7 years ago

Volume 11 Issue 8 - May 2006

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On festivals and the

On festivals and the fine-ness of art My dear former neighbour Ida Carnevali would have known what I meant by "the fine art of the urban festival". Her Kensington Carnival Arts Society was a living example in the art of throwing some transforming activity in the path of the ordinary. Ida's direct legacy in the Market is the Kensington Festival of Lights, which takes the form, at sunset every winter solstice, of a lantern-lit Market-wide march, from scenario to scenario, re-enacting all the world's yearning for light. "Scenario ambulante" she called it - stringing sequential scenes of a story into various carefully chosen spots and then leading an audience on a journey to discover the story. Under her magic wand the Market would become a place of giants and swagger, song, drums, torches, with real people gawking in real doorways completing the cast. She loved that aspect of it, I think, more than anything - the opportunity for "real" people going about the ordinary to stumble across the magic and be amazed, and by their amazed presence becoming part of the spectacle. It's that potential for accidental discovery that I yearn for in the urban context. Urban festivals, it seems to me, should be judged by the extent to which they can be "come across" by people engaged in the ordinary. And even more so by the extent to which the artists involved are going to be willing to go beyond "business as usual" by availing themselves of the opportunity afforded for chance encounters and spontaneous collaboration. This kind of festive meeting of music and urban landscape doesn't just transform the landscape, it can re-form artists' sense of what they are doing. In a world of giants and swagger and song, anything becomes possible. "Baalbeck, in Lebanon, was a fascinating and crazy experience," says June Anderson in Pam Margles' great interview with her, starting on page 14. "You could see the Hezbollah headquarters just above the ancient ruins - guys with machine guns and tanks .... But it was magical - as I sang Casta Diva ... the moon came up over us." For me, it's not the scope of the event - three days or three weeks. It's not whether the event bills itself as a festival. It's the extent to which something about it says, this is not (for this place or these performers) "business as usual." David Perlman, editor OUR MISTAKE: ARADIA, MARCH 06 The first sentence in our March feature on Kevin Mallon described him as "founder of the Aradia Ensemble." In fact while he has been artistic director of the group performing and recording under this name since 1993, it was founded and named by violinist Christopher Reibling (who also facilitated Mr. Mallon's introduction to Naxos Records). M1.mcfest i11a)s,n011torioandBeyond WholeNote Magazine. June 2005 Upcoming Editorial Features: Glorious Summer is on its way, Ontario and beyond. June: "Green Pages" profiles this summer 's festival action. Art of the Urban Festival Part 2. July/ August: listings for all summer music festival events Art of the Urban Festival Part 3. Be Our Guest READER PoLL The topic this month is Pursuing Arts Funding For many individuals or groups, pursuing arts funding is an activity that may consume as much time as making music. We want to know what you think of the current state offunding for the arts, from both public and private sources. For each source listed below, do you think arts funding is 1) getting much better 2) getting somewhat better 3) staying the same 4) getting somewhat worse 5) getting much worse Arts Funding Sources Municipal_ Provincial _ Federal _ Foundations:_ Corporations:_ Individuals: __ (Also, we would be interested in your comments in general on the arts funding situation.) Complete the survey online at Or send it in by mail or fax. Four randomly chosen respondents will each receive a one year free subscription to WholeNote. And don't forget! You can also tell us what you think of WholeNote in general when you respond to the poll. We love to have your feedback. Results of April's poll: Composer likes and dislikes At press time, close to 100 composers had been mentioned in last month's reader poll on composers. The top five composers in each category were: Favourites Overrated I Overexposed Top Canadians WA Mozart WA Mozart Healey Willan J.S. Bach ArvoPiirt R. Murray Schafer Beethoven Arnold Schoenberg None GP.Handel Hector Berlioz Harry Somers F.J.Haydn GP.Handel Claude Vivier That "None" at Canadian #3 is a bit harsh, admittedly, but on the bright side more than 40 Canadian composers were named. Most striking in the results are the two composers who made top five in both favourite and overexposed categories. Barely halfway through the year of Mozart at 250, one might say there is a polarity of opinion. As for Handel, the annual Messiah-fest has long had its devotees, and its share of detractors. As to general remarks: One reader opined: "It's time to put the Second Viennese School to rest. I think their music is out of style now!" While another felt that "over-rated and overexposed are two different categories: just as even chocolate can pall, some great composers, who I would never call overrated, are nevertheless overexposed at times." The poll, while admittedly unscientific, is very encouraging for Canadian composers, as the long list of mentions shows considerable interest and awareness of the diversity of our home grown talent. Paul Farrelly 10 WWW. TH EWHOLENOTE.COM M AY 1 - JUNE 7 2006

May's Cover Jazz combines the music of the streets with gospel ... blues, dance music . . . all with elegance and sophistication. Jazz is joy. JANE BuNNETT "I'll play it first and tell you what it is later." - Miles Davis by Cathy Riches As a student and a performer of jazz and now a CD reviewer, the question has crossed my mind more than once: "Is this jazz?" It is one of those things I know when I hear it, and when I'm feeling particularly brainy, can even articulate with words: improvisation, rich harmonies and syncopation. But many forms of music have all those things but are not what I think of as jazz. Then there are all the hyphenated hybrids like jazz-rock and jazz-funk and the ones that come with qualifiers like smooth, acid and latin. SEE "WHAT 1s Tms ... ?"PAGE 16 Women's Musical Club of Toronto Subscribe to muoic in the__A/ter,won 2006-2007 Seaoon Five great concerts.for the early-bird price of5 (until May 30th) Thursday afternoons at 1.30 p.m. Pre-concert lecture 12.15 p.m. I Musici de Montreal, chamber orchestra October 26, 2006 Susan Yi-Jia Hou, violin, Daniel Spiegal, piano November 23, 2006 Jane Coop, piano Shirin Eskandani, mezzo-soprano February 8, 2007 OCTAGON: Andrew Dawes, violin; Patricia Shih, violin; Rivka Golani, viola; Carole Sirois, cello; Joel Quarrington, double bass; James Campbell, clarinet; Kenneth MacDonald, French horn; George Zukerman, bassoon March 15, 2007 Marion Newman, mezzo-soprano Gregory Oh, piano April 26, 2007 Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building For more information or to subscribe, call 416-923-7052 M AY 1 - ] UNE 7 2006 GREAT CLASSICAL MUSIC IN A PERFECT SMALL CONCERT HALL DOWNTOWN QUARTETS Sept. 28 Oct. 19 Nov. 9 Nov. 16 Dec. 7 Jan. 18 Feb. 8 Apr. 12 May 10 PIANO Oct. 31 Dec. 12 Jan. 23 Feb. 20 Mar. 13 ENSEMBLES Oct. 10 Nov. 28 Feb. 27 Mar. 27 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE. COM DISCOVERY Feb. 1 Mar. 22 May 3 3,9 Emerson Quartet Lafayette Quartet Belcea Quartet Vogler Quartet of Berlin Vermeer Quartet Tokyo Quartet Fine Arts Quartet David Owen Norris, Monica Huggett and Sonnerie Tokyo Quartet 5, 0 Simon Trpceski Anagnoson & Kinton Roberta Prosseda Stephen Hough Steven Osborne 9, 7 Gryphon Trio St. Lawrence Quartet, David Finckel, cellist, Wu Han, pianist Gryphon Trio St. Lawrence Quartet, David Finckel, cellist, Wu Han, pianist Peter Barrett, baritone Cecilia Quartet David Jalbert, pianist CONTEMPORARY CLASSICS 1, Dec. 12 Anagnoson & Kinton Feb. 27 Gryphon Trio Mar. 27 St. Lawrence Quartet, David Finckel, cellist, Wu Han, pianist May 3 David Jalbert, pianist Subscription combos and series from for Discovery to 4 for the whole season! Io ro ntdartsbo u n c i I tSfB Canada Council Consell des Arts ~"""''• l•e;,"ndyo1,ot C"•••To,on10 ~ lor the Arts du Canada (~' rotIDNW5 a, Jane Mallett Theatre St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts 416-366-7723 • 1-800-708-6754 order online at

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