Lucas with chant artist Brenda McMorrow
Celebrating community and nature through song, sound and soulful imagery is what continues to motivate Lucas Tensen as a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, instrument maker and facilitator. He currently lives in London ON, also known as the Forest City.
As a classically trained cellist, Lucas co-hosted a monthly chamber concert series for seven years with flautist Jamie Thompson in Toronto that included inter-arts collaborations with over fifty local musicians and artists. He has recorded on award winning albums including the Grammy nominated album Asia Beauty by Ron Korb. Recent collaborations include accompanying devotional chant artist Brenda McMorrow for the online 2020 Shift Summit festival which included renowned artists like Michael Franti, Deva Premal and guest speakers Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson.
A skilled facilitator, Lucas lead an adult devotional chanting workshop at the Ignatius Retreat Centre with singer/harpist Shannon Kingsbury and instrumental workshops at Hillside Music Festival and The Groove Yoga Festival. Equally at ease in academic circles, Lucas presented some of his research ideas at an International Community Music Conference in Waterloo. The Age of Majority Singers performed one of Lucas' chants in 4 part harmony accompanied by kora with the audience singing the chorus along with the choir.
Lucas has extensive experience accompanying yoga classes for various teachers including: Lana Sugarman, Jaimee Horn, Ruby Knafo, Heather Elson, Tracey Soghrati and Rachel McGarry. He has also been a musical advisor for Mindfulness Without Borders and participated in several Vipassana retreats.
In 2008, he travelled to Saint-Louis, Senegal to learn the 21 string kora, (a West African harp) with Dialy Kouyate. Kouyate encouraged Lucas to integrate the Kora into his creative work and play it for audiences in North America. Lucas also plays cello, shakuhachi flute, didgeridoo and a RAV vast drum. He has played music in both hospital and hospice settings and facilitates community gatherings called ‘Song, Sound & Silence’ where participants integrate creative expression and movement with the practice of mindfulness.
A few years after returning to Canada, Lucas began making African style harps. In addition to making several full size 21 string Koras with traditional gourds (calabash), he also makes smaller user-friendly 12 string koras with vintage salad bowls.
Lucas earned a BA in Music Performance, an MA in Community Music (Wilfrid Laurier University) and is also a certified Yin Yoga teacher (Tracey Soghrati). He enjoys facilitating choral and instrumental workshops at community events, festivals, conferences and wellness retreats.