Enrico Renz is a delightful one-man band singing songs to interact with the audience so that he can challenge our values and inspire us to think outside our respective boxes. He plays guitar, bass, keyboards and drums, and he has performed at various literary and music events in Vancouver Lower Mainland. Enrico co-hosts a weekly Songwriters Open Mic with Lawren Nemeth and Lilija Vallis in New Westminster. In his journey into music, he experienced a long period where he chose to withhold writing, composing and singing. Meanwhile, everything else was on the go including playing improvised music and chess(!) both entwined into the process of creating songs. Here’s what he says about this period and about his relationship to music:
‘I’ve just recently begun to perform my songs again after a twenty-five year hiatus. They’ve matured nicely. There are some new ones too. I like it when a song comes to me in such a way that I surprise myself. I see myself more as a song gardener than a song builder. The work lies in tending the song. It takes a lot of time and care and just being with the song to let it grow. Playing chess and playing improvised music for contact dancers, are two other things I do passionately. Both these pastimes reflect on my approach to song writing. Chess is all about creativity. To be successful, you have to imagine possibilities one step further than your opponent. But chess is also about precision. A single over-looked pawn can render the most elaborate strategies meaningless. Coordinating the rhyme, rhythm, sense and mood of a song so that not a note or syllable seems awkward, feels a lot like dreaming up and pulling off a spectacular checkmating sequence. On the other hand, improvising with dancers is all about spontaneity. The music and the dance influence one another profoundly, but when the flow is perfect, there is no telling who is leading whom; the dance feels true. While my songwriting involves considerable crafting, I’m still reaching for that same flow and that same truth.’
Enrico’s country of origin is Switzerland, and he owns Italian and Swiss-German as mother languages. He lives and teaches in Burnaby.
At the January 27 gathering of Surrey Muse, Enrico is expected to sing some of his new songs. More about the event is here: january-27-gathering-of-surrey-muse