Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Summerland Suite

Although I'm sure I will never be really finished tweaking and fixing, I think my summer music project is pretty much done. The Summerland Suite is a set of six original compositions for string quartet. That link takes you to my project blog, where I kept track of my progress over the past couple of months -- the first post has a summary of the project, as well as links to the mp3 recording (hit play beside any mp3 link) and sheet music for each song. I prettied it up with photos just for fun. Thanks to those of you who have been supportive of my humbling, stumbling efforts.

Update: A wonderful trio of musicians has joined me to perform this piece of music: cellist Martin Kratky, violinist Liz Lupton and violinist Jasper Meiklejohn. We've started rehearsing, and I'm very excited to hear the songs coming alive. We'll play the suite at 2pm, during the gallery opening to my next photography show. We're hoping to make a decent live recording as well -- it will be nice to have proper sounds to go with the scores. Details:
2pm on December 5, 2010
Red Rooster Winery
891 Naramata Road
Penticton, BC

Facebook event page
Okanagan Abstracted book
Red Rooster's featured artists

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The National in Vancouver

I started this post the night of the concert, after I got back to our room at the Sylvia, and now I'm finishing it eight months later. This photo commemorates the experience of getting stuck in one of the ancient hotel elevators with our three kids and Sam for nearly an hour, which turned out to be much less awful than it might have been. It was also the trip of the trapped rat in our room early one morning, which Tannis delivered to the front desk in a sand pail. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we have not been back to the Sylvia in eight months.

Barb has a beautiful baby now, but back then, she just had a bump in her tummy. It was great to see her early in her pregnancy, getting her perspective as the mom instead of the midwife (she was our midwife for all three of our home-births). We had breakfast with Angelo and Esther too; always a treat. And hooked up with Bill and Sam for a walk that ended with the elevator incident.

I'm struggling to remember what else we did, as there's not much photographic evidence other than our stop at Bridal Falls on the way (below). The concert was amazing. Andrew and I walked to Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park and had a beer before the show. The National is probably my favourite band right now, and it was a real thrill to experience their live show -- very tight and slick. Highlight songs for me: Mistaken For Strangers, Afraid Of Everyone, Conversation 16, Apartment Story, and Fake Empire.



Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Reading Watching Listening


  • Chased by the Light, documenting a photo project by Jim Brandenburg, where he took only one photo per day for three months in the Minnesota forests near his home. Wonderful stuff, with compelling words and stunning beauty.
  • Photo impressionism and the subjective image -- a bit dated in that it's all for shooting film, but I still found it fascinating and informative. Cool to discover the work of Canadian photographer Freeman Patterson.
  • Souvenir of Canada by Douglas Coupland. Man, what a masterpiece. I need to get a hold of the sequel and the DVD too, as I enjoyed this (again) disproportionately.
  • The bedtime Harry Potter marathon continues. Since we had just seen the movie, we unanimously decided to skip The Goblet of Fire, and are now about halfway into The Order of the Phoenix. Very enjoyable, and the girls always complain when it's time to stop (not really a bad thing, despite my low tolerance for complaint).
  • When it Rains, a novel by co-worker and friend Laura Gabriella. Although she says she'd happily burn every existing copy, I thought it was great -- funny and smart, with a rip-roaring pace.

  • Anvil! The Story of awesome. This is what I wrote to Bill (who initially recommended it, I think) about it: "I felt like I was appreciating the film on a few levels: a more authentic version of Some Kind of Monster without the layer of superstardom (although the desire is there for that), self-actualization and the where-are-they-now angle, and even the Canadian vibe in all those wintery Toronto shots. But I guess it comes down to the Rob/Lips dynamic, and I loved all of the family bits. Painful to watch at times, yet I couldn't take my eyes off of it."
  • What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann...a wonderful documentary that was ringing true for me all over the place, getting me stewing about art, beauty, family, life and death. Very intense.

Listening To:
  • I think Andrew got me listening to soundtracks by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis last year, and it was a great gift. Over the last couple of weeks, their soundtrack for The Road has been weaving itself into my brain. Listen here...
  • Matrix Reloaded Soundtrack -- heavy, dark, intense and surprisingly fun.
  • Mozart Preludes and Fugues "after Bach" -- these are sort of 300-year-old cover tunes, where Mozart arranged and extended melodies by Bach (actual two Bachs) for small string groups. Gorgeous.
  • String Quartets and Duets by Gyorgy Ligeti, a composer I had never heard of before. Five of the pieces on the album blew my mind, and those have been in rotation.