Artist: Alicia Viani
Hometown: Bend, Oregon
Song: “Tomten Farm”
Album: Alicia Viani
Release Date: April 3, 2020
In Their Words: “I was sitting in my living room on a cold winter morning in Bend with the barely-warm sunlight shining through the windows. It was a home I would soon lose following the breakup with a partner. I didn’t know it at the time but I had a strong intuitive despairing sense about our future as a couple. My partner, a close friend, and I were sitting there in the sunlight and it was a happy peaceful morning, which was becoming rarer.
“I was noodling in the background on my guitar and my friend was talking to my partner about memories from a summer on a farm in Telluride. Her descriptions and imagery were beautiful to me and I just started writing this song live based on the words coming out of her mouth about her time there. Threading the imagery together ‘North of Telluride,’ ‘sunflower mesa,’ ‘the well ran dry.’ I’ve never been to Tomten Farm. I’ve spent a lot of time in Telluride, so I already had a connection to the place. I think the song was sort of an escape fantasy during a difficult, dark time. I took artistic ownership over her story!
“When we did separate, losing him, the home, and my sense of family left me reeling from abrupt changes in day-to-day reality but also reeling from the gut punch of realizing my dreams we worked together on were gone too. What did I believe in building now? Navigating these losses put me at a crossroads. Do I let this devour me? Or do I attempt to stay open to changes and get rocked and hopefully find new solid ground and direction? This song came from my attempt to do the latter. I wrote it over time as I found my way again, found joy in a relationship again with a new lover, and pieced my dreams back together again based on my own desires and beliefs about how I wanted to live. — Alicia Viani
Photo credit: Laura Schneider