Asian-Canadian artist, Foonyap, explores ideas of freedom and identity in her introspective neoclassical single Free and Easy Wandering, which came out in the Summer. The Fountain caught up with her to discuss the single in more depth and other plans for the remainder of the year.

TF: How was your recent single Free and Easy Wandering received by the media and your fans?

You know, I’m very lucky – I have extremely supportive listeners and cheerleaders who just want what is best for me, and through that, my artistry. I think many were relieved to hear from me after my back injury.

TF: What inspired the title?

It was commissioned by an art series of the same name at Mile Zero Dance in Edmonton, Canada, Treaty 6 Territory. The title is taken from the first chapter of the Zhuangzi, a seminal text in daoism, which begins with a fish transforming into a bird. For me, that image depicts the fluidity of self that is sometimes necessary to deal with upheaval; in other words, to take appropriate action despite who I think I’m supposed to be. This approach continues to help me heal.

TF: What is your plan for the remainder of the year?

I’m working on a commission by the Calgary Arts Development as part of Aisinna’kiiks, a project of reconciliation gathering community members to create statements of hope. I’m also incubating several other ventures, a dance performance with choreographer Pam Tzeng, and a string piece by classical ensemble Kensington Sinfonia.

TF: Where is your favourite live venue? What place/gig you look forward to doing most?

I opened for Moon vs. Sun (Raine Maida & Chantal Kreviazuk) at the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts in my hometown. It was an unexpected opportunity that came at a difficult time. The sound there is, as one of my friends described, the “maserati of concert halls”. While it’s a large venue, when I was on stage, I felt close to the audience, as if I was singing quietly right next to their hearts. My work has a lot of subtlety and texture, nuances the venue highlighted, and I can’t wait to play those kinds of stages all the time!

Photo courtesy of Christine Ruth