5 years ago

Volume 13 - Issue 1 - September 2007


DISEDITOR'S CORNERYou, Crazy and I Fall to Pieces particular highlights for me. Concertnote: Leisa Way performs "Sweet Dreams - The Songs of PatsyCline" in Brampton at the Lester B. Pearson Theatre on September22 and 23, at Markham Theatre on October 12 and at two shows atthe Living Arts Centre in Mississauga on November 4.Coincidentally another show featuring songs made famous by PatsyCline (and Hank Williams), "Memories of Hank and Patsy", will beperformed by Marie Bottrell and Aaron Solomon at the Red BarnTheatre at Jackson's Point September 6, 7 & 8.When I posted my "gone fishin'" sign in the last issue, I promised toreturn in September with "a summer's worth of new releases" ...Well, I had forgotten just how many CDs can accumulate in thatperiod. In this issue, between the print magazine and the onlineversion - be sure to check the website for additional reviews notprinted here - we cover 50 discs and have hardly made a dent in thepile.The musical highlight of my summer was hosting a party for theiconic Six String Nation guitar, constructed from more than sixtyartifacts of Canadian history (www It was anopportunity to renew old musical friendships and to make new ones.The guitar's caretaker (perhaps proud father would be moreaccurate) Jowi Taylor had extended an invitation to Derek Olive, aMontreal-based singer-songwriter and excellent guitarist who iscurrently gigging his way across the country on a bicycle! Having leftPowell River B.C . on May 11 with a schedule that will see himarrive in Halifax September 8, Derek had pedaled more than 4,500kilometres with his guitar in tow by the time he arrived at my houseon August 2. With the stories he had to tell it looked like he mightupstage the Six String Nation guitar, until Jowi got started telling theorigins, trials and tribulations of the 10 year quest to bring his visionof this fabulous piece of Canadian history to life. But back to DerekOlive. .. He had to leave our party early because he was expected onstage at Mitzi's Sister that night, but did get to share one of hiswonderful songs with us and on the way out the door gave me a copyof his CD "Our Passing Nows"( With itsmixture of playful and good naturedlyrics - "I won't should on you if youdon't should on me" - combined withvirtuosic acoustic guitar andsophisticated arrangements somewhatreminiscent of early Bruce Cockburn,although not in any derivative way, thedisc has been a welcome addition to myfolk collection.Hosting that party led to a return invitation from one of my musicalold friends to a garden party at her house at Musselman's Lake. Heldon the last day before the grey "Exhibition weather" set in it was afabulous day full ofpickin' and grinnin' in the sunshine, with severalgenerations of participants and more guitars, fiddles and mandolinsthan you could shake a stick at. While the next CD has no directrelation to this I think it must have beenthat day in the country that put me in thereceptive mood I was in when I put"Sweet Dreams - The Songs of PatsyCline" sung by Leisa Way( in my CD player aday or two later. Leisa has been workingin musical theatre for the past 25 yearsincluding a six year stint as Anne ofGreen Gables at the CharlottetownFestival. Her current endeavour is aone-woman show she has written around the life of Patsy Cline. Shesays that in the show she recreates the voice and manner of thecountry legend as closely as possible, but on the CD has brought herown interpretation to these familiar staples of the country repertory.I can only say that she has done a fabulous job of it with She's GotBrowsing this month' s concert listings Inoted that there will be threeopportunities to hear local pianist FrankHorvat here in Toronto, and one more"Beyond the GT A" . Frank recentlyreleased his CD "I'll Be Good"( and I've beenenjoying it over the summer. Thecompositions are diverse enough thatit's hard to describe what exactly thedisc is about. Sometimes bordering on the improvisations of KeithJarrett (but with no audible humming), at moments reminiscent ofboogie-woogie, at others dark ballad-like musings and occasionalfugal passages, this is a truly eclectic mix showcasing Horvat'swealth of technique and energy. Most intriguing is Great House ofRiffs which begins with a quirky motif that could have been borrowedfrom John Weinzweig which gradually morphs into what might bevariations on Louie Louie. I'm left shaking my head in wonder. Youcan hear Frank Horvat live at the Concord Cafe on September 10, ata benefit in support of Sketch on September 16 at the Trane Studio, ina free lunch hour performance at the Princess Margaret Hospital onSeptember 26 and at the Freeway Coffee House in Hamilton onSeptember 27.The final track on Frank Horvat's disc,The Resolve, begins almost gently with arepeated pattern that gradually builds andbuilds in a relentless fashion over aseven minute period but then suddenlychanges gears and dissolves into silence.In contrast, the music of Toronto-basedcomposer MC McGuire on his disc"Meta-Conspiracy"( starts withfull throttle and almost never lets up. There are brief moments ofrespite, but the overall impression is one of manic activity. After acryptic warning in the computer voice of a Mac error message aboutan overload of MIDI information we are off and running full speedahead. A Short History of Lounge is a 25 minute quasi-concerto inwhich local piano wizard David Swan is pitted against a computerwhich provides a virtual orchestra of synthetic sounds and samples,Rumba rhythms, pop and classical quotations layered upon layer,which ritard and accelerate until a final tempo of a quarter note =900 (!) is achieved. Got That Crazy Latin/Metal Feeling provideselectric guitarist John Gzowski with a similar backdrop, a "wall ofsound" such as Phil Spector could only have imagined in his wildestdreams. With John Zorn as executive producer the disc was releasedas part of the Composer Series on the Tzadic label. The notesdescribe the music as "confrontational, extreme and packed withdrama and excitement." I couldn' t say it any better.We welcome your feedback and invite submissions. Catalogues,review copies of CDs and comments should be sent to: TheWholeNote, 503 - 720 Bathurst St. Toronto ON M5S 2R4. We alsowelcome your input via our website, OldsEditor, DISCoveriesdiscoveries@thewholenote.comMore 0/SCoveries on page 5710 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM SEPTE MB ER 1 - O CTOBER 7 2007Back to Ad Index

"When music found me"BYMl'BUELLMeasha Brueggergosman's voice is hard to describe,but everyone tries anyway: superlativeslike powerful, earthy, sensual, rapturous, anderotic jostle with mature, meticulous, superblycalculated, and comments on her grasp of musicalline and drama, her expressiveness andsense of humour.Barely 30, she has astonished audiences inthe world's greatest halls, sung for heads ofstate, contributed to numerous events of internationalsignificance. She lends her voiceand energy as a good-will ambassador toAMREF (African Medical and ResearchFoundation), Learning Through the Arts, andWWF (World Wildlife Fund).She sings comparatively little opera, but theresults are memorable -both in terms of theroles she accepts, and what she brings to them(Vancouver, Stuttgart, Cincinnati). Her titlerole of the James Rolfe/ George Elliot Clarkeopera Beatrice Chancey (Queen of PuddingsMusic Theatre, 1999, later released for televisionby CBC) thrust her into the public eye whenshe was barely out ofU. ofT. Faculty of Musicwhere she studied with Mary Morrison.Measha sings barefoot because it makes herfeel closer to the ground and to her body. Herappetite for fabulous gowns with big trainsmeans nobody knows what's on her feet."Staying grounded," she says "means I get asgood as I give". What she gives is very, verygood. Her concert repertoire ranges from thedeceptive simplicity of gospel hymns, to themost complex art songs of the past two centuries,and pretty much anything in between."Any mixture of the faithful and the new isparticularly exciting. It means that I've tappedinto that hard-to-reach demographic that alwayswondered what classical music was all aboutand finally took the plunge, while maintainingthe support of the loyal subscription holders."What she gets back from audiences is anextraordinary kind of love: expert or not, peoplefeel as if she is theirs. Embracing opportunitiesto say important emotional things, Measha'sart is all about giving, or as she wouldsay, about giving back -- that she does not ownher talent, it's something given to her."Our parents made it their mandate to findand develop their children's talents, but thenrequired us to honour those gifts by strongacts of commitment. This goes very deepwhen it starts very young."Measha began singing in church and schoolchoirs in Fredericton, NB. H-'ho do you thinkyou are? (CBC TV, currently in production)traces her family back 5 generations in theMaritimes. Measha's father, a sound technicianfor CBC radio came from a family where musicwas important. Not musicians, but peoplefor whom music was a natural thing to do."My grandfather played violin, my dad'smorn played the pump organ. Everyonelearned to 'play a little piano'. We all sing inthe church. "cover storyMeasha Brueggergosman, Music's Child"When music found me I had such unimpededaccess to it, it never felt like it wasn'tmeant to be. I was really lucky that it foundme early."A primary school teacher saw Measha'sability and fearlessness early on, and told herparents this was a talent to nurture. With herfirst music teacher, at Brunswick Street UnitedBaptist Church, she studied singing, piano andorgan for eight years. "The fact that musicfound me was mostly nature not nurture, but thechoice of classical music was probably as muchabout nurture. Once music found me, somethingTHE~C::oncert rakethat 'got me good' really fast was our parents'rule that we could only watch tv half as much aswe practised. This got the nuts and bolts of mywork ethic cooking early on. "Measha's parents expected the three childrento lead full busy lives that included sport,music, study, and religion. Today Meashalaughs about them all being "overachievers".Her brother Neville, now a pastor, has a PHDand seven degrees. As a teen, her sister Teahhad a career as an international gymnast. Shenow works in international development andpublic health education. 'She is beyond fierce.I'm sure she'll contend for the Nobel PeacePrize someday.'And speaking of contending ..."anybodywho's played a board game with me knows I'mcompetitive. Back when I was 12, I won 'JuniorStar' of the Fredericton Music Festival and the0 that went with it. I remember thinking'this is a ton of money! I could learn to like thisa whole lot.' It wasn't really so much about themoney, more a kind of a seed planted for loveof competition. What I really liked was the bigtrophies. It'd be very cool if they brought me outa trophy at the symphony at the end of a concert,but that doesn't seem to be the custom."This competitive spirit propelled her throughlocal Kiwanis, provincial and national musiccompetitions. She sang, played piano, frenchCONTINUES NEXT PAGEAFfE,RNOON CONCERTSFE'»'tl'.JRING FINE CA~A'DI.lN SI="GERS!New York Exotic - October 21W.H.Auden, Catson McCullers, Benjamin Britten,Peter Pears and Gypsy Rose Lee shared a ho= inBrooklyn Heights in 1941. Our visit to this mmageincludes John Greer's delightful Liebesleid-Lieder, settingsof Dorothy Parker for four voices and piano duetMiroir brulant - December 2lbe songs of Francis Poulenc are supreme examplesci their genre, leading through the tumultuous historyof France in the first half of the twentieth century.A Song of Enchantment - January 13Walter de la Mare, whose poems evoke the lostworld of childhood, and other 20th c. Georgianpoets provided rich material for English song-writ·ers such as Herbert Howells, Benjamin Britten andRobin Holloway.The Tale of the Ostrich - March 2Richard Strauss was the most successful Germancomposer of his time. How justified • or sincere •was he in thinking that a prominent artist couldkeep himself separate from the crimes of the state?Ancestral Voices -April 27The fascinating story of a historic family, whichincluded the Kembles, leading actors and writers inthe 18th and l 9th centuries, and the inimitableMitfords.SEPTEM BER 1 - O CTOBER 7 2007Back to Ad IndexWWW. THEWHOLEN OTf. COM11

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