I have spent the last two nights seeing the Art of Time Ensemble Schubert: Source & Inspiration at Harbourfront featuring performances by: Andy Maize, John Southworth, Sarah Slean, Danny Michel and Martin Tielli. I think the only downside to going two nights in a row is that I end up in somewhat of a pattern and will wonder why I'm not there again tonight lol.
Just Andrea and I went on Thursday because we are just that silly to buy tickets for two nights in a row, and we had no clue really of what to expect other than we liked a few of the singers, vaguely knew the Schubert piece of music (now I think I want to buy some of his work it was very beautiful!) and figured it would be entertaining to say the least.
The show began with the Art of Time Ensemble which consists of Andrew Burashko (piano), Erika Raum (violin), and Winona Zelenka (cello). They played Trio No. 2 Op. 100, D 929: Allegro, Andante con moto, Scherzo - Allergro Moderato, Allegro moderato. Simply stunning. I don't go to see a lot of classical music be played and everytime I do I'm just blown away. These three musicians are just so talented and I was just enthralled both nights. Loved it! I felt badly because the first night I suppose it wasn't such a classical music crowd so between the movements no one clapped and I presume most everyone was sitting there like me thinking it felt like a moment to clap but just not wanting to screw up the wonderful music that was going on. Friday there was much clapping, all was well :)
Then there was an intermission and after that came the musicians who'd used the Schubert piece as inspiration for some original songs.
Andy Maize was definitely my unknown (to me) treat of the night. I don't believe I'd heard him perform before and he came up with some lovely songs. His second song, 'City of Sirens' was one I particularly fell in love with. I hope the performers record these new songs, some of them were just fantastic!
John Southworth (who, dear readers, you may remember me mentioning as he opened for Sarah one night in December) he for me is always a little hit or miss. Very experimental performer which is always interesting but I know I was not as impressed as I'd expected to be back in December. For this show his first song (which I think is called 'Mourning in the Morning") was delightful. Everyone spent the rest of the evening comparing him to Johnny Depp and while I couldn't see as much Depp as people were going for what I think they were getting at was that it was very much a Depp directed by Tim Burton performance. His second song ('Zulu') I just wasn't feeling as much, it was very original and actually the second night when I knew it was coming I found that I liked it better. At any rate I think I'm going to look into some more of his music because he is fantastically talented, just some of it so far hasn't worked for me, I'll keep trying.
Sarah Slean, for whom we'd bought tickets way back in October to these shows, had two very lovely songs. Both nights the string players who accompanied her were placed so it was somewhat tricky to actually see Sarah but that doesn't really take away from getting to hear two new songs. Her songs were called 'Lonely Side of the Moon' which was written about how mother earth is striking back at humanity somewhat and how if we wreck the world we can always go live on the lonely side of the moon. As that's something I tend to keep ranting on and on about (not the living on the moon but about how these random disasters aren't actually random and it's just the earth's way of evening things out) I was delighted with this one. The second song was called 'The Rose' and was about dying and it was just beautiful and sad and strong. Two really good solid songs.
Danny Michel was very entertaining. He won over the audience right away, and I have to say I always do enjoy seeing him up on stage. He performed one song to which I do not remember the title but it was about a love story in Guatamala and his second number was called 'Rye Whisky.' Before any Danny Michel fans stumble by this to inform me that that is not a new song, even I knew that! He told the story about the poem which comprise the lyrics and I was sitting there on Thursday thinking "boy does this sound familiar" and then he played the song and I've only seen him perform 3 times I think and I've totally seen him play that song before. Which I called him on on Friday before the show and he said that the music for it is all new, which in fairness it completely is, I paid close attention to it on Friday night and you can pick out the Shubert insipiration.
Martin Tielli wrapped up the evening and he was such an interesting performer to watch. He's very much someone who just gets out there and when he's playing he seems to be completely wrapped up in the music and unaware that he's also putting on a show... but he is theatrical with it at the same time... which doesn't make much sense when I write it down, just go see him, it was great. I can only remember the name of one of the songs 'Aluminum Flies' ("as in the things that lay eggs on rotting corpses") but both of his songs were just great fun to hear.
All in all it was a fantastic pair of nights full of songs. The second night I was particually aware of how every piano player completely handles the instrument differently, which I'm sure also translates to other performers with other instruments but as I only really know how to play the piano (somewhat) that's what I noticed.
Also on Friday Andrea and I were invited to go to an art show opening that Kate Jackson (one of Sarah's friends who was at the Thursday show - which is how we got invited) was a part of. I have to recommend this one. It's at the York Quay Centre and it's their Spring Exhibitions so there are so many different types of amazing artwork there to see. My favourites of the night were: Kate Jackson & Suzanne Carlsen 'Last Night I Dreamt I Was'. No, not because it's Sarah's friend and therefore I was somewhat obligated to like it, but because it was just a delightful series of pieces of art. I loved how it was displayed, you peer through cut outs to see these vibrant moments from dreams. They captured a whole mood with their art. Also Jennifer Long's 'Immigration Series' because the whole idea behind the photoshoot was so powerful and again you just walked into a whole mood there. Heather Goodchild who had a lovely dark fairytale feeling to her artwork (clearly I was going to like that!) There was also a whole series of different art using the medium of film in one way or another and the one that particularly stood out to me was one that was mounted around an old Catholic sick bed kit type of thing. It was a box that came with the holy water and candles and candle holders etc and the instructions for what would happen when the priest came and what you should have prepared and what then would be done, just very interesting to see that and to have that bit of history contrasted with film running over it. Hard to explain. Instead you can click the link for more info
and head over to the show :)
I invited Jo to come to the art show opening with us and she made it and while there I convinced her to come see Sarah perform in May with us :) *yay* much fun!
And I think this is plenty long enough for now!