Gratuitous Venice pic…

Concert day: La Biennale di Venezia! The climax to this whole project, and one of Europe’s biggest annual arts festivals. The concert space was brick and stone with big windows looking over the central laguna. What a feeling to arrive at the day of one of the most prestigious and exciting concerts of my career! 

We rehearsed in the morning, Nicola was super distracted by calls, Max/MSP mysteries and a talk he was giving to a school group, (my lack of Italian got me out of that one!). But I’ve learned not to worry about Nicola. I know when the people are there and it’s showtime, he gives 125% every time The concert was at 5, so we arrived at the space at 4, did a pre show talk

Ah Nicola!

with Ivan Fidele the Musica Artistic Director. This was interesting because there were questions called out from the audience, even though they had not been invited! Italy perhaps? One man from the audience seemed a little disturbed buy the use of computers and cellos together, but he stayed and listened. Nicola and I had a short tete a tete together, it was go time. We hit the stage, I gave the nod to Derek, whose piece was first, and then…nothing.

 

Nothing

Nothing, I remained calm, tried to think of a joke…

Nothing

Then Nicola suddenly cried out “Oh Yes!” opened his Max patch on his laptop, made an adjustment, and there was sound.

Whew

In performance, photo by @labiennale

Then we began, and the show went really well! We were both at 130% I think! The large audience enjoyed it. They clapped, the composers were over they moon, I was relieved, and happy my partner Sue was with me, and in Italian fashion we went to a celebratory dinner!

This project was largely the work of Nicola. He took a chance and sent a proposal to La Biennale (he was as surprised as I was to get the gig, lovely man), which grew to more shows when Lawrence Casserley invited us to The Colourscape Festival and so on.

The whole project wasn’t a result of celebrity or a good manager, it was born from friendships, mutual admiration, sharing and collaboration. A fact that made it all more real and substantial to me. I did manage to get support through suddenlyLISTEN from Nova Scotia’s Department of Tourism Culture and

From left to right: Nicola, Lawrence Casserley, Jerome Blais, Arne Eigenfeldt, Derek Charke and me.

Heritage, Creative Industries Fund. This allowed me to travel, work on more touring opportunities like this for me and for other Nova Scotian artists like Derek Charke and Jerome Blais. Bringing them to Venezia to hear their pieces played, also gave them a chance to meet new artists from around the world, to and to share in this prestigious festival and big adventure! Many thanks to NSTCH, and the composers for that privilege.

 

Nicola and I will continue to work together, to harness the power of these concerts, and share more time and music together, as well!