Lobb — whose facility with instruments including guitar, mandolin and Ukulele earned praise from Lynge — as well as being able to perform with his wife and fellow musician, Janna Marit, who performed for Northwind earlier this year.
The trio’s concert at Rainshadow Recording Studio kicks off at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17.
Tickets are $20 each from simonnorthwindarts.brownpapertickets.com, at Northwind Arts Center or at the door of Rainshadow.
More information is available from Northwind Arts Center at 360-379-1086 or firstname.lastname@example.org.