Esther-Ruth Teel is holding a concert and reception Aug. 29 at the Chapel of New Jerusalem in Christ Church Cathedral for the release of her new CD The Sea Is Wide. Dan Ebenal/News Staff

Busker goes from bus rides to the recording studio

Saanich musician stages concert for CD release Aug. 29 at Christ Church Cathedral

Esther-Ruth Teel can regularly be found busking at Victoria’s Inner Harbour. But it’s getting to her performances that is sure to catch a few eyes.

“It’s quite an interesting scene when I’m going downtown because I’m wearing a ball gown, wearing high heels, carrying my harp and taking the bus,” said Teel, adding she draws more than a few odd looks. “I have lots of interesting conversations.”

The 23-year-old Saanich musician is now getting ready to move from the tranquil serenity of the Inner Harbour to the ornate beauty of Christ Church Cathedral for the release of her new CD, The Sea is Wide.

“I was looking at all these songs and realized they all had this common thread of the sea, almost like it’s a character in a story,” said Teel.

Teel has always had a love for music, playing piano and performing in choirs, as well as earning a degree in voice performance at Victoria Conservatory of Music. She will go on to study pipe organ at the University of Toronto in the fall.

Teel first picked up the harp about three years ago, only because an accordion wasn’t available.

“I was borrowing an accordion from someone and just messing around on it. They wanted it back and I was sad that I didn’t have my creative instrument,” she said. Her grandmother then remembered the Celtic harp tucked away in her basement that she received as an anniversary present from her husband, offering Teel a new vehicle for her creative expression.

Her CD came about from another chance encounter, when during a meeting a friend had asked what she wanted to be doing in the next year.

“I said I’d love to record a CD but I don’t know how to get started,” said Teel, adding a retired CBC producer happened to be at the meeting and offered to produce her CD. “Ian Alexander coached me through the whole process of recording.”

Teel said working in a studio is an entirely different experience than busking.

“The first time I heard myself recorded, it was just shocking. Music is usually this very transient thing, it’s there and then it’s gone. But then it was there and stayed there. It was strange to listen to this moment that was crystallized.”

But performing in the studio just can’t match the excitement Teel gets from busking downtown.

“I feel like it’s some of the most honest performance that I do. There’s no sort of class distinction, it’s not just people who can afford to buy a concert ticket,” said Teel, adding she draws some extremely diverse crowds. “A lot of people who are surprised by liking music that’s a little bit more classical in character. The people who are watching you are really choosing to watch you.”

Teel will be releasing her CD during a concert and reception at 7 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Chapel of the New Jerusalem in Christ Church Cathedral (911 Quadra St., use the south door off of Burdett). Admission to the reception is free, CDs cost $20.

editor@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Site C dam goes ahead, cost up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan approves completion of B.C.’s costliest project

Saanich resident throws shade on tree project

The chair of a committee looking to turn Shelbourne Street into a… Continue reading

Octogenerian to start New Year on flight adventure in Central America

Cordova Bay’s Bob Vance helped raise $425,000 for Hope Air

Christmas decorations a labour of love for Colwood residents

Home has close to 100 inflatables on display until January

Esquimalt’s Pyjama Prance tours Township on a frosty morning

Third annual event sees largest turnout yet, raises $1,738 for Rainbow Kitchen

VIDEO: B.C. women’s curling teams converge on Hope club

Weekend-long tournament hosts groups from around the province

Site C decision coming Monday

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

Red Scorpion associates cuffed in drug-trafficking bust

Kamloops RCMP lay charges in connection to Red Scorpion drug trafficking ring

Photos captures magic of Christmas past in Saanich

The two boys wore black slacks, the girl, perhaps their sister, a… Continue reading

Hanukkah lights up December

For David Blades, Hanukkah is a three-letter word: fun. “We play dreidel,… Continue reading

BC Ferries adds extra sailings for Christmas

More than 175 sailings are being added, including 130 between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island

Pandora Avenue downtown Victoria block closed Tuesday to allow removal of crane

Full day closure to vehicles and cyclists, but pedestrians allowed to use south side

Emergency response ‘well executed’ in B.C. carbon monoxide poisoning

Emergency Health Services talks about how first responders dealt with this ‘mass casualty event’

Most Read