7 years ago

Volume 11 Issue 1 - September 2005

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • September
  • Jazz
  • Festival
  • Musical
  • Theatre
  • October
  • Sept
  • Index
  • Bach

On behalf of all of us

On behalf of all of us at WholeNote, welcome, whether you are an old friend or finding us for the first time (maybe at one of our new "Gateway" locations on GO or the TIC?). In either case welcome to this, the first issue of our second decade of publishing. As usual, this little "Opener" is the very last thing to be written. Everything else has been delivered to the printer. Presses will roll in just a few hours. Topmost in my mind is a short conversation I had yesterday with Doreen Rao, choral educator and Artistic Director of the biennial International Bach Festival at the University of Toronto which runs, this year, from October I to October 9. WholeNote is planning to touch base with the festival's superstar, conductor-in-residence Maestro Helmut Rilling, in time for October's issue. Yesterday, Dr. Rao described the Festival's theme and focus to me; its intricate blend of masterclasses, open rehearsals and lecture/concerts; its mix-and-matching of students and top international stars; its interweaving of artistry and education. Listening, I found myself realizing the extent to which, by the time an event like this gets under way, the hardest work has been done already, behind the scenes. All that remains is to welcome the guests. So, again, welcome to this issue of WholeNote with its various themes and focuses, its blend of performance and education, its listings in which students and ardent amateurs rub shoulders with top international performers. The hardest work is done. Now let the season begin! David Perlman Looming: September 9 is deadline for 175-word member profiles for the annual "Blue Pages" Presenters' Directory in the October issue. Contact Karen Ages for details. 10 Sunday September 18: 7:30: St. Stephen-in-the-Fields Anglican Church. Save St. Stephen's Gala. Jane Siberry, Kurt Swinghamer, singer/songwriters; Katherine Govier, MG Vassanji, authors; other performers tba. St. Stephen's, 103 Bellevue Ave. 416-921-6350. Freewill donation. I never thought that I would get to use the word Antidisestablishmentarianism in a WholeNote story! The "disestablish" part describes what an Anglican Diocese has to do when it decides to shut a parish down. The "Anti-" part, in this case, is the groundswell of parish and Kensington Market neighbourhood opposition to the idea of putting an end to 147 years of unbroken ministry out of the landmark church, on College Street a couple of blocks west of Spadina. The concert we've chosen to highlight here is a small part of the campaign to keep the church in parish hands. What makes this a legitimate WholeNote story? Two things, really. First, this magazine started out as nothing more than a music column by WholeNote publisher Allan Pulker, in a little community newspaper called the Kensington Market Drum. And his very first column in Drum was a writeup of a concert by Sine Nomine Ensemble for Mediaeval Music at St. Stephen-in-the-Fields in March 1994. So there's a bit of interwoven history, giving us a soft spot for the place. But it's more than just sentiment. There's also this reason: throughout Toronto and the region we cover, you see examples of dynamic co-operative relationship between local congregations, in all faiths, and local cultural and artistic groups in need of space for rehearsal, performance and other uses. This season we are planning to look closely at the vital role that venues of all types play to keep live culture, particularly music, ticking around town. St. Stephen's? Just a small venue in trouble? Perhaps. But it's scary how many places you could say that about. Being there September 18th could help stop the rot! Upcoming special features (See page 9 for company directory.) Upcoming directories: March ' 06: Summer Music Education (closes Feb 9); May ' 06: Choral Canary Pages (closes April 9); June '06: Summer Green Pages (closes May 9). a FIFTH FLOOR PERSPECTIVE ON THE CULTURE BUSINESS Hidden away on the fifth floor at the Toronto Reference Library is a small enclosure that serves as a playing studio and holds two keyboards. It has no ceiling, but there is a door and a paper pad affixed to the door for the names of people using it. No doubt some future Mozarts and Rachmaninoffs play here from the flourish of their signatures. The idea of the place is to take a book or score from the vast collection on the shelves a few steps away and to study, practise or create with it ... As for the keyboards, as far as I know, they are the only ones in the whole city of Toronto available for this kind of experience .. . i.e. a public practice studio. I think both of them have been used for about ten years or longer .. . The Yamaha is still pretty much functional, but the Kurzweill has been damaged and works with only the piano function, and weakly at that. I read a lot of biography and autobiography in the music section on the 5th floor ... it is one of my favourite places in the whole city with a panoramic view of the tree tops of Rosedale ... each day bringing a view of sky filled with clouds and sunlight that rest the eye after too intense a stretch of reading about Ludwig, Amadeus, Leonard, or Irving .... as a wanna-be-composer and songwriter that sky never fails to inspire me to head for the keyboards to try to write or compose something in the manner of these greats ... Alas ... the keyboards are sometimes busy ... but when I have the chance I am grateful to plank about, putting one note after the other, as even Ludwig or Irving must have had to do. I am in songwriter's heaven. I wish hundreds of Torontonians could delight in the same experience. Perhaps more great music could come out of Toronto this way . Hey ... we could use a keyboard on the corner of every street in the city actually ... didn't Mayor Miller just say that Culture is now the Business of our City .. . we need more practice studios and keyboards in the I ibraries I'd say ... a variety of instruments and models which are new and functional ... I'd say bravo to that. Carmin Priolo The Toronto Reference Library is at 789 Yonge Street, just nonh of Bloor. One floor down from the fifth floor playing studio, in the periodicals section, there is a complete ten-year set of WholeNote available (under the name "Pulse " for the first year and a half). We invite peninent reader perspectives in our areas of coverage for consideration for this page and elsewhere if appropriaJ:e. E-mail Or mail David Perlman, Editor, WholeNote, 503-720 Bathurst Street, Toronto, Canada M5T 2N4. Preferred lengths for "Page Ten Perspectives ": 40, 240, or 400 words. Back to Ad Index WWW ,THEWHOLENOTE,COM S EPTEMBER 1 - O CTOBER 7 2005

cover stories (1) autorickshaw bridges worlds by Karen Ages "Music makes the world smaller" runs the opening caption on Small World Music's website. Indeed, founder and director Alan Davis has been bringing the world closer to us since 1997, presenting some of the finest talent in world music, from Canada and abroad. Small World is back with another ten-day festival this fall, featuring an array of performers from Brazil, to India, to Taiwan and more. And yes, there is some home- grown talent as well. RECENTLY BACK FROM a cross-Canada summer tour, Toronto-based autorickshaw will be featured September 30 and October 1, at the Al Green Theatre (Miles Nadal JCC), with guests Trichy Sankaran and Kevin Breit, in an "all Canadian" program. autorickshaw represents a unique voice in the music scene, namely the blending of Indian classical traditions with jazz. Even the name suggests a coming together of old and new, as vocalist Suba Sankaran points out. The autorickshaw, a common mode of transportation in India, combines the traditional human-powered rickshaw with the modern "auto" component. Nominated for a Juno award last season for their second CD Four Higher, the group's origins seem almost accidental. Never having met before, in late 2002 tabla player Ed Hanley approached Suba to work on the melodic aspect of a commissioned piece for dancer Natasha Bakht. "We had this sort of instant musical chemistry", says Suba, of their initial meeting. "Because ofour musical backgrounds" (his being the Toronto Tabla Ensemble and lessons with Ritesh Das, hers through her father, Trichy Sankaran, professor of Indian music at York University and renowned mrdangam player), "it was like looking in a mirror, musically speaking. We hit it off with this composition that we were writing for somebody else, but we thought within a few moments of meeting and sharing musical ideas, we've got to start a band; we need this to become our project rather than somebody else's". The Fourth Annual Small World Music Festival Ten Days of Musical Discovery Septern ber 22 - October 2, 2005 Festival details: Tickets: / 416 645-9090 >SEU JORGE (Brazil) - Thursday Sept 22, 9:00 Lula Lounge 1585 Dundas W. - ~20 adv./ ~25 door MIDIVAL PUNDITZ (India) - Friday Sept 23, 10:00 Gypsy Co-op, 815 Queen St. W. - ~15 at the door >A MOVING SOUND (Taiwan) - Sat. Sept. 24, 8:oo Jivamukti Yoga, s Shuter St. - ~15 adv./ ~2.0 door > LURA (Cape Verde) - Saturday Sept 24, 8:oo Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas W. - ?15 adv./ ?20 door TRIO JOU BRAN (Palestine) - Sunday Sept 25, 8:oo Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas W . - ?2.0 adv./ ?2.5 door MARIZA (Portugal) - Tuesday Sept 27, 8:oo Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St. - ;:39.50 - 59.50 SooN AFTER, with Deb Sinha (percussion) and Rich Brown (bass), they created a demo CD which they handed over to Derek Andrews, then music programmer at Harbourfront, now their manager. Both Ed and Suba then took off for a few months of musical study in India, while things percolated at home. Derek was instrumental in getting the CD out to various promoters in Canada. While still in India, they already had three invitations to perform back home; so they collaborated to create more repertoire, and upon returning, produced their first CD, so they'd have something to sell at these events. The rest, as they say, ... I ASKED SUBA whether they had envisioned incorporating jazz from the beginning. "There was always an element of fusion right at the outset. For instance, kapi-wallah (the commissioned dance work on our first CD) has a lot of different influences; it's deeply rooted in South and North Indian music but it's got other elements, jazz and improv. That was kind of the foundation; everything we do goes back to that idea. It felt like a successful marriage of different musical styles, without diluting them in any way . I think that came from our training in various styles (she studied Jazz at York). I felt that autorickshaw would be the vehicle (pardon the pun!) for putting all my eggs in one basket, where I could find a crossroads between jazz and Indian music, doing the music I had grown up with as well as incorporating all the other influences in my life, in a way that made sense to me, that was still sensitive to the traditions we were borrowing from. I guess it was part of our mandate, whether we knew it or not at the beginning". In addition to their Sept 30, Oct 1 Small World appearances, autorickshaw performs September 2 at Yonge-Dundas Square, and September 3 at the Distillery (see For WholeNote 's World View please tum to page 24. >ASH DARGAN (Australia) - Wed. Sept 28, 9:00 Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen W . - ?15 adv. / ~20 door HOVEN DROVEN (Sweden) - Thurs. Sept 29, 9:00 Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas W. - ?15 adv./ ~20 door AUTORICKSHAW (Canada) Friday Sept 30, & Saturday Oct 1, 8:oo Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina - ?15 adv./ ?20 door >NAWAL (Comoros Islands) - Saturday Oct 1, 8:oo Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas W. - ?15 adv/ ?20 door >SIDI GOMA (India) - Sunday Oct 2, 8:oo Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina - ~25 adv./ ~30 door > Canadian Debut Appearance ••• Canad;an Heritage Pa.rrj:ncine car.adien OII U lltO ,!,ltfS COUU(U (C)IS(ll Oli Ai::TS 0[ r m,•r ,,1110 to rontda rt sbou n ci I An ,irn·~ l eng1 ~ ttooy o l !ho C,ty cl Tor onto SEPTE M BER 1 - O CTO BER 7 2005 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM 11 Back to Ad Index

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