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The Muted Note

This is the beginning of a bi (or so) weekly series of posts giving some background on the 2014/15 season’s, concerts and people. Please follow the sLog to be contacted when new posts appear!

Scott Thomson is one of the smartest people I know. He’s a great trombonist, composer, collaborator and an exceptional organizer. His musical life has an interesting story too. You should ask him about it, but he told me once that he only became a musician when he first heard a recording of improvised music on the radio. He was so moved by the quality of free music he picked up the trombone just to take part! I don’t think there are many musicians that head straight for improvised music, they usually slide in from rock or jazz or classical, or something. Only a person with a crystal clear vision could make such a leap.

And boy has he leapt! He’s made a profound difference in the musical communities of Toronto (he helped form The Association of Improvising Musicians of Toronto, (AIMT) founded and ran the performance space Somewhere There, and in the past few years has moved to Montreal where he is now a principal player at SuperMusique and in Ensemble SuperMusique.

Scott has been to Halifax several times on tour with Evan Parker in 2011, with Ensemble SuperMusique last year, and more. Each time it’s memorable, so I jump at any chance to hear him again! This time he is returning with his partner Susanna Hood who is a both a singer and an amazing dancer as well.

This will also be a significant evening, as we’ll be celebrating Tim Crofts! Tim is another super smart person who has been a great partner to me with the suddenlyLISTEN Improvisation workshop (since 2006!) and who I always go to for various kinds of musical advice. I really value his music and his mind! This season, with the help of Arts Nova Scotia’s Artistic Innovation Program, (thanks you very much Arts NS!) suddenlyLISTEN has been able to formalize Tim’s position, and made him Artistic Associate. You’ll hear more about this in future postings, but this concert will be Tim’s debut, as your host, and you’ll get to hear him play solo as well!

On Friday, September 12, at 1313 Hollis Street, suddenlyLISTEN opens its concert season with Montreal’s Scott Thomson and Susanna Hood performing The Muted Note. suddenlyLISTEN Artistic Associate Tim Crofts will open with a set of solo piano music. Tickets are $10 and $5 for students, and are available at the door. In addition, on September 13, Mocean Dance will be hosting Susanna and Scott in a workshop, also at 1313 Hollis. Check with Mocean for more information.

The Muted Note is a suite of songs composed by Scott, settings of poems by P.K. Page, for Susanna Hood's singing voice. As a duo, Susanna, in addition to singing the lyrics, improvises on the songs both vocally and in dance, a synthesis for which she is singularly acclaimed in Canada. Scott, on trombone, both underpins Susanna and solos on the songs in a wide-ranging style that reflects his broad experience as an improviser. Throughout, P.K. Page's stellar poems are at the core of the work and, in both dance and music, Scott and Susanna seek to animate and activate the verse as they play. Their extensive Canadian tour of 40 shows in 9 Canadian provinces, this autumn will help to promote their new duo disc on &records.

We at suddenlyLISTEN are super excited to start 2014/15, and opening with Scott, Susanna and Tim will be a perfect taste of what is to come: national and international creative musicians collaborating with local artists to make original music before your eyes and ears! These are accomplished performers who will move you and excite your senses. And it’s a great chance to rub shoulders with exceptional people, not to mention a great chance to ask Scott his musical story!

Aug 26, 2014 at 11:25

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