7 years ago

Volume 17 Issue 10 - July/August 2012

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  • August
  • Jazz
  • Festival
  • Toronto
  • September
  • Festivals
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  • Musical

epertoire is arranged by

epertoire is arranged by Boz who aims not so much for a fusion ofTurkish and Western music, but “the result of both a collision andconfluence of these disparate elements.” The arrangements are abettedby Ozman’s stylish vocals and the accompaniment of outstandingsidemen: Ismail Hakki Fencioglu (oud), Didem Basar (kanun),Debashis Sinha (darbuka, bendir, asma davul) and Sidar Demirer (saz).Later on the evening’s bill is Irshad Khan, among the leading sitarand surbahar (bass sitar) exponents of his generation. Born into aprominent North Indian musical family he received outstanding traditionalinstruction from his famous father Imrat Khan and uncleVilayat Khan in sitar and raga, that all-encompassing rigourous musicalconcept merging melody, mode, scale, emotion, time and muchmore. A long-time GTA resident, Irshad Khan has not relied exclusivelyon exploring the vast possibilities of the Hindustani classical tradition,however. Rather, he has increasingly focussed his virtuoso sitarpowers on searching for new ways to communicate with his Westernaudiences, including performing with musicians and musical formswell outside Hindustani classical tradition.Tuesday, July 31 from 7:30 to 10:00 pm The Calypso Stars take overHarbourfront Centre. This two-and-a-half hour Caribbean musicconcert features calypso singers performing original songs from theannual Calypso Tents Music Series (CTMS). Top Canadian soca artistsand special guests round out the event, including Macomere Fifiand Structure. Alexander D Great, a calypso master, recording artist,teacher, writer and winner of the Association of British Calypsonian(ABC) calypso monarch title in 2010 and 2011 is the evening’s specialguest. Virtuoso steelpannists, carnival characters on stilts called mokojumbies, traditional Caribbean drumming and limbo dancers fromTrinidad round out the full program.So many concerts, so little space. This column continues on ourwebsite: by Beat | BandstandFrom Maddeningto MarvelousJACK MACQUARRIEAs i sit down staring at a blank screen wondering how to beginthis final tome before the summer break, I’m faced with a dilemma:should I look back over the past few weeks, or should I lookforward. It’s transition time in so many ways. Some bands are windingdown their activities for the summer, while others are gearing up fora cornucopia of musical events. Since hindsight is easier to muster upthan foresight in this hot weather, hindsight wins the toss.Andrew Timar is a Toronto musician and music writer.He can be contacted at Foggy Hogtown Boys. Left to right,Chris Quinn, Andrew Collins, Max Heineman,John Showman, Chris Coole.On this, the longest day of the year, there is still not enough timeto reflect thoroughly on the varied musical activity that I have experienced.I could use the expression “from the sublime to the ridiculous”to describe the spectrum, but that would be unfair to the somewhatless than orthodox performances. Let’s go from the smallest tothe largest.The first is a return visit to the Flute Studio in Markham with flutistsLeslie Huggett and Flora Lim. In the 1970s the Huggett Family wassynonymous with the revival of early music played on period instruments.Leslie Huggett, his wife, Margaret, and their four childrenwere known across Canada for their tasteful interpretations of musicfrom the medieval, renaissance and baroque periods. In more recentyears, while operating the flute studio, Leslie Huggett has held a seriesof Sunday afternoon reminiscences titled “Reflections of a Part-TimeOptimist,” where his humorous recounting of past adventures andmisadventures are accompanied by elegant music on piano and fluteby Flora Lim.Then from the intimacy of a pristine studio just off the main streetto a very large country barn for an evening of “Bluegrass in the Barn.”I know, bluegrass music is quite common, but performed by a chamberchoir? That’s different. It was quite a departure for the UxbridgeChamber Choir to switch from their usual repertoire. They are moreaccustomed to Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn and the more modernworks of Fauré or Orff. Accompanied by the Foggy Hogtown Boys, awell established true bluegrass ensemble based in Toronto, the choirseemed to be enjoying the music as much as the audience. The barnwas filled to capacity with many audience members seated outside enjoyingthe music streaming through the open barn doors.Now for the really big one. At the other end of the musical spectrumwas Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 8, better known as the“Symphony of a Thousand.” In its first performance, with Mahler conducting,there were 171 instrumentalists and 858 singers for a total of1,030 performers. While this recent Toronto performance didn’t have28 July 1 – September 7, 2012

those numbers, with over 500 performers on stage or in the balconiesabove, it was an amazing musical experience. How often do we getto hear eight french horns, four bassoons and a contrabassoon competingfor our attention with the assistance of three adult choirs anda children’s choir? If these events are harbingers of things to come,the dog days of summer should be soothed by the musical events onthe horizon.While on the topic of getting our attention, I had the misfortune tobe sitting adjacent to people who can’t stand to be separated from their“personal smart devices” for any significant time. At the Mahler concertthe man in front of me was playing a Sudoku game on his deviceuntil conductor Peter Oundjian mounted the podium. As for the ladyto my left, she didn’t stop texting until the baton was raised. The finalchord before intermission, one nanosecondbefore the applause began,was hercue tostart textingagain.No, thesewere notteenagers,they wereboth in theranks of theGrand RiverNew Horizons boomers.However,these distractionswere in some ways more acceptable than those encountered atthe bluegrass event. Having selected the seat of my choice, there wasone seat vacant to my right. Enter a woman with a child. What betterway for the child to clean her dirty boots than on my pants. A move toa vacant seat just outside of the barn doors seemed to be a good choice.The lady and her small boy who occupied the adjacent seat were quietand well behaved. I was, however, somewhat distracted as this dotingmother decided to explore in precise detail the entire precincts of hisscalp for lice or other invasive species.Every once in a while I have the pleasure of reviewing new CD releasesfor this publication. Last week I was accorded the opportunityto conduct a review of a different sort. How does one review anew transcription for band of an orchestral work by a well-knownCanadian composer? Why not take the complete set of parts to the rehearsalsof two or three bands for a read through and critique? Off to arehearsal I went, and handed out the parts to the various sections andthe conductor’s score to the music director. Things were going welluntil the conductor turned a page. Suddenly the band members werenot playing what he saw on his score. It turns out that the conductor’sscore was missing all even numbered pages. Then, conducting fromone of the instrumental parts, the director managed to work throughthe piece enough to say it is interesting. As soon we get the rest of theconductor’s score, it will be off to the bands again. Then the title andcomposer will be revealed in our review.Over the past few years I have had the pleasure of being a volunteersubject for the Rotman Research Institute at the Baycrest Centrein Toronto. A major component of their current research activity is inthe study of how musical ability may influence cognitive function andbrain activity in general. Next week both members of our householdare slated to participate in this latest round of experiments which willbe quite different from previous ones. There are new studies beinginitiated all of the time, and they are always looking for participants. Ifyou have attained a reasonable level of musical proficiency and wouldbe interested, give them a call.Last month, I mentioned the very successful year end concert of thefour New Horizons Bands in Toronto and the busy summer scheduleahead for the Grand River New Horizons Music in Kitchener. Shortlyafter, I was chatting with a man who had just recently retired andexpressed interest in fulfilling a long held desire to take up a musicalinstrument. However, he lives between these communities andwas looking for a group closer to home. Within days of that discussionI learned of another New Horizons Band planned for Burlington.If you live in that area and have that same desire to make music, thenew group is slated to begin in September. For information phone905-637-4992.While on the subject of new groups, I had the pleasure of attendingthe end of year concert of Resa’s Pieces Strings. As with the othergroups which started last year, they have progressed. This year’s performanceincluded a violin duet and had a guest trumpet soloist performingLeroy Anderson’s Trumpeter’s Lullaby. Congratulations ontheir second season.If the former town of Markham (it officially becomes a city July 1)is any indicator there will be lots of outdoor music. At the UnionvilleMillennium Bandstand, no fewer than seven community bands willbe performing at 7 pm on Sundays over the summer. We can expectsimilar offerings at the Orillia Aqua Theatre, Mel Lastman Square,Earl Bales park and a host of other venues too numerous to mention.Please check the listings section for details.As for what lies ahead on the personal agenda, if the coming Sundayoffers any clue, there won’t be much time for relaxation. That day beginswith a “Decoration Day” service in a cemetery and ends with aconcert in a park. Sandwiched in between those two performancesare two end-of-season parties for groups which are knocking off forthe summer. Otherwise, there isn’t much to do that day. Last month Istated my intention to explore The Breathing Gym program of exercisesfor wind musicians. With a weather forecast calling for a humidexof 40° C or 104° F, those exercises will have to wait.DEFINITION DEPARTMENTThis month’s lesser known musical term is: Trouble Clef: any clefthat one can’t read: e.g. alto clef for most trombonists. We invitesubmissions from readers. Let’s hear your daffynitions.Jack MacQuarrie plays several brass instruments andhas performed in many community ensembles. He canbe contacted at Choir 56Amoroso 63Art of Jazz 2Ashkenaz Festival 7ATMA 5Aurora jazz+festival 38Bravo International 33Brott Music Festival 39Canadian OperaCompany 25Cathedral BluffsSymphony Orchestra19Cliff Ojala 59Conrad Chow 18Contact ContemporaryMusic/INTERsection12Cosmo Music 28Festival of the Sound11Heliconian Hall 55Kindred SpiritsOrchestra 18Laptopolist 59Leonard Gilbert 35Liz Parker 59LIZPR 51Long & McQuade 20Marie Andrée Gray 58Midland SummerSerenade 41Mississauga Museums“On the Verandah”31Mississauga SymphonyOrchestra 17INDEX OF ADVERTISERSMusic at Metropolitan 23Music at Port Milford44Music Mondays/Churchof the Holy Trinity 31Music Toronto 9No Strings Theatre 33Norm Pulker 59NYCO SymphonyOrchestra 55Ontario Philharmonic17Oriana Women’s Choir21Orpheus Choir ofToronto 56Our Lady of Sorrows 32Pasquale Bros. 51Pattie Kelly 59Peter Mahon 22Plein Air GardenConcerts 30Prince Edward CountyJazz Festival 47Prince Edward CountyMusic Festival 48Remenyi House ofMusic 13Scarborough ConcertBand 55Sheila McCoy 59SOCAN Foundation 57Soldiers’ Tower,University of Toronto32Sony Centre 35Soundstreams 4St. Stephen in-the-Fields AnglicanChurch 22Steve’s Music Store 15Stratford SummerMusic 3Sue Crowe Connolly 59Summer Opera LyricTheatre 25Sweetwater MusicFestival 49Tafelmusik 71The Sound Post 27Toronto Centre for theArts 54Toronto Musicians’Association 57Toronto OperaRepertoire 55Toronto PhilharmoniaOrchestra 19Toronto Summer MusicAcademy andFestival 72Village Voices 58VIVA! Youth Singers ofToronto 56Volcano Theatre 26Westben Arts FestivalTheatre 7Women’s Musical Clubof Toronto 14Yamaha Music School59York University PianoSale 16You and Media 59July 1 – September 7, 29

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