Whose House? Emily’s House

Singer-songwriter and photographer Emily Senyk’s home is part of a story of personal triumph. The British-expatturned-Winnipegger released her EP Ad Astra in June under the name Emily and the Moon. The recording followed a long personal battle with anxiety disorders. After confronting her personal demons and finishing the folk-pop record, Senyk decided to release the EP as close to home as possible. Literally.

“We had the EP release here in the house,” Senyk explains with delight. “We did the performance here in the living room. (My husband and I) had our wedding reception here in July, too. We had a performance at the wedding, too. It was kind of fun.”

Senyk and spouse have been in the North River Heights house since Halloween of last year. She says the locale has been a dream come true.

“I love the neighbourhood so much,” Senyk says. “We’re very good friends with both our next-door neighbours, which is nice. (Musician) Keith Macpherson lives the next street over, and we’ve been recording together. He’s on the EP. So, it’s nice that we’re close.”

Senyk also has a DIY home studio, ideal for demoing new songs.

“It started out as my husband’s study, but I kind of took it over,” she says.

1) SCIENCE WALL “Each of these frames has a different scientist and an image of what they accomplished. But then we made some for me and my husband. His has an MRI machine, mine has a pen.”

2) BOOKSHELF “The middle is old books - basically stuff that looks pretty or old copies of stuff that I love, like this Poe collection or the complete Shakespeare. The right are my books, lots of fantasy and magical things. The left are my husband’s and overflow. The ladder is actually in use. I have to use it to get up top.”

3) ANTIQUE CAMERA “I got that from my producer. His studio is also an art gallery. One day, while recording, I saw this and thought it was so cool. When I went back, I asked if it was still there but he said, ‘No, someone bought it.’ Then it ended up being his wedding gift to me.”

4) UKULELE “I usually write everything on this ukulele. I send the demos to my producer and he’ll say, ‘That sounds like a ballad’ or ‘That’ll make a great folk song,’ and we move from there. But the basic structure of every song gets written here.”

5) DINING ROOM “This is where we do most of our entertaining. Lots of board games get played here. Eating doesn’t happen here, just board games. Eating happens in front of the TV. We decorated it with pictures of places that we’ve been. Last year we went all across Europe, so we have Paris, London and Amsterdam.”

6) BEDROOM CHAIRS “We loved these chairs. I love anything with writing on it. We sit up here in the mornings and have our coffee.”

Published in Volume 71, Number 2 of The Uniter (September 15, 2016)

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