Ember Swift

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Ember Swift
Also known as 子玉
Origin Toronto, OntarioBeijing, China
Genres Singer-Songwriter, folk, jazz, world
Years active 1996–present
Labels Few'll Ignite Sound
Website www.emberswift.com

Ember Swift (b. Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist who has been writing songs since she was nine years old and performing since she was ten. In 1996, she released her first self-titled album.

After graduation from the University of Toronto with a degree in East Asian Studies in 1998, Swift and regular band member Lyndell Montgomery (electric violin) began touring North America, Australia and later, New Caledonia. These live shows featured the additional talents of Toronto-based percussionist and drummer Cheryl Reid as of 1998. Later, the duo began working with Michelle Josef (also of Toronto) and finally, Adam Bowman (of Elmira, Ontario) on drums and percussion. Cheryl Reid continued to work with Ember and Lyndell until 2008, but as a more part-time player. She has continued to work with Ember directly since 2008 until the present.

In 2008, Ember Swift and Lyndell Montgomery (who were also life partners), went their separate ways and ceased their working relationship. Ember Swift had always dreamed of going to China. She had visited in 2007 and had fallen in love with the country and culture there. In 2008, she moved to Beijing and continues to live and work part-time in Beijing, China and Toronto, Canada. In Beijing, she assembled a new band consisting of Zac Courtney of Australia on drums, Paplus Ntahombaye of Burundi (Africa) on bass, and China's Wang Ya Qi 王雅琪 on the traditional Chinese instrument: the erhu. All of the members are long-time residents of Beijing. Tours now include many stops throughout in Asia.



  • Self-Titled (1996)[1]
  • InsectInside (1997)[2]
  • Can't Corner Me (1998)[3]
  • Permanent Marker (1999)[4]
  • The Wage is the Stage (Live) (2000)[5]
  • Snapshots (Live EP) (2000)[6]
  • Stiltwalking (2002)[7]
  • Disarming (2004)[8]
  • Witness: Live in Australia (2005) (DVD)[9]
  • The Dirty Pulse (2006)[10]
  • LENTIC (The new project by Ember Swift) (2009)[11]
  • 11:11 (2011)[12]


2006 "Youth Role Model of the Year" Jer's Version Foundation [13] 2006 Best Band Website - Canadian Independent Music Award [14]


Few'll Ignite Sound www.fewllignitesound.com was started by singer-songwriter and performer Ember Swift in 1997. It is an independent music label that only represents the music of Ember Swift. This label resisted the typical path of signing other artists as a result of a strong ethic that artists should OWN THEIR OWN art. Among other taglines, Few'll Ignite Sound believed in being "independent by identity, not default."

Besides representing Ember Swift, for many years Few'll Ignite Sound acted as an actual and a virtual resource centre for other musicians and bands across the globe. Workshops, personal information sessions and an open-database policy at the label brought all five Few'll Ignite employees into contact with many other artists who were also seeking to "own and operate their own careers," while maintaining their independent status.

Unfortunately, the online database was removed in March 2008 as a result of information becoming outdated and a lack of personnel to maintain it. Ember Swift wrote that the information had "grown too out-of-date to offer it in good conscience." The database was an active resource to many for five years, but the cyclical component of the service—for users to contribute edits and revisions—was not as successful as they had originally hoped. Data just couldn't be collected or edited fast or fully enough.

About the label name, Ember wrote: "The name came to me at about 2 a.m. one night as I sat working in my bachelor apartment in late 1996. I wanted to combine the ideas of music and activism. I believe that the combination of these elements fuels so much hope, awareness and change. The business motto was written right away, mostly because I felt the business name was too obscure to exist without a motto. I mean, making up words is one thing, but not explaining them is another! It was short and simple. At that time in my life, it was rare that I could be concise. I was proud of these lines! I still am."


  1. ^ Swift, Ember. ""Self-Titled":Part 1". Ember Swift. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Swift, Ember. ""InsectInside":Part 2". Ember Swift. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Swift, Ember. ""Can't Corner Me": Part 3". Ember Swift. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Swift, Ember. ""Permanent Marker":Part 4". Ember Swift. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Swift, Ember. ""The Wage is the Stage" & "Snapshots": Part 5". Ember Swift. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  6. ^ Swift, Ember. ""The Wage is the Stage" & "Snapshots": Part 5". Ember Swift. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Swift, Ember. ""Stiltwalking": Part 6". Ember Swift. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  8. ^ Swift, Ember. ""Disarming": Part 7". Ember Swift. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  9. ^ Swift, Ember. ""Witness: Live in Australia 2005(DVD)": Part 8". Ember Swift. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  10. ^ Swift, Ember. ""The Dirty Pulse": Part 9". Ember Swift. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  11. ^ Swift, Ember. ""Lentic": Part 10". Ember Swift. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  12. ^ Swift, Ember. "11:11: Part 11: The Final Chapter". Ember Swift. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "The Jer's Vision Gala celebrates the transformation from a Scholarship into a National Charity". OttawaStart.com. 2006-10-04. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  14. ^ "CIRAA - Board of Directors - Ember Swift". Ciraa.ca. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 

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