Finally March rolled around. One of the operating grants was in, and I was ready to play some music again! Sure, the workshop continued, and Crofts/Adams/Pearse Trio showcased (and schmoozed) at Open Waters in January, and Norm went to Calgary for the CNMN Forum representing sL and Symphony NS, but we hadn’t played a big show! Our next concert Hourglass was a big show: more compositions, new guests like Peter Wiegold from London and the brilliant Erin Costelo along with Jeff Reilly and Nick Halley!
This concert was different again as we based our music on songs, both original and covers, and we build compositions through Peter’s scores and conduction. This show required all of the performers to access a different part of their improviser brain (almost the orchestral part sometimes….). There were musical marks to hit, and road maps to follow, so we were mentally well cooked by the end! The result? I loved some of it: Erin’s three original songs, that wrote just for us, and our covers were really touching and interesting, little tastes of melody and hints of form, and her gorgeous voice! Mmmmm. Peter’s music necessitated more traditional roles, (he conducted and created many aspects of his pieces in real time) something that I have generally shied away from in suddenlyLISTEN shows, but which was necessary to bring The Hourglass score to life. It may have been a little close to my day job to get that full-on improvisation satisfaction, but the music came off well, full of his brooding sounds and Erin’s haunting lines.
I do love the fact each of these concerts are different and I celebrate the (many) great and small successes as well as the times I feel like we don’t quite hit the mark to perfection. I love the trying, it makes me feel like we are always learning!
During Easter Weekend, in April, Allison Cameron came to town, on a bare bones tour. Allison is an old friend of suddenlyLISTEN and it was great that we could host her to play a show, lead a workshop and record with D’Arcy Gray and me! She brought chocolates, but not my prized ukulele that I loaned her 3 years ago….”next time” (she says). It could be a hostage situation: I’m not sure….The recording took place at Stonehouse Sound (my brother John’s studio in Mahone Bay). I haven’t heard any of the sounds yet, but am happy that we finally got to capture a bit of what we do together, and look forward to releasing something soon.
Finally, Waves Strings and Wires! And Giorgio! Everyone that has met him says he’s the nicest guy in the world, and it is true. Giorgio is passionate, creative and exudes a positive, generous spirit. He was truly a gift to work with. Each season I like to involve electronics somehow, and this show turned into a study in different ways of making electronic sound. John DS Adams’ epic table of analogue guitar effects, Giorgio’s circuit-bent toys and noise makers, my ongoing efforts at creating an effective and interactive cello processing system, and Lukas’ multi media approach: 2 video projectors with live mixing (at times gathering video from cameras on the iPhones of the rest of the band), electric bass with processing and looping. It was a feast for eyes and ears! We played long pieces that evolved and journeyed their way spontaneously along! It was a super concert, with lots of surprises, some laughs, and a lot of beauty and mystery. Giorgio generously led a workshop for our friends at The Centre for Art Tapes, and got all the assembled artists inspired to mess around with sound makers!
And that was it. Season 13. Wow. suddenlyLISTEN continues to challenge, teach and entertain me, so I guess we’ll keep it going! I’m looking forward to sharing some of the fun with Tim Crofts next season, and I’ll give you more details on that when we launch the season, soon!
Have a great summer, listen well and play often.
Jun 24, 2014 at 17:12