Janal Bechthold

Janal Bechthold’s musical journey started not on the piano playing Mozart, but rather on the organ playing 50’s swing and Tangos. Again sidestepping more well-worn paths, she studied music therapy at Laurier and spent years alternately in that profession, and as a church organist. These activities were, however, both informed by and are now critical to her work as a musical storyteller – work which has now been recognized with an incredible 3 CSA nominations in 2021. In our conversation, Janal describes her interesting musical upbringing, her work helping people heal using music, how she utilizes her diverse experiences in what she does as a screen composer, the issues and stories that link many of her projects together, the important work she spearheaded to push forward the conversation about women screen composers, and the holistic approach she’s taking to evaluate where she wants her journey will take her next. Now, it looks like her relationship with the organ has come full circle, as she contemplates stripping the instrument down to re-contextualize it’s sound and her approach to making music.

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