“1 | My mini paints
I got these when I was on tour in Stockholm in 2004. They’re the perfect size for travelling. I like to do a quick watercolour to pass the time on airplanes.The List: Sarah Slean
2 | My stage dresses
A good stage dress is hard to find. It can’t be too short, it has to be secure, and it has to survive getting rolled up into a suitcase. When I stumble upon a good one—usually by a Toronto designer—I buy a spare.The List: Sarah Slean
3 | My library
I’ve been building a library of great thinkers—Tolstoy, Nietzsche, Marcus Aurelius, Jane Jacobs, Gandhi—all my adult life. It’s my pride and joy. Science, religion and philosophy all point to the mystery of existence, which is what art is really about.
4 | My vinyl
I used to have a huge LP collection, but as any vinyl lover knows, it’s heavy and hard to store. I’ve only kept the timeless stuff. I love Leonard Bernstein. West Side Story makes a great cooking soundtrack.The List: Sarah Slean
5 | My piano shell
When I toured in the States in the early 2000s, I had to bring a keyboard with me. Compared with a grand piano, a keyboard on a stand looks so sad. My dad helped me make a wooden shell to hide the wires and cables and make it pretty. My friend calls it the “shroud of legitimacy.”
6 | My favourite hoodieThe List: Sarah Slean
I bought it in Halifax five years ago. It’s what I put on after a performance, when I’ve taken off my dress and makeup. It’s part of my coming-back-to-earth ritual.
7 | My map of Paris
After a particularly bad breakup in 2003, I went to Paris to experience its pure, unadulterated romanticism. And I went back for seven months in 2006. Paris represents an act of boldness on my part. I’ve marked all my favourite spots on my map, which also has the odd splash of wine or coffee on it.
8 | My grand piano
My parents bought me a 120-year-old Mason and Risch when I was 14 at the insistence of my piano teacher, Mrs. Ella. I’ve taken it with me to all my apartments—I even brought it with me to a cabin in the Almonte woods north of Toronto.The List: Sarah Slean
9 | My Tim Burton fix
Edward Scissorhands is my favourite movie. The lesson is timeless: there is so much waiting for you if you’re willing to take the road less travelled.
10 | My diary
I have all my journals dating back to 2000. I’m not particular about the kinds of notebooks I use. The only absolutely essential thing is they can’t have lined paper. I need a blank canvas so I can throw something at it, like paint, or if I need to scream I can use giant caps.”
Sarah Slean is little known elsewhere but well respected here in Canada. I think she’s got tremendous talent. She sings, composes, plays piano and paints as well.
I have my favourite shadows
Ghosts and other courts bizarre
Sometimes I believe I’m your mistress
Sometimes you are dying in my arms
You visit when I am listening to the Earth turn
You ask me if I know your name
I can smell the sweetness of the silence
I wonder if your lips taste quite the same
I love I love bigger than I had planned
O I love I love a stranger a lonely man
Can I have a picture of your calm face
You can have the space behind my eyes
When we finally meet to drink some tea
I somehow know it won’t be a surprise
O Love o Love it’s silly it’s juvenile
I love I love a quiet but a dead man’s smile
I love it’s silly it’s juvenile
I love I love a quiet a dead man’s smile
O love O love … bigger than I had planned
I love I love a stranger a lonely man
You, my darling, are the rest and motion of the cosmic ballet.
“Elaine” by Sarah Slean, an old video of an old-school B-Side that didn’t even make it to a cd. Uploaded to YT by Seputus. The video shows its age but the song’s pretty good.
Sarah Slean Tour Poster 2013
That was the most breathtakingly beautiful concert I’ve ever been to. The stage was cramped, but the sounds were perfect in every way.
I was second row center, about a meter and a half away from the stage.
She sang California, Eliot, Duncan and Pilgrim, along with a lot of songs from Land & Sea. No Drastic Measures (will I ever hear it live?). But regardless, everything was perfect.
Cosmic Ballet and The One True Love were too perfect. Goosebumps the entire time. ;_;