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Ten Things to love about our Tenth Season

1. Our PEI debut! Played our first concert on PEI at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, when Norm and Lukas Pearse joined Raphael Arsenault as he travelled through on a Circuit tour.

2. Martin and D’Arcy! We celebrated our first Main Series concert Spin with Montreal icon Martin Tétreault, an artist I’ve been planning to bring to Halifax for years. Putting him together with D’Arcy Gray and me, made a concert that an audience member described as ”Scratchy!”

3. Pui Ming! We brought Lee Pui Ming and Erin Donovan back to recreate the trio I loved so much in 2004. The passion of the Pui Ming’s music makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!

4. Circuit! suddenlyLISTEN is proud to be a founding presenter of Circuit concerts. These tours have brought Halifax some terrific musicians:  Ken Aldcroft, and Nilan Perera, from Toronto, and this year Ellwood Epps from Montreal, and Chris Dadge from Calgary. Even more importantly it has made suddenlyLISTEN a member of an increasingly active national and international network of musicians. I get emails frequently now from artists, looking to add Halifax to their tour. Often we are happy to oblige! Even Parker was a great example of this, and next year, new surprises will abound!

5. Evan Parker! Wow I can still hear that solo piece. Circuit offered us with the opportunity of presenting Mr. Parker in Halifax. He is a legend, and deservedly so. One of the hardest working musicians I know and in top form at over 70 years of age.

6. Workshop Xmas benefit. The workshop played a benefit for Medcines Sans Frontieres in December. It's so great to be able to give back a bit for all the support we receive, and to think beyond our own borders a bit.

7. Gerry Hemingway! Wow, this was some of the most satisfying work I've done for sL ever. Tim Crofts, Lukas Pearse and I had 4 days to play and work and hang out with Gerry. It was like music camp for us. We could ask any question, discuss music and the history of free jazz and free music. When we rehearsed he wordlessly taught us so much about our trio and our individual playing. But when we performed Having Wandered This Far, we were equals. We've listened to the recordings we made and are really pumped about the music we are going to able to release, for you all to enjoy!

8. Transitory. We commissioned Sandy Moore to create Transitory, a site-specific flashmob. We assembled a cast of about 75 to perform the piece at Stanfield International Airport. We blew some minds of audience members, and expanded musical possibility for 52 boys from the Halifax Boys Honour choir. Thanks Sandy for your huge undertaking! Transitory was so much fun for me partially because so much if it was created and rehearsed by others. I could just stand back and enjoy the performances and watch the expressions on people's faces as this music unfolded in front of them!

9. The sL workshop met 18 times this year, welcomed some new members and had some great adventures together! We had four evenings collaborating with dancers thanks to Kinetic Studio and Sheilagh Hunt. And we finished the year playing a Cornelius Cardew score (something I think well do more of next season). Tim and I had a great time giving our friends a chance to play music together, and we learned a lot along the way too. The workshop is the core of suddenlyLISTEN. These folks are our best friends, and our biggest fans.

10. PO and IO! I was personally rewarded to bring Pauline Oliveros and Ione back to Halifax. Musicians we are deeply connected to their teachers and PO is one my most important ones. She introduced the power of conscious listening to my music making and showed me a music that has become my voice! Playing Oceans Deep with them both reminded me about how they command the performance space during a concert. Together we created a whole world that is sound and expression and connection. It is a wonderful place that I try to revisit in every performance! Pauline’s energy and positive attitude at 80 years is awesome. It was such an honour to have them both here. 

What a season and a fitting celebration of our ten years. We got to revisit our history, and forged new ground for our music and the organization. We have many people and funders to thank too, the musicians, our board, our donors, Nova Scotia Communities, Culture and Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts. Without these and many other people, suddenlyLISTEN wouldn't be here. But we are, and we have more plans for next year. We are in the midst of figuring that out right now! Rest assured that 2011/12 is going to be fun, with another adventure and surprise filled variety of creative music for you to enjoy! Stay tuned, and see you in the fall.

Jun 10, 2011 at 21:40

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