Three-time Grammy Award winner Sarah McLachlan will perform at 7:30 p.m. May 20 at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland. Tickets go on sale this weekend – at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4.

McLachlan’s earlier “Lilith Fair” tour reached 2 million people over its three-year history and raised more than $7 million for charities.

In the six years since the release of her last studio album, “Surfacing,” she’s experienced birth and death, As a result, her newest release, “Afterglow,” is a record of many layers.

One of the biggest changes in her music is also perhaps the least noticeable to the listener: her songwriting process. “I used to go live in a cabin in the woods for eight months and write and write and write. Now, spending time with India [Sarah’s young daughter] means that I have two hours in the day where I’m not focused on her, yet even then my focus is continually being brought back to her. All of my old tricks didn’t apply anymore in songwriting, and I really had to find that new way.”

For the first time in her career, the “Afterglow” songs were created at the piano, not written on guitar. They were recorded at producer Pierre Marchand’s home studio in Montreal or at McLachlan’s home studio in Vancouver.

Since 1997, Sarah has lost her mother to cancer and had a baby. “To me,” she admits, “‘Afterglow’ is a perfect metaphor for that reason. Such a huge transition … first, losing my mother, then five months later giving birth to India. It’s still all a blur to me – it has less to do with the album tracks and more to do with my recent state of mind. I’m sure in five or six years there’s going to be a record about all of this, but it’s too close right now.”

Since her recording career began in 1988, McLachlan has sold more than 22 million records worldwide.

Tickets are $50 and $35, with all seats are reserved. They are available at the civic center box office, 775-3458; at Ticketmaster, 775-3331; and online at www.ticketmaster.com, and at www.cc.com.


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