Making Waves In My Brain With Standing WaveSaturday, February 17, 2007
Tomorrow at 8:00 PM I will be at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre , 1895 Venables Street, with my friend Graham Walker. We will be there to have our ears cleansed musically and our complacent attitude towards music challenged.
The Vancouver group Standing Wave, AK Coope, clarinet, Rebecca Whitling, violin, Peggy Lee, cello, Allen Stiles, Piano and Vern Griffiths, perscussion, will be launching their new CD REDLINE. Except for AK Coope, a new member of Standing Wave who plays the clarinet I know all in this usual list of musical suspects.
These "suspects" have been providing me with musical pleasure for years and even my granddaughter Rebecca knows some of them.
Peggy Lee (right) explained the configuration of her cello at her home once and then both of us marvelled at Lee's contribution in the little orchestra that accompanied Chick Snipper's surgical dance, Slab. Rebecca first met Vern Griffiths at a concert music for children at the Chan Centre.
Griffiths (left) had all kinds of unlikely toys and instruments that made the noises that accompanied Cam Wilson's (not part of Standing Wave but seen here with Allen Stiles in the centre of the Beatles White Album which was a stellar new music project of some years past) Canadian Carnival of the Animals. But Griffiths's definitive moment for us was his snare drumming up front, with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra behind, performance of Ravel's Bolero.
Unfortunately, Rebecca's exposure to her namesake Rebecca Whitling (top, left) has been limited to seeing her at her post as one of the violinists for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. I have had the pleasure of hearing her play Argentine tango and Chinese new music.
And I could go on in how these pleasantly incestuous and young new music players and composers (Bradshaw Pack, above, right, is one of my favourites and is one of the featured composers for Sunday night) play musical chairs to my delight.
My friend Graham Walker and I go to many baroque concerts. Marc Destrubé the musical director and virtuoso violinist of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra insists on stressing that all baroque music was new music. With no recordings available in the 17th and 18th century, baroque music was seldom played more than once. It was the new music and the avant-garde of its day. They played in royal living rooms and churches and were known by those who listened to them.
For me the spirit of the baroque lives on in these new music programs and concerts with groups such as Standing Wave. Not all of the concert this Sunday night will be pleasantly melodic but with their warmth and their smiles (Bradshaw Pack is not as scary as he looks!) and in the intimate venue of the Vancouver East Cultural Centre these musicians can help us enrich and challenge our musical horizons.
Left (Cam Wilson, left, Allen Stiles, right)