Skyline Sessions

Live In Studio: Gaelynn Lea

NPR’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest winner performs in the Geary Studio.

Gaelynn Lea is a Minnesota-based singer and violinist who was born with the condition Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which hinders the development and strength of bones. However, the condition didn’t hinder Lea from pursuing her passion for music. She adapted the traditional style of violin manipulation to that of a cello, and she uses a looper pedal to layer melodies into what sounds like a multi-instrument performance. Lea’s music reached a wider audience after she won NPR’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest. She tours frequently, teaches music, and gives TEDx talks on disability topics. She also has a musical side-project called The Murder of Crows, in which she collaborates with Alan Sparhawk of the acclaimed band Low.

While on tour, after gigs at SXSW and a performance at Houston’s Covenant Baptist Church, Lea visited Houston Public Media’s Geary Studio to record her original song “Watch the World Unfold,” and her unique version of the traditional Irish fiddle tune, “Swallowtail Jig.”

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