An image of Kenna Burima in a leather jacket
Kenna Burima | Photo: Sean Dennie

Kenna Burima

Artist strives for a balance between motherhood and creative process

Cherie McMaster

Calgary-based artist, musician, composer, songwriter, teacher, mother and long-standing member of the Calgary arts community, Kenna Burima would thoughtfully describe herself as a creator and connector. With the release of her latest endeavour, a song cycle entitled While She Sleeps, Burima reflects on her creative process, motherhood and her need for connection. 

“I realize that I need to feel connected and funny enough though, even though I need that, I have discovered that for me to fulfill that need… I can’t get that need fulfilled necessarily from other people. Yes, in a performance capacity there’s an audience, or if I’m playing in a band or if I’m teaching there is that connection, but it is up to me, I am responsible in actual fact for creating that connection.”

Burima opens up about her struggle with post-partum depression and the steps she took to come out of the darkness, which relied heavily on the creation of music. Finding/rediscovering her creative process following the birth of her daughter wasn’t easy – Burima had to work to find the time, the energy and the inspiration to tap back into her creative outlet, carving out time for herself and her practice while her daughter slept. 

“I would sit at the piano, exhausted, and it would be dark and I’d set the mood by lighting a candle sometimes, whatever I could to just sort of relax and fixate, and then I’d just sit there and I’d sit there for a long time. I’d sort of just emotionally or metaphorically open a door and a song would walk in.”

Tune in to this week’s Storytelling Podcast to learn more about Kenna Burima’s music, her writing and how she continues working to overcome the challenges that come along with the rewards of being both a mother and a creator.

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