My brother-in-law is the creator of the popular Woodgears website. He needed some music for his new mouse maze video, so I gave him my recording of Log Cabin Blues on xylophone. The result is whimsical, and the mouse is fun to watch.
I'm very excited to announce that I'll be performing with the Shaw Street Collective in a concert of entirely new music, written specifically for the ensemble, entering into the mystery and enchantment of the oceans and the folklore that surrounds them.
It's being produced by the amazing folks at Spectrum Music, and features music by some of Toronto's most talented composers.
Alliance Française de Toronto, 24 Spadina Rd, Toronto.
8pm, November 12, 2016
Our bodies are, after all, about 60% water. And yet the Earth's massive, interconnected, and living waters are out of bounds to most of us who don't have submarines. But there's something about these continental pools that weighs on us, crushes our incessant need to be fully autonomous masters of our destiny. Such beauty and grace possesses furious power, a billionth of which could destroy us in an instant. Our fragility comes to the forefront as the waves laugh at everything and nothing in particular. I am a dot, a speck. And yet the skies and seas and winds and trees call my name. How can I answer?
Doing some sight reading the other day with a couple friends, we stumbled upon this absolutely incredible work by Monteverdi. It was so great we had to record a little bit of it. Have a listen. Featuring Jonathan Elliotson (trumpet) and Kalun Leung (trombone).
A few weeks ago I released a video of my piece Harriet's Song, which was written for my 8-month old niece and goddaughter. My sister tells me Harriet was captivated, and moved her arms up and down in imitation. The response from the internet community has been overwhelmingly kind as well.
I wrote the piece without writing anything down - working from memory helps me focus my ideas keeps my writing idiomatic to the marimba. Then recently someone flattered me by asking about buying a copy of the music so they could play it themselves. So I have acquiesced and made the music publicly available - it can be securely purchased using the button below.
I'll be playing cajon tonight with my friend, the amazing fiddle player Hayley Ryerson, who can get a whole room tapping its toes in under 3 bowstrokes. We are at The Cure at 7:30pm. It's going to be really fun, so come listen and enjoy some great food.
For those of you who saw my performance at the New York Encounter with the Shaw Street Collective in January, you might remember hearing the last piece in the program, which featured dancer Angeline Holmes.
When I was working on the NY Encounter material, there was a lot of Philip Glass music on my stereo system. Something about the pounding repetitions and swirling synths paints pictures of the ocean, both the literal ocean and the one in my soul.
During a call with our collaborators in December, we were trying to finalize music that Angeline could dance to during the performance. They really liked the idea of using Air And Simple Gifts by John Williams, which is an amazing piece, however not at all practical for our combination of instruments. We, on the other hand, thought that something by Philip Glass would be really effective. We couldn't come to an agreement. Finally, I said, sort of as a joke, "I guess we could just combine Philip Glass with Simple Gifts." The next day we were in rehearsal with my new piece, Simple Glass Gifts.
Here is us performing it at the Newman Centre Church in Toronto. Videography by Lucian FIlm.
My quartet, the Shaw Street Collective, just released a brand new video of my piece, entitled Grasslands, which we recorded in the beautiful and super reverberant St Peter's Catholic Church in Toronto. I'm so amazed and grateful to have these friends who bring the ideas in my mind into reality with such sensitivity. It's 9 minutes, but worth sticking it out to hear the brass players unleash their true power near the end.
I just had a very beautiful weekend at the New York Encounter. On Friday my quartet, the Shaw Street Collective, put on a performance of North American poetry and song, in collaboration with actors Shelby Lewis, Jacob Donaldson, Joseph Hoover, actor-producer T.J. Berden, dancer Angeline Holmes, and coordinators extraordinaire Emily Green, Brianne Johnson, and Alessandro Nava. Thank you to everyone who was involved with this spectacular night.
Check out the full video of our performance!