Martha Wainwright: No Regrets

Martha Wainwright says she’s given up on yoga. “I’ve learned to accept that the job of artist is not to be happy. Balance, calm, and peace aren’t necessarily what we need.” Embracing trauma was important in making her last album, 2012’s Come Home to Mama-the title is a lyric from the gorgeously anguished “Proserpina,” the last song her mother, musician Kate McGarrigle, wrote before dying of sarcoma in 2010, only days after Martha herself became a mother. But Wainwright has been articulating difficult emotions throughout her musical career, which began while singing backup for brother Rufus. (The two were raised in Montreal by Kate and dad Loudon Wainwright III.) It’s a sensibility she shares with her muse, the heart-rending Edith Piaf, as local audiences will experience this month when she commemorates the 50th anniversary of Piaf’s death, drawing particular cues from her 2010 homage Sans Fusils, Ni Souliers, à Paris: Martha Wainwright’s Piaf Record (Nov. 2 at the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre). Those poignant chansons delivered with all Wainwright’s anger, sadness, and vulnerability? This should be a night that offers more release than any yoga class ever could.