Category Archives: Popular music & culture

Syrinx: The way the future used to sound

One can’t write objectively about friends, especially when those old friends are beloved pieces of music. I’m very fortunate to get all sorts of wonderful recordings through the mail.  One of the best things about the summertime, when there are … Continue reading

Posted in Music and musicology, Popular music & culture | 2 Comments

Forensic Composition, or when the script is like a CSI

That headline is dead serious and no joke.  I was brought in twice way back in the 1970s as a composer by directors looking with puzzlement at play scripts.  It would happen again later.  These formative projects changed the way … Continue reading

Posted in Opera, Popular music & culture, Theatre & musicals, university life | 1 Comment

Going down to the sea with La Nef and Seán Dagher

As soon as I heard of Sea Songs & Shanties, a new recording by La Nef and Seán Dagher from ATMA, I eagerly obtained it because I had a good idea what I’d find: Musicianship Authenticity Passion And I haven’t been … Continue reading

Posted in Popular music & culture | 3 Comments

Brady, Kaepernick, Eastwood and Trump 

  The arts confuse us regularly, somewhat like life itself.  One minute we’re kept at a distance by a performance using some alienating device calling attention to the artifice, the next we’re sucked into the world we’re watching.  I believe … Continue reading

Posted in Opera, Personal ruminations, Politics, Popular music & culture | Leave a comment

Taking up Lance’s nationalist challenge to the CBC #Canada150

Lawrence Wiliford (AKA Lance Wiliford) posted the following on Facebook today: I challenge @CBCMusic @CBCclassical @CBCArts to air 15 mins/day of music by Canadian classical composers during 2017. Not film or crossover.#Canada150. Canadian Music Centre Canadian League of Composers/La Ligue … Continue reading

Posted in Essays, Music and musicology, Personal ruminations, Popular music & culture | 5 Comments

Gates yea, Martin nay

I wanted to like it. As a child and teen, Lawren Harris was one of my favourite artists.  Steve Martin was and is one of my favourite comedians, actors, and writers. But when I got to “The Idea of North: … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Books & Literature, Opera, Popular music & culture | 2 Comments

The Coronation of King George II

This was the most fun I’ve had at a concert since the epic minimalist concert (oxymoron?) in August 1st 2013. Then as now I believe we were seeing Toronto Summer Music Artistic Director Douglas McNabney pushing the envelope of what’s … Continue reading

Posted in Music and musicology, Popular music & culture, Reviews, Spirituality & Religion, university life | 1 Comment