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2014 - Who knew so much happened?

I don't measure years the same way as many people do, So looking back in January is a little strange. Because of years of Symphony programming and suddenlyLISTEN planning, my years are measured in seasons - September to May (summer is rarely measured somehow....). But looking backwards is valuable, (heck I don't remember half the things I've done), so for your sake, gentle reader, lets look back.

2014 started as it usually does thanks to Upstream's Open Waters Festival. The Crofts/Adams/Pearse Trio's performance was actually well timed, as it became the beginning of planning for our tour which we'll undertake in March and April 2015. (Here's to thinking ahead!) Next in March was Hourglass, a big undertaking, as I was wrangling six musicians and their schedules! I was happy to work with Erin Costelo and play her fantastic songs and really moving arrangements. In April, Allison Cameron came to town to reunite our trio with D'Arcy Gray, and do some recording. Of course it was fun and noisy, and I can't wait to release our recording! Just give me a year or 3..... Finally Waves Strings and Wires came in May, and it was a joy to work with Giorgio, hear him talk about circuit bending at CFAT, and make a concert with him, my brother John, and Lukas. The show was memorable for it's nice atmosphere and spacey sounds. (and we had our phones projecting video at one point!)

Then summer came, and time stopped. Whew.

The Muted Note, (Scott Thomson and Susanna Hood) was the first show of the 14/15 season, and I was sorry to miss it. Scott and Susanna are great artists and nice folks, and it was nice to give them a place to play in Halifax.

Rejuvenated, I returned to Nova Scotia in mid September and we blasted off with  Improvathon! I was proud of that event because not only was it 12 hours long, it brought together almost all of the improvising performers (well dancers and musicians anyway) in our region. It was a great atmosphere, with some really nice performances, and I was pretty tired of listening to music at midnight! Watch for another Improvathon! Next fall for sure.

The Main Series opened with Collateral and I was amused to learn that Sam Shalabi was not in fact an Egyptian Canadian, but an Egyptian Prince Edward Islander! Which of course brought out the coincidences and connections that occur when PEI comes into play. (Sam's best high school friend used to own the house where I live in summer...). The concert was a revelation really, Tim Sam and I really clicked on the night. I think you'll hear this trio again! (probably even in recorded form). I loved talking about Middle Eastern politics, and Sam's life and music here, and in Egypt.

Next up was Aaron Schragge, who came to town on a Circuit tour. He played with Lukas Pearse and Brandon Auger, and together they played music tinged with the sounds of Japan and India. (It was great to have Brandon play again, he's a long time Halifax improviser, returning to performing after a period of family and business creation. It's alway rewarding to see the scene expand!). All in all the concert had a nice, peaceful feel and atmosphere.

Magali Babin came to us for Les Mains de Son and we assembled a quartet of Arthur Bull, Geordie Haley, Magali and me. It was rewarding to play with a group that made sound in four distinct ways, yet could come together so well. A great testament to the musicianship of the players. What a fun concert with crisp, clear sounds!

And throughout all this, the Improvisation Workshop continued: Alternating Monday nights we played and talked and laughed and played some more! The Workshop never ceases to rejuvenate me when I'm worn down. It really brings it all home for me: It's challenging to explain and illuminate our work, it's rewarding to share it with others, it's inspiring to connect with smart and perceptive musicians, and it's really fun to play!

So stay tuned: There's lots to come in 2015. January 23 with Kyle Brenders from Toronto, February 11 is Timbre with Pierre-Yves Martel and Andrew Jackson and me, April 26 is the great Trevor Watts and Veryan Weston from the UK, and May 12 is Arrhythmia with hermitofthewoods! Wow!

Jan 5, 2015 at 09:58

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