Published on June 26, 2024

Spotlight on Erica Dee Mah: A Plaza Series Interview

This summer, the Plaza Series returns to St. Albert where locals will have the opportunity to enjoy live outdoor performances every Thursday evening starting in July!

Recently in an interview, Professional Programming Presenter Ben Sures noted his process for curating the Plaza Series lineup “focused on delivering quality music, a diversity of styles and cultures and making the series feel like a story from beginning to end.”

Looking ahead to July 18 when we’ll welcome The Gailan Ensemble with Erica Dee Mah at the front plaza of St. Albert Place, you can learn more about what to expect with an inside look at who Erica Dee Mah is and her artistic background. Read more below:

Erica Dee Mah

An Interview with Erica Dee Mah


Tell us a bit about yourself.

I live in Whitehorse, Yukon, and grew up in Northern BC. I am of mixed Chinese-European descent. When I first moved away from home, I lived in Vancouver and then Toronto, where I had an opportunity to learn more about my Chinese heritage. I began writing songs when I was in my teens, and have always come back to songwriting as a way to express myself. When I am not writing songs, I am an avid cyclist, a mother, and a pop choir director.

How would you describe your style of music?

I am a contemporary guzheng player and a singer-songwriter. I describe the music I write as 'orchestral folk' music. There are strong classical elements mixed with folk music traditions. The guzheng is a traditional Chinese instrument that is thousands of years old, and it is a very versatile tool in songwriting. I think it brings out a lot of emotional complexity, and freedom in terms of song structure.

What has been your biggest career highlight so far?

In 2022, I performed at the Arctic Arts Summit in Whitehorse, Yukon, as part of Ramshackle Theatre's 'Theatre in the Bush' night. There were delegates from all over the circumpolar region in attendance. I performed a story about my grandparents, combined with original songs on the guzheng. The performance took place outside of town, in the forest, at dusk. It was a very moving and unforgettable experience. The setting and the music fell perfectly into place and the audience was simply mesmerized.

Have you ever played The Arden Theatre before? If so, what was your experience, and do you have any memories to share? If not, what excites you about performing in St. Albert this summer?

It will be my first time performing at The Arden Theatre. I haven't toured in Alberta before, and I am just really excited to see the Gai Lan Ensemble perform! Living in the Yukon for the past ten years, I haven't met any other musicians who play traditional Chinese music.

What can the audience expect from your Arden Plaza Series show this summer?

I will be performing a solo set of songs on the guzheng that celebrate culture, identity, community and resilience. I am excited to share songs from my newly released EP, "Paper Wealth".

Erica Dee Mah


Ticket information

Join us for a summer of music, community, and fun at this year’s Plaza Series, presented by RE/MAX! Grab your tickets at tickets.stalbert.ca

Stay up to date!

Follow along this summer on social media and learn more about the talented artists who will be hitting the stage at the Plaza Series. Follow the Arden Theatre on Instagram and Facebook!
 


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Last edited: June 26, 2024