Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Ferraby Lionheart performed in Scripps College’s Margaret
Fowler Garden Oct. 12, filling the intimate space with his intricate,
homespun ballads. Olivia Buntaine SC ’15 and Graves, another LA performer,
opened the show.
Sponsored by Scripps Live Arts (SLA), the show marked Lionheart’s second performance at Scripps in the past two years.
SLA co-head Edie Adams
SC ’14 first heard Ferraby’s music as a first-year working at KSPC. “[I] fell in love with his music,
and from then on out it was kind of a love affair for me with his songs and I
think the reason I love him, besides the fact that he’s tremendously talented,
is that for me he’s sort of this nostalgic representation of my college
experience,” said Adams.
SLA strives to bring diverse genres of music
to campus and to find new spaces to host concerts. Adams said the group was started “to
teach Scripps women to plan their own concerts [and] how to do live sound in a
field that is traditionally dominated by men.”
Handmade strings of hearts dangled from the pillars enclosing the garden as the sun
began to set during Buntaine’s set. She traded out her ukulele, mandolin, and
banjo between songs, and described her sound as “jazzy-folky.”
A self-proclaimed Ferraby fan, Buntaine said she “was
totally starstruck when I was talking to him. It’s really nice you get to
forge connections with people and sort of see how they’re making it as a
Graves, fronted by singer-songwriter Gabrielle Graves, upped
the energy. The audience slowly inched forward,
sitting on blankets and yoga mats spread out before the stage. Her full-bodied
voice reached out to the back row, and she sang a medley of songs in her self-described
“folk, rock blues” style.
Graves cited Janis Joplin as a huge inspiration, and identified with music from the ’60s and ’70s. She added that she is a fan of intimate venues.
for nobody and I play for lots of people, but I like it all. It doesn’t really
matter where,” Graves said.
By the time twilight sunk in through the branches, Lionheart
took the stage, stepping out of another era with his quiet demeanor. With only
his guitar, he enchanted the audience as his soft, melodic voice spun stories
of heartfelt goodbyes and fleeting moments.
Lionheart usually performs with a band, but performed alone Saturday evening.
try and bring the best out of each setting, whether it be band or solo,” he said.
He added that he aims to play in diverse spaces, and that he appreciated “when it’s different like this and people are interested and
it’s intimate and it’s really rewarding that way.”
Lionheart spent his formative years growing up in Nashville, Tenn.
“There’s a whole landscape and cityscape in Nashville of horses and
barns and a lot of green grass, and I can only assume that that informed
anything that I was going to do in the future,” he said.
Currently working on his new album, Lionheart said, “This has
been more like life and what kind of songs fall out of life,” as opposed to
those times when “you write and you record and you crank it out.”
Lionheart’s parting words to aspiring musicians at the 5Cs
were to “get Omega-3s” and “keep a notebook of good ideas. Write down phrases
that come to mind.” He added that in his experience, “a song just kind of unravels and then
at the end I’m like wait, so what’s the song called, and I would kind of like
to do it the other way around.”
Students left the garden abuzz with goodwill as they
surrounded Lionheart to compliment his performance.
“The music was lovely and perfectly fit with the venue,” Carlie Malone SC ’14 said.
“It’s really nice to be in the Margaret Fowler Garden in the evening,
because it’s usually closed,” Liz McElvein SC ’14 added.
SLA also partnered with Scripps organization Challah for Hunger, which sold challah between sets. SLA’s next show will bring the Oakland-based group Shannon and the
Clams to campus Nov. 1.