Gillian Stone is a multi-instrumentalist and interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto (Tkaronto). Her vocally-driven work, which draws from post-rock, folk, ambience, and minimalism, has been described as "beyond characterization" and "surreal in its composition" (The Revue). Born and raised on the traditional territory of the Quw’utsun on Vancouver Island, with a profound connection to her Icelandic heritage, Stone channels the influence of outer landscapes in her inner lyrical worlds and soundscapes. Her music processes riding the waves of mental health, particularly as it relates to dysregulation, addiction, shame, relational trauma, and dissociation. Because of this, she speaks candidly about her lived experience through her music and expressions of artistic identity as an act of destigmatization.
Stone’s 2020 debut single, “Bridges”, co-produced with experimental e-cellist Michael Peter Olsen (Zoon, The Hidden Cameras), was described as “a dark and beautiful song; a song of many textures” (Monolith Cocktail). The music video for her follow-up single, “Shelf”, was Stone’s directorial debut. She again collaborated with Olsen for her debut EP, Spirit Photographs, a five-song concept album about grief with each song representing one of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ stages. “Amends” (representing Anger), the first single from the Spirit Photographs song cycle, is “a raw exploration of a key stage of the recovery process” (DOMINIONATED). “Raven’s Song”, the second single, is a reflection on a time when Stone existed in a state of limerence, intersecting with the third stage of grief: Bargaining. The final single, “The Throne”, is a love song representing Acceptance. Spirit Photographs was released on November 18th, 2022.
Stone holds a BFA in Jazz Studies from Vancouver Island University and an MA in Ethnomusicology from the University of Toronto. She has worked with Timothy Condon and Brad Davis (Fresh Snow), The Fern Tips (Beams, Ace of Wands), Völur (Blood Ceremony), NEXUS (Steve Reich), Alli Sunshine (FORCES) and Althea Thauberger. Her work is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, FACTOR, the Government of Canada, and Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters.
Photo by Joel Gale