Today on Wednesday, June 8th, IMAGINE celebrates the birthday of Annie Haslam, a multifaceted singer, visual artist, songwriter, animal activist, and raconteur. Vocalist of the legendary symphonic rock group, Renaissance, and visual artist with her own unique style of painting she calls ‘Intuitive Abstract Expressionism’, Annie took a break from her current Brazilian tour and recording sessions to write an exclusive special message for IMAGINE readers.
HERE I AM SITTING IN MY HOTEL ROOM IN RIO DE JANEIRO after a short concert tour with my band Renaissance. We are a symphonic rock band born originally from the Yardbirds, and we are extremely popular in Brazil. It was a successful tour that had been rescheduled several times due to the pandemic, so the shows held a lot of emotion between the band and the audience. I have always felt a strong spiritual connection between them and myself apart from my singing, making the whole event an experience beyond the music.
In 2001, I was introduced to the music of Flavio Venturini, a popular Brazilian singer/songwriter. This led us to write a song together called ‘Poetry of the Birds’. Later that year, I toured Brazil with Flavio’s band and performed the song live, it afforded a wonderful reaction from the audiences, but due to our busy schedules the timing never worked to record this.
Finally, the time has arrived and we will be recording this on my 75th birthday today on June 8th. There is nowhere on this Earth I would rather spend this special day, doing what I love to do best.
I wrote the words about my love for Brazil. They came very easily. The song is a duet, soothing and beautiful, our voices are perfectly matched and create a peaceful atmosphere to envelope each listener.
When someone has seen and heard me sing with Renaissance, combined with our unique songs and music, I want them to take away more than they expected. Out of the blue in 2002, I started to paint and have been told that I have a form of synesthesia.
When I paint, I get a feeling inside of movement, but not ‘in’ my body, I believe that it is a form of channeling that I don’t actually control. When I create a piece of art, I have no preconceived ideas of what the finished painting will be, no planning or thoughts. I just get lost and go where I am taken.
When I write words the same thing happens.
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Look for Annie Haslam’s imaginative vision to grace this page coming this summer!
Annie Haslam is the vocalist with the symphonic rock group, Renaissance, whose unique and timeless fusion of classical, folk, rock, and jazz music filled seven successful studio albums and led them to performances at some of the most prestigious concert halls on earth, and whose creativity also extends into the visual arts with her own unique style of painting she calls ‘Intuitive Abstract Expressionism’, whether on canvas and other mediums such as painted guitars, violins, and drum heads.