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On Chaos & Creativity

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Friday April 05, 2019

From At Large Magazine

DIAMONDS & DYNAMITE
By: Jennifer Parker

If you don’t know who Donna Grantis is, you might know her music and if you don’t know her music, you just might know the names of some of the people who she’s played guitar with like Prince (yeah, that one) or Mike McCready of Pearl Jam. On stage, with long black hair, leather pants (sometimes tight, sometimes super-wide bellbottoms or in a flowy dress and heels) and chiseled features, Donna Grantis looks legit guitar player. Her hands move almost invisibly over her guitar, coaxing sounds from the instrument with an effortlessness that only comes from years of practice. Her face often sports that concentrated musicians look with a difference. There’s a confidence about Grantis, it comes across in her playing, she has this look that lets us know she’s got this and that she’s having a blast. She’s playing the guitar, it isn’t playing her and she can make it sound like oh so much more than an electric guitar.

Chaos and Creativity

The music from that time period is pretty chaotic at times, and that really resonated with me, especially during the pretty tumultuous time of 2016. I was listening to those records a ton. Also, the last band that I was jamming with, with Prince, was an improvisational group, and we played some pretty standard funk R&B tunes, but we really played them out and took them to some experimental places. I love experimenting with different sounds and effects and collaborating with musicians on stage – just reacting in the moment. So, these compositions really are inspired by those things.

On grit

It’s a lifelong pursuit and development. I was a student of music, I studied in school, and after that point just did everything I could to make a living playing, whether it was playing in eight bands at a time, being a session musician, recording, leading my own group, being a musical director for different projects. I did that until I got the call to jam with Prince, and then things really changed.

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