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Baker's Dozen

Cabin Fever: Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s Favourite Music
Stephanie Phillips , May 5th, 2021 09:24

Beverly Glenn-Copeland takes Stephanie Phillips through the albums that fuelled his love for music over the years, from the soundtracks to secluded woodland trips to meetings with younger artists inspired by his work and how he found the work of Sting

At the start of 2020, cult Canadian musician Beverly Glenn-Copeland and his wife thought they had their year planned out. Glenn-Copeland would continue touring and the couple would sell their house. Their plans were turned on its head when the pandemic began to take hold of the world, knocking out all of the gigs planned for the year and leading to a turbulent time where the couple was technically homeless for six months. “It was interesting, it was stressful,” Glenn-Copeland recalls.

Luckily the pair were befriended by two billionaire lawyers who “wanted to pay it forward” and gave them a house for six months. After leaving to escape the harsh winter they finally settled where I meet him today. Over video call Glenn-Copeland sits in a small studio full of unpacked equipment after a recent move to the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. It seems the new house is a blessing after a year spent moving three times. “We're way up on a hill overlooking this bay,” Glenn-Copeland describes, trying his best to paint the landscape as he sees it. “It's like looking at nature's own canvas, and it changes every second. It's really beautiful, so we’re calming down.”

It is not surprising that an artist such as Glenn-Copeland would stop to take in the majesty of nature. His compositions often recall the spiritual awakening one would receive after spending existence listening only to the gentle gurgle of a babbling brook or lively chirrup of morning birdsong. Glenn-Copeland’s career began in the early 70s with a handful of small run albums that melded the spiritual, classical and new age folk he was interested in exploring. His work only reached mainstream audiences after his 1986 release Keyboard Fantasies was rediscovered by Japanese record collector Ryota Masuko and reissued.

Through this Baker’s Dozen, Glenn-Copeland take us through the r ecords that informed his “joy of music”, from the time he realised he could be a Black classical singer after discovering Leontyne Price to his months long stay in a cabin in Ontario woodland with only three classic records for company. Veering from jazz to classical, back to soul and then over to classic musical soundtracks, Glenn-Copeland’s list covers a wide spectrum of tastes. “I have very, I’m going to call it, Catholic ‘small c’ taste. I don't think there's any kind of music that I've ever heard that you would call a type that I haven't loved.” As the list unfolds, it is clear, music is a source of joy and love for Glenn-Copeland that truly has no limitations.

Beverly Glenn-Copeland's Keyboard Fantasies reissue, featuring liner notes by Robyn, is out now via Transgressive. Click the image below to begin reading his Baker's Dozen selections