After releasing my single last summer I went cross-Canada to visit and play for friends and relatives in Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax. I played on board the VIA Rail train nearly the entire length of the country which was a fabulous experience - I couldn't recommend this enough to my musician and performer friends (it's called the on-board entertainment program). A big thanks to Helen, Alyssa, Stacy, Jessica, my sister Steph and her family, my aunts Sue and Nicky, and my Grandad for putting up with me!!
I made my annual pilgrimage to Montreal to play for Yegor Dyachkov and this year, I asked him if he could take me on for regular lessons if I moved to Montreal…
He said yes!!
So I've spent the last year rehearsing and learning music to perform at benefit concerts with the Singing Tree Collective (on Salt Spring Island and preparing for a trip to Nepal and Cambodia), organizing events for and teaching at the East Vancouver Community Music School, working as assistant strings teacher at West Point Grey Academy, all the while preparing to pack my bags and move beyond the boarders of the Greater Vancouver Area for the first time in my life…. and experience true cold winter for the first time in my life… eek!
I have had the extreme pleasure of collaborating and making music with some incredible individuals over the past year. I was thrilled when Monica Shah and I were accepted to the
12 Minutes Max dance showcase at the Scotiabank Dance Center. She brought her classical Indian dance training, I brought my classical Western music training and we mashed the two together in loosely organized improvisations, centered around the intention of channeling Kali. Monica is amazing, if you ever get a chance to see her perform - do it!
Rodney DeCroo asked me to play with him in a theatre work he had written titled "Stupid Boy in an Ugly Town". We performed the work most recently at Templeton Highschool and have since rehearsed a few songs from his latest album "Old Tenement Man". I have indulged in both this album and his most recent book of poetry (his 3rd? 4th..?), "Next Door to the Butcher Shop," cover-to-cover. Rodney has found a powerful way to authentically share himself with the world.
I have fallen in love with a number of friend's bands and solo acts: Only A Visitor, The End Tree, Natalie Ramsay, Hildegard's Ghost, No Mothers, The Creaking Planks, The Myrtle Family Band, Michael Fraser, and The Ruffled Feathers… just to name a few (in no particular order).
I also saw a bunch of snazzy people in the Gamelan Bike Bike at the Parade of Lost Souls last, last fall which inspired me to join the community gamelan group Gita Asmara and learn two pieces of Balinese gamelan music (though I don't think we played them at "Balinese Speed").
This incredibly intricate music put my ear and brain in a whole other world, so much so that I didn't think twice about accepting an invitation to improvise with a microtonal piano this past spring. Noah and I explored two rounds of sounds, textures, and unpredictability, and afterwards another pair of musicians improvised for two rounds. It's an ear-bender for sure. This piano is re-tuned so that there are 15 pitches within an octave (instead of 12) so that each spacing is slightly less than a whole semitone. You can listen to the whole thing on soundcloud by clicking here.
Now that the school year is wrapped up, I've spent a good chunk of this summer playing chamber music on Salt Spring, performing Free Outdoor Cello Concerts, practicing and preparing for Nepal/Cambodia/Montreal, and brainstorming other projects.
I've been writing and reading everyday this past little while; if you'd like to poke around and hear what I've been up to click here or send me an email: clara [at] sidewalkcellist [dot] com. If I take a while to respond, feel free to send me a second poke.
In the mean time, take care (and click here if you want a laugh).