Grand Vision Foundation (GVF) constantly seeks out artists who break with societal norms, and has had the pleasure of hosting several singer-songwriters over the years who write from the soul. This Fall Season is no exception as GVF welcomes Sofia Talvik, Ellis Paul and Chris Pierce (among others). These singer-songwriters take their artistic inspiration from their experiences in the world around them and the people they meet along the way, using their music to communicate messages and emotions too strong for words alone.

Sofia Talvik

Sofia Talvik and her RV

Sofia Talvik traveled across the country a few years ago in her RV, preferring to stay the night in her van or in kind strangers’ homes. Her experiences led to a wide range of emotions from triumph and joy to self-doubt and defeat, which all came to life in her 2015 album Big Sky Country. Lyrics like “I traveled the highways where memories roam, of greatness and dreams, but now I’m going home,” and “thirty thousand miles and four hundred something days has left me with an everlasting love for this place,” tell the tale of her journey, and people who opened their homes and hearts to her became characters in her storybook, like Walter: “In the heart of Alabama Walter kept his house exactly as it was when his mama was alive.”

Similarly, Ellis Paul finds joy and meaning in taking the loves, losses, hopes and dreams of the people he meets and putting them to music, writing songs that tell the story of the human experience as a whole. In his song The Gift, he remembers the time one of his friends gave him a care package during a rough patch of his life: “She put a ribbon ‘round an old shoebox / Inside I heard the tick of a pocket watch / She said, ‘All the time you need’s in your hands.’”

On the flip-side of the same sentiment, Chris Pierce’s latest album Let All Who Will speaks out for those unheard in America today, focusing a blistering lens on historical and modern injustice. In an interview with GVF, Chris shared this raw truth is sometimes necessary on the path towards compassion. He created this album as a guide along that path, and also to remind those who’ve been oppressed to continue in their resilience and never give up the good fight. It seems his message is being received so far, as he had the opportunity to preview some of the album’s songs this summer opening for Neil Young’s solo tour to “beautifully soulful audiences.”

Grateful Web, in their article covering Chris Pierce’s new album, comments on how rare and remarkable it is for a songwriter to approach their craft from such a raw standpoint, seeing their songs, “not only as a way to find the truth, but as a way to bring us together around that very truth.” Sofia, Chris, and Ellis are three such singer-songwriters, dedicated to the art of meaningful storytelling through music. Come and experience their artistry on September 30 with Sofia TalvikNovember 4 with Chris Pierce (who loves performing at the Annex so much that he’s going to kick off his brand new album’s tour with us!!); and on November 17 with Ellis Paul, featuring Radoslav Lorkovic.