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Canadian Artist Norine Braun Releases New Single About the Journey of Life and Death

The Cover For Ascending Lullaby

You never know what you have until it’s gone. It’s necessary to be present in moments of loss, and once we’ve had time to process and heal, there’s a lot we can learn from these experiences. 

During the pandemic, Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Norine Braun’s mother passed away. From that experience and through the pain, she found beauty in the journey of life. Those last few moments with a loved one and the mysteries of what transpires after death led to the creation of Ascending Lullaby

“Being with her as she let go of this world was a real gift, and watching her fight to be alive. It was painful, of course, but incredibly beautiful.”

The single will be part of Braun’s 14th album, Journey Into Wholeness. Braun captures those moments through Ascending Lullaby when transitioning from this life to the next, watching the joy in her mother’s eyes during hospice care as she watches the birds outside her window, almost calling her mother’s inner child home. That thought, passing through Braun’s mind, invoked the thoughts of her childhood and how her mother sang lullabies to her as she fell asleep. 

“I wanted to make it into a lullaby. Certainly, when I was little, my mom would sing a lullaby to me, so I wanted to sing a lullaby to her. I wanted it to be gentle and welcoming, as I hope our transitions are into the next world. Whatever that is going to be for us,” says Braun. With the birds outside the hospital window, Braun feels that the transition was a positive one for her mother. 

Birds and nature are a consistent theme for Braun in her writing. In her 13th album, Songs For Trees, released in 2022 thanks to a Canada Council For the Arts Award and a First Peoples’ Cultural Council Award in 2021Braun ingrains the significance of the natural world, how the sounds of Mother Earth are musical and trees and plants have healing properties, both physically and mentally. Ascending Lullaby continues this installment of embracing the natural, portraying the mother as a whippoorwill, reflecting her connection to a beloved Hank Williams song and raising awareness about the bird’s endangered habitat. Braun hopes it will inspire people to take a moment to engage with the world around us, to be present, and to listen. 

“Culturally, everybody is on their phone, and everything is so quickand it’s fast. Some people are walking down the street with their phonesand they are not present in their environment at all. They almost get run over. I think that’s indicative of a lot of us that we’re just so detached from our natural surroundings. The more I think that we can get connected to our natural surroundings, the better our mental health, the better for our mental health, and the better for the planet.” 

When one door closes, another opens. With the passing of her adoptive mother, Braun felt it was time to seek out her paternal father, an opportunity to explore her familial history as one chapter of her life came to an end. With her album Ascending Lullaby on the way and an exploration into a new family, the future is bright for Braun. 

– Ryan Funk, U Multicultural

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