Donna Burke, from Perth, Australia has a graceful yet powerful voice — sometimes tender and wistful, sometimes loud and raunchy — that expresses the pain and joy of being alive. It is this technical and emotional range that makes her such a compelling singer.
Her 10 years of classical voice lessons gave her the ability to make a beautiful sound, but she found this was only part of the picture. Since then, her singing has matured to a level where she is able to communicate deep emotions. She knows that the quality of a voice can touch people’s hearts but she is also aware that the way she interprets lyrics can bring all kinds of feelings welling up in her listeners.
But anyone who has seen Donna perform live will know she can also sing about the lighter side of life. She can go from the raw longing of ‘Wichita Lineman’ to the cheekiness of ‘Nice Work if You Can Get it’ without missing a beat. Donna attributes this ability to coming from a family of seven children, where humour and the ability not to take yourself too seriously were a big part of coping with family life.
Recently she has started to write more songs. Some take a humorous look at the trials of being a woman — songs she describes as ‘domestic songs’ — and songs that talk of the ups and downs of looking for love.
Donna has found a happy musical home in Tokyo. It is here that she met her long-time collaborator Bill Benfield and also where she has experienced a diverse range of musical experiences. She might find herself being asked to sing like Janet Jackson for a TV commercial and then the same night be performing Celtic music with Eiri na Greine. And in a spare moment she’ll be writing lyrics for new songs.
Living in Tokyo has given Donna many opportunities, both in the recording studio and live performance, all of which has molded her into an energetic and exciting performer.
Edited by dagmusic on 18 Feb 2007, 09:08
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