October 28, 2008

"Buffy Sainte-Marie: A Multimedia Life"

Sainte-Marie a tech-savvy singerWhen she's not touring or teaching, Buffy Sainte-Marie likes to spend time in her mountain house on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, tapping away at three computers arranged in a semicircle.

"I might be working on a song and I'll turn around and work on a (digital) painting and I'll turn around and work on some curriculum," the legendary musician, social activist and educator who was born on the Piapot Reserve in Qu'Appelle Valley, Sask., said in a recent phone interview from her home.

Sainte-Marie has been using computers since the 1980s to create digital music, art and teaching tools. Yet many people don't realize the different ways she is using technology, she said, explaining why she's releasing the documentary "Buffy Sainte-Marie: A Multimedia Life" on DVD along with her new album, "Running For The Drum," this week. The two will be sold separately in the new year.

"I was not the barefoot folk singer in a granny dress--I was doing electronic music in the '60s," said the singer-songwriter with the distinct vibrato, noting she created the first-ever totally quadraphonic electronic vocal album in 1969 ("Illuminations") and founded the Cradleboard Teaching Project, a free online aboriginal American curriculum, when the World Wide Web was just starting up in 1996.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Buffy the Computer Whiz.

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